From Pitches in Asia – Report from JFA Coaches/Instructors in Asia Vol.36: TSUKITATE Norio, Coach of Timor-Leste National Team
26 April 2019
Back to Timor-Leste
From 2011 to 2013, I was coaching for the U-23, U-19, U-16 National Teams of Timor-Leste. After several years, I have returned to this country last May, this time to coach the top category of National Team. Regardless of the country, the national team has the obligation to meet the expectations of the nation. We are constantly expected to balance out the future developments and the current results. Fortunately, many of the youth players I have coached in the past are now playing for the top team, which gives me an advantage in understanding the characters of each player. However, it also contains the risk of me making prejudice decisions, so I must be careful. I always try to keep in mind to find new players that are currently making improvements.
The differences and similarities
In the past, I was given the opportunity to coach national teams at Guam, Laos, Bangladesh, and Bhutan. These experiences have given me a tremendous amount of strengths. The biggest thing I’ve learned is that “Every country is different” and “Every country is the same.” This may sound irrational, but I will like to explain what the “differences” and the “similarities” are.
“Differences” = Politics, religions, and national traits
Especially, politics and religions have an enormous amount of effect on a country’s football association. Socialism, democracy, monarchy, Islam, Buddhism, Christianity, they all have their own merits, but for me, there were many traits that I wasn’t very familiar with and had a challenging time understanding. For an example, the concept of having the “Players first,” is a well-known concept in Japan, but this may not be the case elsewhere. People are not always thinking of the players. Politics and religions can have a strong effect on people’s perspective, and it is very difficult to determine what is right. I came to realise that each people have a different sense of value which determines what is right and wrong in each country.
“Similarities” = Everyone loves football
Regardless of the level of competition, people loves the game and get excited watching the plays of the national team. The players feed off the energy provided by the people of their nation, while the supporters gain courage from the players of their national team. In any given country, there will always be differences that may be hard to understand. However, when it comes to football, I am fully committed to give my entire energy to the sport. That can be said when I am in Japan as well.
At the year end, we will be participating in the “SEA GAMES,” which is like the Olympics of ASEAN, held in the Philippines. There will be many twists and turns down the road, but we will put our entire energy towards this tournament at the Philippines to make our nation happy.
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