HOME > CSR > NEWS > From Pitches in Asia - Dispatched JFA-certified instructor report vol.6: Chinese Taipei women's national team goalkeeper coach SUZUKI Daichi


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From Pitches in Asia - Dispatched JFA-certified instructor report vol.6: Chinese Taipei women's national team goalkeeper coach SUZUKI Daichi

08 June 2015

From Pitches in Asia - Dispatched JFA-certified instructor report vol.6: Chinese Taipei women's national team goalkeeper coach SUZUKI Daichi

The sixth report of ‘From the pitches of Asia’, in which we introduce the viewpoints of instructors active in Asian countries, is written by Suzuki Daichi, the goalkeeping coach of the Chinese Taipei women's national football team.

Suzuki, as well as the head coach Nagira Masayuki, who was also dispatched from Japan, will lead the team to participate in the second Asian qualifying round for the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio in September.

Football in Chinese Taipei

One year has passed since I came here. Although people in Taiwan are very kind, they are sometimes a little too relaxed about rules, including traffic rules and football rules. I can learn things, which might affect football, from everyday life. Currently, football does not attract much attention. I’d like to get good results to raise the profile of football, including women’s football, so that football can make a contribution to society.

The strong point of the goalkeepers of the Chinese Taipei women's national football team, which I am currently coaching, is their power and physical advantage. The weakness is that they tend not to think or prepare when the ball is not nearby. Because they do not prioritise things to play tactically, the goalkeeper tends to start playing when she sees the ball and it is sometimes too late to handle the situation on her own. Having said that, they put in some fine saves, which are beyond my expectations. I got some inspiration from them and focus on introducing some training, which can strengthen their advantages to cover their weaknesses. I’d like to give them some ability to solve issues and to think in advance through football.

Coaching in Chinese Taipei and expertise as ‘goalkeeping coach’

I need to customise the way I organise or deliver the training, as how the players think or understand things is different in a different country. We basically communicate with each other in English, but sometimes I find it difficult to make them understand what I really want to say. So I try to give their questions and opinions my prior attention, so that we can have better communication. I do all kinds of things, including using tennis balls, to make the training fun.

The reason why the goalkeeping coach is necessary is to improve the goalkeeper’s unique plays – the skills and individual tactics, which are only allowed for the goalkeepers, using their hands in the limited area, and the ability to make a decision whether or not to use their hands, which is not necessary for out-field players.

One mistake by the goalkeeper can impact the game. Goalkeepers practice to continue focusing through tough training, so that they can keep the stability of the game. The goalkeeping coach has to understand the whole of the sport, including the plays of the out-field players, in order to analyse the combination between the goalkeeper and the other players. Personally, I think one of the most vital things for the goalkeeping coach is knowledge and instructing ability for football more broadly.

A necessary condition for being a goalkeeper, I think, is to believe that the goalkeeper’s position is the best and most rewarding. Ability and skill can be improved through practices. Having physical advantages or an ideal character is not enough to become a goalkeeper. The goalkeeper has to face most difficult situations, but at the same time it is the most rewarding position. One play can impact the game, and one play can rescue a teammate's mistake. I instruct them to be proud of playing as goalkeepers.

Prior to second Asian qualifying round for Summer Olympics in Rio

Although we won the match against Laos in the first qualifying round in March and earned three points, due to the goal differential system we needed to get another three points, by winning the second match against Iraq, in order to get through the qualifying round. We expected that Iraq, who at least needed to draw the match to get through to the next stage, would defend solidly, waiting for the opportunity to counter attack. At the beginning of the first half, we gave a penalty kick away, but our goalkeeper superbly saved it. Then we began to play more calmly, and won the match 1-0. Sharing the information with the players helped with the penalty kick. ‘The goalkeepers’ group’, including the ones on the bench, contributed to the team’s victories by keeping clean sheets through these two matches. I’d like to improve them even more before the second qualifying round.

We analysed our own advantages and issues as a team during the training camp in Japan in May. As it is usually very difficult to find the women’s team to play against in Taiwan, it was very productive to meet the teams, whose level was high enough, in order to understand our playing tactics. I am grateful to those who supported us through the training camp.

We will meet Vietnam, who are lead by Norimatsu Takashi also sent from Japan, in the first game of the second qualifying round in September. I know they are our rivals, but as the team is led by Japanese head coaches we’d like to encourage Asian football and to show the quality of Japanese coaching to Asia as well as the world.

What we want to continue doing

We focus on nurturing the goalkeeping coaches and improving the environment for the goalkeeping coaches from the younger generation, not to mention the results of the national team. Our aim is to improve the goalkeepers and the goalkeeping coaches, so that the goalkeeper’s position becomes one of the most popular one among children who play football in Taiwan. This year the very first goalkeeping coach’s licence training course started in the country. Luckily I had an opportunity to be part of it. I’d like to contribute, so that one of the top goalkeepers in Asia will be from Taiwan.

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