Buesnel reveals Fiji soccer's failure

Buesnel reveals soccer's failure
By Sanjay Gounder

Lack of continuity in the services provided by coaches is a major downfall for Fiji soccer, says National coach and high performance manager Tony Buesnel. He pointed out yesterday that the development process was severely disrupted when coaches were not given enough time to groom the players.

Apart from winning gold in last year's South Pacific Games, Fiji soccer has not progressed much. A number of professional overseas coaches have been employed by the Fiji FA to uplift the standard of soccer in the country but nothing positive seems to have eventuated.

Nearly all of these foreign coaches had their contracts terminated after they got engaged in disagreements with the Fiji FA and the development programme ceased with their departure, resulting in the new coach taking over to restart everything once again.

Buesnel is the latest national coach to have his contract terminated before the required period. When he joined the Fiji FA as the national coach last year he asked for a two-year contract to properly carry out his work, but his contract has been terminated within 21 months. "The reality when I did sit down with Fiji FA for the new job structure for me, I had stressed to them in a report that whether it be me or somebody else, my recommendation would be that they must look at continuity, they must get a right person and then go with that person for a period of time.

"No continuity really disrupts the development of soccer in the country and I don't think for one moment Fiji FA is going to deny that.
"But they may say that we never had the right person for the job and they are entitled to say that as an employer, so that's why I indicated to them when they offered me this job that I need guarantee of some continuity.

"This was such a vital time for me to carry out the player development work, getting the structures right in regards to identification of players at the young, programmes associated with that and coach's development. "This is one of the sad part about my departure, in that I was so much looking forward to this period because this is the area that I am especially most qualified in and certainly that's where my expertise best lies.

"This is where I was very hopeful in assisting Fiji FA in that period of time to ensure our U20's, U17's, primary schools are properly identified with and that we give credibility to those programmes and do the very best work possible with the future development of these players.

"I hope my departure doesn't create any lack of continuity and certainly identification and development of those programmes. "That is one of the very sad parts about my departure because I know my knowledge and expertise would have provided them with a wonderful opportunity to get this part of the programme really right for the future. "With the heavy international calendar that we had, it has been very difficult for me to implement the programmes that we were wishing to implement and for that I needed two more years," Buesnel revealed.


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