Where am I at?

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Before I start writing about my football philosophy or the story of my football life, I need to write about my current circumstance.
I moved from Brazil to Australia a little over a year ago. When I arrived I didn’t think at all about working with football. My mind was focused on playing poker and finding any job to pay my bills. Eventually I got a cleaning job in a shopping center, which lasted a month. I wasn’t a good cleaner but it felt good to be making money in a different country.

After one month the contract of the company I worked for at the shopping centre finished and they didn’t renew it. Luckily they sent me to Brisbane Boys College, a very traditional upperclass private school. They required new cleaners there to get rid of a staphylococcus infection at the gym. The facilities were absolutely great, compared to the schools I attended during my entire teenage years and most schools in Brazil.

I was also assigned to clean the school’s rowing shed. In both facilities there were a lot of old pictures of students in their squads and it felt great to be working in such traditional sporting environment, even if it was just to clean their toilets.

One day, for a reason that I don’t remember, I started chatting with a nice english man in his mid thirties, in the rowing shed. I don’t know how the subject headed in that direction, but I mentioned I worked with football years ago in Brazil and he said they needed coaches for the season that was about to start. In Australia they change sports every school term, which lasts 3 months. I got in touch with the football coordinator, a very nice, typical australian, blonde man also in his mid-thirties, and before I realised I was a coach at one of the most traditional schools in Australia!

I’ll post about that experience later, but summarizing it, I was designated to coach the Year 9C (14 year olds) but one coach dropped his position and I got to coach the Year 10B, which was a bit more serious. After I got that job I had some time to prepare and found out that Football Federation Australia ran community courses. I’ll also talk about their coaching pathway later, but I did two of the courses. The first one was a Grassroots course, for coaches working in what they call the “Discovery Phase”. And the “Game Training”, for coaches working with 13 to 17 year olds. In the second course, I was already thinking of following the career and I mentioned it to the teacher, a very affable man from Hungary. He kindly mentioned a few clubs where I could look for jobs.

From there I e-mailed every club in the Brisbane area about coaching positions and rang the Technical Director of Olympic FC. Gabor Ganczer, a very enthusiastic open-minded man, also from Hungary. I booked interviews in three clubs: Redlands United, Brisbane City FC and the aforementioned Olympic. Doors were open in all of them but the enviroment at Olympic and my chat with Gabor, with whom I instantly connected, convinced me to go for Olympic. I ran a decent session with the U18 NPL (second tier in Australia) and they liked it enough to let me work there. I started as an assistant coach of the U18s and U20s, ran a few academy sessions and now, under the new director Joe Fenech, I’ll coach the U14s Div 1 (second city tier) and U10s. I’ll probably also be the match analyst of U12 to U16s but this is yet to be confirmed.

My relationship with Gabor fortunately opened another door. He was hired to work as a match analyst for the Brisbane Roar, nothing less than Queensland’s only club in the top tier in australian football: the Hyunday A-League, and invited me to help him. After 10 months in Australia I saw myself in the beautiful Suncorp Stadium involved with a top team, which not only plays the A-League, but also the AFC Champions League, from time to time. But I’ll also talk about that experience in a different post.

In the past three weekends I attended the first step in the Advanced Coaching Pathway in Australia, the C License Course. It was an amazing experience. I’ll also dedicate a post to the course but more than ever I feel like I’m on the right track. I have to send a video assessment to complete the course, but that will happen in January, once I start my sessions.

Side note, I also work as a dance teacher three days a week. Dance is my second passion. And it helps paying the bills while football alone can’t do it just yet.

And most importantly, I’m an avid Xbox 360 Fifa 16 player and I’m currently in Div 7 One-Player and Div 4 online.  😀

So this is where I am now. Happy, motivated and ready to start!! Sorry for the huge post.

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