Good opportunity to contribute for Bangladesh's football: Paul
Bangladesh Football Federation (BFF) technical and strategic director Paul Thomas Smalley said he wants to works with a specific target given by the BFF president and technical committee and it's a good opportunity for him to contribute for Bangladesh's football after he come for the second time to work for the development's football.
In an interview received from BFF today, Paul shared his thoughts and plans for the country's football. Here are the highlights of interview are given below.
Quest: No doubt you have good reputation in international football arena. You have worked in Bangladesh football for three years. What do you see as your success in three years or how do you evaluate yourself?
Paul: My resume, experiences and expertise in the Football market are both comprehensive and eclectic with an embracing reputation in both Europe and Asia. So from this perceptive I am both pleased with what I accomplished in my first period in Bangladesh, but yet realistic in the knowledge there is much more to do and an opportunity to move the game further forward in both South Asia and beyond. Ultimately the President, Technical Committee and Executive members evaluate my performance. The Technical Director role in some ways is an impossible position, as you have to be everything to everyone, all of the time, but I make no excuses and certainly relish this responsibility.
Quest: The work that has been done on youth football in your time but it has been seen also in the past in before coming you. So where is your personal success with youth football? Besides, you have no work in grassroots football why?
Paul: I have operated with a modern and dynamic approach as national technical director. Both are visible, all-inclusive and systematic. My intentions have been sincere and genuine to try and influence all of the key technical areas which we know will develop the game in Bangladesh. It's important to remember that the forecasted budgets during this period were done in collaboration with AFC and FIFA. Unfortunately there is only a conservative allocation of funding available. Certainly in comparison to some of our neighbors in Asia. Whilst some empowering work was done in Grassroots, on reflection this wasn't consistent or comprehensive enough. This is an area as you know is important to grow the game, which we must pursue and concentrate on moving forward.
Quest: In 2016, you gave a four-year plan. It's seen that twenty five percent of the plan has not been implemented. Whose failure is this plan? Also your plan was to have a football league in the rainy season why?
Paul: An aligned and systematic competition strategic plan for domestic, professional and International competitions is critical in the development of the game in Bangladesh and in other countries. In 2016, I wanted to present this concept and had a responsible consultation, I felt a 4 year Competition plan could be embraced by the game. One of the advantages of this, among at a repertoire of many others was to avoid the impacts of the climate in Bangladesh, clashing with other competition calendars outside Bangladesh, the game, the clubs could then spend time on their planning and it was an exciting commercial proposition. Unfortunately this never happened. We must revisit this concept in our thinking and planning for the future.
Quest: A few days ago BFF formed a Technical committee which sparked criticism. Did you chose of this committee?
Paul: AFC with the support of FIFA have made resources available for MA's to structure their Technical Department's with specific key technical positions. I am not aware of the selection and recruitment process that the Federation has undertaken, but what is important is to align the strategic direction of the tasks and priorities necessary in these important technical areas to have a positive impact on the game.
Quest: All the academies of the country are being brought under BFF. Do you think your technical department have the ability to guide the district academies well?
Paul: The Federation will be launching an Academy Accreditation Scheme. In Bangladesh there are numerous private academies and commercial operators out in the football marketplace. The Federation must have meaningful partnerships and relationships with all these Academies. A National Accreditation initiative will raise standards and assist to develop a greater connection between Grassroots, Academies and Elite Football.
The Federation through the Accreditation Scheme will recognise, acknowledge and reward Academies, which contributes to quality football experiences for players, officials, volunteers and coaches. Through a professional two way process the Federation will award academies with a one (1), two (2), or three (3) star recognition for academies who fulfill the BFF's recognised criteria. Commercial Academies in Bangladesh play a fundamental role in the development of football in Bangladesh.
The Academy Accreditation Scheme will deliver a range of potential benefits for Football. To assist the District Football Association to better support BFF, clubs, by facilitating a process which encourages greater engagement and participation. Bringing together all elements of Football Development. Directly assist Academies to sustain and increase football participation and promote and raise the profile of quality Academies across Bangladesh.
Quest: You've been seen doing a lot of women's football in the past. Will you stay with women's football again this time?
Paul: My intentions have always been sincere and genuine in a way to try and influence all of the key technical areas which we know will develop the game in Bangladesh. Women's Football as you know is one of those key areas of the game. There are many opportunities here, certainly across International competition.
This therefore has required much of my time and the success here has been commendable. I will continue to work in a determined, ambitious way and with a passion to make positive contributions in all of the key technical areas, I will humbly try my best to do so.
Quest: What are your new plans for Bangladesh football
Paul: We must firstly review the 2016-2019 period with a reflective and critical eye. We must acknowledge the lessons we have learned, which will then allow us to be better equipped and informed in the future. We hope to develop a further four year football development strategic plan. BSS