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Some of Mauritius’ most talented young footballers and top professional coaches were given the opportunity to learn from elite LaLiga football experts this weekend, as a partnership agreement between the Mauritius Football Association (MFA) and LaLiga swung into immediate action.

Around 100 of the top Mauritian girls and boys Under 13 to Under 17 players participated in a coaching clinic this weekend led by the Head of LaLiga Sport Projects, Juan Florit, and LaLiga’s Football Projects Coordinator, Carlos Casal.

The Spanish-based LaLiga coaching duo also conducted a two-day workshop for some of the Indian Ocean island’s top professional coaches.

The sessions follow the signing on Friday of a landmark partnership agreement between LaLiga and the MFA, spearheaded by LaLiga Southern Africa Managing Director, Marcos Pelegrin, and MFA President, Mr. Samir Sobha, geared at LaLiga’s support for the development of Mauritian grassroots and professional football.

We are pleased to have this opportunity in Mauritius of working with the key elements for any national football development process; the local young players and the coaches. Players are the main actors and the future of any football project, but coaches should be our most important tools to achieve the goals. LaLiga is sharing its expertise, know-how and training methodology in order to empower MFA players and coaches, helping them to leverage their level and performance,” said Florit after the successful conclusion of the coaching clinics and workshops in Mauritius.

Mauritius joined the Council of Southern African Football Associations (COSAFA) in 1999.

This weekend’s initiative is an extension of a partnership agreement LaLiga has with COSAFA, which has seen the Spanish professional league commit its resources and expertise to support Southern African football and coaching development at all levels.

We would like to thank LaLiga for organising such a fantastic event. It has been important in exposing our players to international training and ensuring our coaches can be empowered and learn from the coaches workshop,” said MFA Technical Director, Zunaid Mall after the session.

Mall, who is a former COSAFA Technical Director, was pleased that while the sessions were highly organised and of a very high technical nature, they still put a big emphasis on the fun, enjoyment and love of football participation.

What also struck Mall was the detailed preparation for the sessions from the LaLiga coaches.

It is a learning experience for our coaches to understand that training setups are fundamentally important. We watch lots of LaLiga football and the technical aspect and the technique is some of the things our players and coaches can learn a lot from. Going forward hopefully we get many more of these workshops, camps and exchange programmes to ensure our players are able to reach the next level,” Mall added.

Mauritius Under 17 national team Head Coach, Gilbert Bayaram, was among those who participated in the sessions and was eager to implement the learnings with his squad.

The LaLiga training sessions were very interesting and we will definitely be using the lessons learnt to implement it in the work we are doing with the Mauritius Under 17 national team,” said Bayaram.

Key future focus areas for the LaLiga and MFA partnership will be knowledge and information sharing; co-operation regarding the latest coaching developments in modern professional football; a major focus on developing women’s football and on youth development programs and mentorships; as well as creating exchange programs and specialized football training camps in Mauritius and Spain.— Plaines Wilhems

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