Thursday May 28, 2020. 11:08
Johannesburg, 28 May 2020 – Spanish Football League, LaLiga has started an exclusive technical class made specifically for Zimbabwean coach, Kaitano Tembo despite the recent travel restrictions. With Tembo scheduled to train under some of the best managers in Europe, the Spanish organisation and South African-based team, SuperSport United F.C. sought out an opportunity to overcome the obstacles brought on by the pandemic, while encouraging Tembo’s growth in football.
“Since the arrival of the global crisis, social and physical distancing measures have disrupted many regular aspects of life – including sports and physical activity,” said Hugo Blanco, LaLiga Head of Sports Projects. “LaLiga has multiple academies across the world that closed during the pandemic, but we have since implemented digital programmes to ensure our players and coaches keep developing themselves.” The digital approach also applies to various clinics, international federations, and clubs, which are all in similar conditions.
While LaLiga is already imparting knowledge through the internet, they decided to engage with the coach and club, to enable a unique approach to training.
After a consultation between the Spanish professional league and the South African-based side, areas for opportunity were identified. These areas will be key and will enable the exchange of knowledge between counterparts who may be in different parts of the world but have the same drive, passion, and love for the beautiful game.
The programme will kick-off with a look into how to develop a seamless transition strategy for players moving from the academy into a first-team environment. Next, developing a holistic perspective on a game model and the team’s strategies. This, in turn, should result in the development of a proper management structure within the team, including the technical staff.
None of the above, however, can be achieved without a proper strategy in place to mitigate the threat of COVID-19, and this will form the basis on which the sport will begin to make its triumphant return.
“Education is key to the development of the game, and this can only be done by sharing knowledge with insiders and football experts. LaLiga and its clubs are, therefore, at the forefront of this,” said Kaitano Tembo. “The ability to have a masterclass presented by LaLiga and its stakeholders allows us to further develop our knowledge of the game. During these unprecedented times, we can adapt to new ways of learning and sharing insights, understanding the Spanish methodology and sharing our South African philosophies. Not only does this allow for my development but that of my team and the players too,” he added after it was announced he would start his online training on 25 May 2020.
LaLiga will not, however, be the only entity offering their expertise. Both their teams in Athletic Bilbao and Celta de Vigo will be involved in the initiative. These two sides are renown for boasting many academy players in their first teams, a feat that has seen both clubs being recognised as having the best development philosophies and facilities in the five big European leagues.
Having already won eight LaLiga trophies and twenty-four Copa del Rey Cups, Athletic Bilbao is heavily reliant on self-development to produce first-team players, as these players come exclusively from the Basque region. Likewise, Celta de Vigo is responsible for grooming some of the most talented players to date like Iago Aspas, Denis Suárez, or Santi Mina. The list also includes talented exports such as South African legend, Benni McCarthy and current Ghanaian footballers, Joseph Aidoo and Yaw Yeboah.
LaLiga South Africa Managing Director, Marcos Pelegrin also added his view on LaLiga’s objective behind this endeavour.
“Kaitano is one of the best coaches in the PSL. What we appreciate the most about him is his thirst for knowledge and his forward-thinking mentality,” said Pelegrin. “This is also a great opportunity for LaLiga to gain more knowledge about South African football, as well as for Tembo to get to know more about the Spanish approach to the game. This mutual exchange of information is the first of its kind and will serve both countries well during this unusual time.”