TWO FC Barcelona coaches are expected in Harare for a two-day coaching clinic with local coaches which starts today.
Isaac Orio Guerrero Hernandez (head co-ordinator) and Daniel Bigas Alsina (project co-ordinator) from the Spanish giants’ famed La Masia academy will be in the country to conduct the lessons.
The two coaches are coming under the partnership between FC Barcelona and SABMiller, in which Castle Lager is the official beer brand for the former European champions.
Castle Lager brand also is the main sponsor for the local premier Soccer League.
Organisers of the event said the two were expected to arrive on a private jet on Monday morning and they would immediately start work with all the Premier League coaches, the team captains and national team coaches.
The participants will be taken through professional drills and training sessions. All the participants will be given certificates of attendance at the end of the course.
Upon completion, Hernandez and Alsina will leave for Zambia and then Tanzania on a similar mission.
“We are very excited about this opportunity to come to Africa and work with some of the young talent and share our skills and expertise with them. We work with some of the best players in Europe and these clinics will give local players access to the tiki-taka football styles that we are famous for,” Alsina said.
FCB Barcelona financial vice-president Javier Faus said: “FC Barcelona is committed to giving back to the communities around the world that support us. These clinics are a sign of our appreciation to our fans on the continent and will also be a form of skills transfer directly from our coaches to local players.”
Delta Beverages marketing director Maxen Karombo said the duo’s visit is part of the benefits that the league is now getting from their partnership with Castle Lager.
“When we signed the partnership with FC Barcelona last year, one of our mandates was to extend its benefits to our consumers on many levels,” Maxen Karombo, Delta Beverages marketing director, said.
“These coaching clinics, which will see aspiring soccer players from each of the countries receiving hands-on training from coaches from one of the world’s most successful soccer teams, is part of the community involvement element of the benefits.”
These first three coaching clinics will be used as a preamble to other similar initiatives that will be implemented by Castle Lager and FC Barcelona on the continent to support the team’s supporters and the lager’s consumers.
Hernandez, who is a holder of a Uefa Pro Licence among other several sports degrees and qualifications, has worked with the club in different professional youth teams from 1994 up to 2010 and, since then, has been the head co-ordinator of the Barcelona football school.
Alsina, who is 37, has featured for the club’s junior teams and lower division sides as a player and once played with players such as Carles Puyol and Xavi Hernandez, two of the best products of La Masia.
The famed academy also produced the likes of Gerard Pique, Thiago Motta, Cesc Fabregas, Mikel Arteta, Pedro, Sergio Busquets, Pep Guardiola, Andres Iniesta and, of course, the great Lionel Messi.
He has been involved with organising training camps for Barcelona soccer schools in Malaysia and Vietnam in 2012 and Croatia and Japan in 2013.