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Football   |06 February 2024


Mario Pragassen now holds a UEFA coaching license (Photo: Contributed)

Coach Mario Pragassen graduates with UEFA License B


Local football coach and founder of the Pro Club Youth Academy, set up to focus on providing football training sessions and development opportunities to children, Mario Pragassen has recently received his Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) coaching license B.

As holder of a UEFA B license, coach Pragassen can now provide players and teams from youth to senior amateur level with a positive experience to enhance their performance through knowledge and skill acquisition, and must demonstrate competence in four main areas, including coach, player and environment, training, and match.

The B license allows him to be head coaches of men's amateur clubs, youth teams up to age 16, and assistant coaches for professional clubs.

To obtain his license, coach Pragassen had to endure almost three years of extensive training which involved the development of  game understanding and tactical knowledge via a combination of practical, on and off course theory, e-learning and distance learning, with himself bearing all the costs, with the help of some sponsors.

As a license B coach, he should be able to plan and design sessions that meet the needs of the players and the team, develop a clear methodology for what and how to teach, identify and correct mistakes by using a range of coaching intervention methods, and also reflect on and analyse his own performance.

In terms of players and environment, he should now be able to understand the different stages of learning and how players learn, inspire the players and the team with positive behaviour, understanding the characteristics and requirements of playing positions in order to develop players within the team structure based upon the relevant game format, and also to evaluate players’ behaviours during games and training sessions.

As for training, he can now prepare and conduct tactical sessions to constantly challenge the players and the team, set up a positive learning environment through efficient planning and preparation, design a player profiling and assessment system to measure individual and team performances, describe basic load monitoring and management, as well as demonstrate differences between integrated and isolated fitness training.

Speaking to Sports NATION, the UEFA license B coach said the three years have been very hectic for him, and at one point he was even thinking about giving up, especially during the hold-up and restrictions brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic.

For his practical session, coach Pragassen travelled to Germany where he spent three weeks, before doing additional post course-time work while back in the country to obtain his final results, before qualifying for his license B.

Other that coaching skills, Pragassen explained that the training has also provided him with loads of opportunities for networking, and exchanging ideas with other coaches from all around the world who were also attempting for their B license.

Despite his new credentials, coach Pragassen said, for now, he will continue with youth development, with future options of moving up the rank with his students as they progress to higher age groups.

“For now, club football is not an option for me,” said coach Pragassen who added that the present working atmosphere in local football is not that friendly and that a lot of key and positive elements for the betterment of the sport are lacking.

He, however, added that he is always ready to help out and share ideas with positive individuals who have the love and passion for the advancement of local football at heart.

Since its launch in October 2019, the Pro Club Youth Academy has been initiating projects that target the most vulnerable children in our society, while its ultimate aim remains to identify talents and provide them within a safe and well-structured environment in which they may nurture and develop to their highest potential.

The Pro Club Academy provides football training sessions and development opportunities to children as young as four years old.


Compiled by Roland Duval

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