PDP Editor Dave Wright provides his report from the 2015 Norwegian Coaching Convention in Oslo. Known as the Cupfinalseminaret, this is one of the largest gathering of coaches in Europe and an event PDP highly recommends.
The Cupfinalseminaret 2015 got into full swing on Friday afternoon. After the opening ceremony where a number of domestic coaches were given awards for their service to Norwegian football, the main hall of the Ullevaal Business Centre was full of coaches who were waiting in anticipation for the arrival of legendary English Premier League Manager, Harry Redknapp.
Redknapp won the FA Cup Final with Portsmouth in 2008 and was the Premier League Manager of the Year in 2008-09. He spoke with presence, character and humour, telling numerous anecdotes about his time in the game.
From topics such as his time playing with Bobby Moore, learning his trade at Bournemouth and encouraging players to take risks and mistakes, it was easy to see why Redknapp was always identified as a great man-manager – his charisma and charm had the audience in hysterics at times and then he drew them back in with his raw emotion around how important it is to make people feel good, to praise your players and be honest.
Throughout the conversation Redknapp was honest with errors he made (such as falling out with various Club Chairmen) and tackled topics such as his court case and narrowly missing out on the England Managers job with the defensive technique of a veteran of the business.
Following the main event that was Harry Redknapp, the business centre was quickly divided into four rooms so that guest presenters ranging from Norwegian FA educators to English Academy Managers could present their ideas to a crowd hungry for knowledge. A presentation by Siggi Eyjolfsson about the success of Icelandic football around providing facilities, educating coaches and ability based groupings in clubs gave great insight as to what countries with small populations need to be doing.
As the events of day two wound up and the coaches hit the bar to discuss football once more, a couple of things have stood out to me. Firstly, the undoubted warmth of the Norwegian people – in particular, Teddy Moen and his team of staff who have been friendly, organised and efficient. Secondly the enthusiasm for knowledge from all of the coaches in attendance has been clear to see. I would highly recommend the event as it looks at different national identities in football, has some very innovative speakers and like any coaching conference is a fantastic networking event.
Unfortunately I had to leave before the practical sessions commence today and the National Final is played out here at the Ullevaal Stadium between Rosenborg & Sarpsbord 08 on Sunday. By all accounts it will be a great match to watch, but it will have to be a real epic to match the quality of the Cupfinalseminaret 2015 – an event I would recommend to coaches everywhere.