FSL to launch massive ‘3-year Development Plan’

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Football Sri Lanka (FSL) is planning to launch a well-structured ‘3-year Development Plan’ – a special project – in association with Qatar Football Association (QFA) and world famous Aspire Academy of Qatar.

This project will be a massive milestone in the history of football, where all national teams, including women’s teams, will be brought under one umbrella with uniform strategies of training plans to create a Sri Lanka way of playing football in the future.

Two prominent figures in the world football industry, Andrew Morrison, the Manchester City legendary captain and Keith Stevens, Scottish player with over 547 professional appearances in the English Football League, were appointed to take charge and execute the national teams’ related components within this massive project. Marcus Ferreira, who was the fitness coach during the 1995 Gold Cup glory, has been appointed as the fitness coach for this project.

Another FIFA Legend Tim Cahill (former Australian World Cup Captain), will oversee the entire project as the ‘Chief Football Officer and Project Director’ on behalf Aspire Academy, who will ensure the services of many experts are obtained for this project at various stages.

The project will comprise of many components, including Development Strategies, Reforms in Competition Structure, Elite Coach Education & Mentoring, establishing a vibrant Grassroot & Youth Football Structure, exchange of expertise and Scholarships to talented players to play in overseas leagues.

Morrison and Stevens are already in Colombo, observing and assessing the players and training facilities of the current national team. They are advising and supporting the local coaching staff in the preparation of the team. Both coaches will accompany the team to the Qatar Training Camp from 23 May to 3 June and will accompany the team to Uzbekistan from 4 to 14 June. They will also support the local coaches in preparing the game plans, assessments of players and analyse the games as an interim arrangement.

Upon completion of the AFC Asian Cup Qualifiers in Uzbekistan, both coaches will submit a comprehensive report on their findings to the management and to the QFA with their recommendations for the next stage of action.

The senior management of FSL, both coaches and an expert group from Aspire Academy, will take part in a review and planning meeting in Qatar in which the final programme is set to be officially launched.

This will be a legacy project for Qatar Football Association, Football Sri Lanka, Aspire Foundation and to the coaches who are involved in the project, which will have a positive impact on football. Internationally, Sri Lanka is ranked at 205 and will hope to climb up within a short period with this special project.

“I am extremely proud and humbled to introduce this legacy project to the people of Sri Lanka as part of my duty to uplift the game I loved throughout my life. I also thank QFA President Shaikh Hamad bin Al Khalifa Al Thani, CEO of Aspire Academy and Aspire Foundation and Tim Cahill for coming forward to support this project by covering all related costs. A special thank you goes to the people of Qatar for supporting the people of Sri Lanka during these difficult times in the country,” FSL President Jaswar Umar stated to the media.

“We warmly welcome Andrew Morrisson, Keith Stevens and Marcus Ferriera to this beautiful country and a ‘big thank you’ to all for coming forward to assist in developing Sri Lankan Football,” the President further added.

A goalkeeping coach is set join the team very soon during this period and an official launch of the project is set to take place in July this year.

The National Team will undergo an overseas training camp in Qatar before they travel to Uzbekistan for the competition.