Is there anything you can not do, Kevin ?! Manchester City star De Bruyne passes his UEFA A coaching license after working for badge with Belgium as midfield ace gets prepared for life after playing
- Ten Belgium internationals complete their UEFA A license qualification
- Kevin De Bruyne and his team-mates were awarded their diplomas on Tuesday
- Unique project by the Belgian FA to get their players trained up to coach
- Kevin De Bruyne has been working with some of Manchester City’s youth sides
Kevin De Bruyne has been awarded his coaching diploma after passing his UEFA A license.
The Belgian FA embarked on a unique project in 2019 when they announced that 19 players, including De Bruyne, would be doing their UEFA A and B licenses while on international duty.
De Bruyne, it was reported on Tuesday, is one of 10 players to have completed the courses and as such has been awarded his A license.
Kevin De Bruyne was awarded with his UEFA A coaching license on Tuesday after three years
It emerged this season that De Bruyne was undertaking sessions for youth sides in the Manchester City academy, up to the U16s. That appears to have all contributed to De Bruyne being awarded the second highest coaching badge, after the UEFA Pro license.
Earlier this season De Bruyne told Belgian newspaper HLN how he had found it coaching some of City’s next crop of superstars.
‘It’s crazy,’ he said. ‘It sometimes takes hours to prepare one training session.’
It was reported earlier in the season that Kevin De Bruyne was undertaking sessions with some of Manchester City’s youth sides
The Belgian did however say in April that he was ‘not sure’ about a move into coaching immediately after his playing days.
‘We’ll see,’ he added.
The City midfielder was not the only Belgian player to have been awarded his badges on Tuesday, however, with nine of De Bruyne’s international team-mates also completing the pioneering scheme that 19 players initially signed up for.
A number of Belgium’s ‘Golden Generation’ undertook – and completed – the coaching badges
They are: Dedryck Boyata, Dries Mertens, Simon Mignolet, Dennis Praet, Matz Sels, Leandro Trossard, Youri Tielemans, Jan Vertonghen and Axel Witsel.
In 2019, Kris Van Der Haegan, Director of Coach Education for the Royal Belgian Football Association told the Training Ground Guru how the scheme to train up Belgium’s ‘Golden Generation’ to be coaches came about.
‘Roberto put the idea on the table after the World Cup. He said, “how can we involve these players in the future of Belgian football?” ‘He said.
Usually players have to have retired to take on the badges, but Belgium applied for special dispensation from UEFA and as such now can almost field an entire international XI of fully-qualified A license-holding coaches.
Belgium will hope many of their present stars can help the next up and coming crop
The only stipulation was the players reportedly had to have either 50 caps or been a part of Belgium’s squad for the 2018 World Cup qualifying campaign.
Van Der Haegan added: ‘I was pleasantly surprised by the enthusiasm of the players and the number of questions they asked and the number of emails they sent me afterwards.’
Whether or not managers want a changing room full of qualified coaches is up for debate, but Van Der Haegan said the scheme itself would help Belgian football be more successful on the pitch.
The idea was reportedly Roberto Martinez’s attempt to ensure the players remain in Belgian football after their playing careers are done
He said: ‘Now they will be looking at clips of the opposition and taking an active part in the preparation.
‘When the players are covering opposition analysis as part of the course, they will be using real examples about the suffering next opponent.
‘When they do analysis of the Belgium team, they will be working on the reality of games. They will be more involved in the preparation and begin the really think like coaches. ‘