Rob Gier to focus on UK coaching career after getting UEFA A license
MANILA, Philippines – Former Azkals team captain Rob Gier will focus on coaching after getting his UEFA A coaching license earlier this month.
I can happily say that I am now a UEFA A licensed coach!! Lots more to learn but looking forward to the journey.— Rob Gier (@RobDazoGier2) September 1, 2017
Gier will be focusing on coaching in his native UK, not in the Philippines, for the time being.
"I have no current plans to coach a club team in the Philippines at present as I'm enjoying the coaching journey here in the UK," said Gier.
Currently, he will be working towards achieving a UEFA Pro License – the highest coaching license level that allows coaches to manage teams in the FA Premier League and UEFA competitions.
"The only license higher than the one I currently have is the UEFA Pro license, and I feel I need a few more years of coaching experience before I pursue that. But in a few years it is something I want to go after."
However, Gier does not discount the possibility of coaching for the Philippines, and said the opportunity to coach for the Azkals – a team he had been part of for 7 years – would be a great honor for him.
"In the future I would be honored to have the opportunity to lead the national team again. But until that time comes, I fully support the work of the current management team and players in their pursuit of Asian Cup qualification," said Gier.
"Maybe one day though, who knows."
Gier hung up his boots in February 2016, but he never bade farewell to football.
While he was still mainly playing centerback for both the Philippine Azkals and UK-based club Ascot United, Gier already started to shift his career from being a player to a coach. It took two years for Gier to obtain his UEFA A license.
Gier began his coaching license qualification through the Irish FA, where he was accepted into the "invitation-only" course for retired professional football players.
"I was lucky to be on a course with many highly experienced ex-players and high-level coaches. And as it was a residential course, it provided me with many opportunities to talk to likeminded people about all things football," shared Gier.
"I have learnt so much these past two years and now everything is about putting it in to practice."
Gier keeps himself busy in his coaching career since he holds the head coach position in the Oxford University Women's Football team and he is also a development coach at Reading FC. While juggling his two coaching stints, Gier provides consultancy work for a private school in Oxfordshire.
The former Azkals team captain's work for the football community does not stop there. Gier took a step back from his UK-based venture Zenith Soccer Tours over the past year, as he went on to chase his coaching accolades. He is already planning possible tours to be held in the Philippines in 2018 and even expanding the company's reach to other parts of the world.
The tours reinforce Gier's advocacy of developing the grassroots program for young aspiring football players. The ex-Azkal skipper shared that he has seen improvement in the Philippine football programs that will eventually help sustain the quality of the national team.
"I know there are now many youth academies linked to the PFL teams and Kaya in particular are doing a fantastic job in developing the next crop of footballers. The standard in schools and in particular the college teams, has also now improved and whilst it may still be a while until we see the fruits of our labor we are heading in the right direction," said Gier.
Gier also highlighted the importance of exposing the youth to a higher level of football, which will ultimately raise the country's competitiveness in the international football scene in the long run.
"It is also important that we continue to expose players to national tournaments at youth levels and build a pathway that ends in representing the country as an Azkal." – Rappler.com