Highlander’s Neil Sedgwick Coaches Guatemala U17 Squad

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(ISN) – Director of Youth Development for the Highlanders, Neil Sedgwick, has recently returned from Guatemala where he was an assistant coach with the U17 WNT.

The team won a silver medal at the 2012 CONCACAF Women’s Under-17 Championship in Ciudad de Guatemala. Canada, the top 1995 born playersin the country, posted four wins and one loss in five matches at the 2012CONCACAF Women’s Under-17 Championship. The wins came over Panama, Jamaica andhost Guatemala in the opening round, then a win over Mexico in the semi-finalwhich guaranteed Canada’s trip to the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup Azerbaijan2012.

“The team had six short camps to prepare for the tournamentincluding five international games (Germany, Mexico twice and Trinidad &Tobago twice). They proved that time together and detailed preparation canprovide a platform for success.”

Although losing the USA in the final 0:1, Canadadominated possession and territory through the game played on May 12 at the Estadio Cementos Progreso. “This is probably the best a Canadian team has playedagainst the USA at this level. We wereable to attack them successfully and control the game in the second half.”

Canada had 20 players at the tournament and a staffof twelve who handled everything from coaching, equipment, medical, management andmedia. “Competing well at an international tournament now takes a staff who arewilling to work long days to prepare the team with training, presentations,present training video analysis, scouting reports and video, video analysis, andgrow time (time for homework and for topics focused on the individual playerdevelopment). As a reward for the hours you get to work with the top players inCanada, share ideas with other coaches from across the country, and representCanada on a national team staff.

My role as an assistant was to work with the headcoach to prepare and run training, analyze video in several different wayswhich included preparation of half time video that would be presented prior tothem returning for the second half.”

“Coaching at the international level continues to evolve. With technology we can provide more effectiveways of learning opportunities to the players. These are opportunities we canbring home and share within our own communities.”

The FIFAU-17 Women’s World Cup Azerbaijan 2012 runs 22 September to 13 October. USA,Canada and Mexico have all qualified through the CONCACAF Women’s Under-17 Championship. Along with the three CONCACAF teams, the 16-team tournament willqualify three teams from Asia (China PR, Japan and Korea DPR), three teams fromAfrica (Gambia, Ghana and Nigeria), one team from Oceania (New Zealand), threeteams from South America (Brazil, Colombia and Uruguay), host Azerbaijan andtwo more teams from Europe (to be determined in late June).

Christian J. Stewart
Christian is a professional photographer and media professional based in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada. Currently working as the Assistant General Manager for Victoria HarbourCats Baseball Club, a Senior Contributing Editor and photographer at Independent Sports News (ISN) and operating his own freelance photography and media/pr company.