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Monday 27 January 2014

Football Theory shares expertise with Brazil

Staff from Southampton Solent University’s world-renowned Lawrie McMenemy Centre for Football Research were invited to Sao Paulo last week to share their technical expertise with representatives from a range of Brazilian clubs and associations, ahead of the World Cup due to be hosted there later this year.

Solent’s Football Studies Course Leader Clwyd Jones and Associate Lecturer Mario Maranica, both UEFA-licensed coaches, kicked off the conference with two days of pitch-based techniques, training and tactics. Day three was spent exploring the business of football and player development with Dr Richard Elliott, Director of the Lawrie McMenemy Centre.

The conference was organised by Unisport, a Brazil-based sports marketer aiming to develop football education in the country. “We selected Solent University because it’s known in Europe for its academic research in football,” said Pedro Stern, the company’s Director.

A Unisport survey showed that only 35% of Brazilian coaches have undertaken vocational courses about football – revealing an opportunity to blend Solent’s academic expertise with the unquestioned quality of Brazilian football. “Football is in the DNA of all Brazilians, so why not maximise the results through study?” said Stern.

“Football is part of the very fabric of Brazilian culture and the national team have been enormously successful in the past,” Dr Elliott commented. “Our hope is that by providing new ways of thinking both on and off the pitch, this programme can help develop Brazilian football for the future.”

The event was a great success, with Solent’s academics receiving praise from delegates and positive coverage in the Brazilian sporting press. “Richard, Clwyd and Mario did such a great job,” Stern said. “We were so impressed with the Solent team that we’re already planning our second conference to run by the end of the year.”