One-on-One with Hans Emser

One-on-One with Hans Emser

By Matt Riley (follow Matt on twitter at @mattRiley16)

Bangkok Glass Academy Director Hans Emser sat down this week with Matt Riley to discuss a number of topics relating to youth development in Thailand.

Bangkok Glass Academy Director Hans Emser

Bangkok Glass Academy Director Hans Emser

MR: you have been at Bangkok Glass for five years now, both as Head Coach and Academy Director. Please tell us how your programme has developed over this time.

Hans: 2007 was my first time in Thailand. I came to watch the SEA games and I saw players that had potential. After the SEA games I met the Bangkok Glass Chairman Mister Pavin Bhirom Bakdi and he asked me to help his club. I came in 2008 to Thailand. So now, after five years, I have these main points:

- A good scouting system starting at eleven year olds.
- A good partnership school.
- The players must train every day.

This is for what we call the Basic Range, which is for boys from eleven to thirteen years old. After that is the Improving Range (players from thirteen to fifteen years) and then it is the Capacity Range from sixteen to nineteen. The important thing is that from sixteen years old we need a professional league.

If we start a youth league for boys fifteen to nineteen in different age group competitions, in four years the national team will see the benefits.

MR: Getting back to schools. Do you think it is a good idea for a football club to build or own a school that can have the teachers and curriculum that is best suited to developing the players?

Hans: Sure. If you work well with a school you must explain to the teachers what is important for every part of a boys’ life. The school must understand that both the club and school are equally important. Step by step we must improve the school system here to improve every part of a young player.

MR: When I first met you four years ago you were one of a very small number of people thing about Academy Football. Now, in 2013, it is a big topic. Do you feel that, finally, Thai football understands the importance of your job?

Hans: I hope so! I can do nothing without the support of the FAT. Thailand should learn from other countries like Japan and South Korea. Why is Japan and South Korea in the top thirty of world ranking and Thailand is one hundred and thirty eight? The reason is that the other countries have strong competition for all young players. Every weekend there is a big match and this is good for the whole standard of their football. The Thai FA and Sports Authority of Thailand must demand the same. Otherwise the standard will never improve.

MR: Winnie Schaefer likes the way Japan use the German system of scouting and wants to bring it to Thailand. Can it work here?

Hans: Last year I was in Germany with our partner club Bayer Leverkusen and also I was in Japan with our other partner, Cerezo Osaka. Now, every year, UEFA test the countries for their coaching and facilities. Two countries in Europe have the best scouts in this test; Spain and Germany. They are also number one and two in the world ranking. We have to transfer something from Germany, Spain or Japan. Winnie Schaefer has done a great job for the Thai national team with a lot of good ideas and experience. We can support his ideas with ours.

MR: Winnie, even after all his years as a coach, remains excited about watching good young players come through. This must help you feel supported in your academy work?

Hans: Yes. Every month we talk together. He asks me if I have good players at BG or if I have seen others in Chonburi or other clubs. I give him my ideas and we mix them together. Everyone must support him 100% after the last game. Why did Kuwait beat Thailand? I know why. They had four or five weeks together at camp. I said to Winnie before the game, the win chance for Thailand was around 30%. Looking at the low rankings, the reason is not the coach; the reason is the system.

MR: Something that concerns Winnie is that a small number of clubs have most of the young talent. Should Thai teams be forced to have professionally run academy systems before they are allowed into the league?

Hans: The Thai FA must make it clear to all clubs that they must do this. You must build three teams: under 13, under 15 and under 18. The next step would be good coaches with good education who will build a youth league. Believe me, in a few years the Thai FA will be very happy. Thai players have big potential, but our system is poor.

MR: Many people tell us that, in Thailand, players from seventeen to around twenty one don’t get chances to play in the first team and their career goes backwards. For example, how does a seventeen year old at a club like Muang Thong break through when almost the whole team are established internationals?

Hans: The boys must play in age group games up to nineteen. For me it is too early if the player goes up to a reserve team and plays against players who are thirty years old. This is not the right way. The correct way is the way of the Bundesliga. They move to the senior game when their bodies are fully developed. Youth football is a long term development process.

MR: Do you think the limit of foreign player of three foreigners and one Asian foreigner help young Thai players come through?

Hans: I think you must have this limit. In Germany our system has produced world class players with this system. The age average for our national team is twenty three. Why? Because they play in the Bundesliga where there can be only three foreign players.

MR: Of course there are frustrations with the way young players are supported. But what makes you happy with the direction of Thai youth football?

Hans: I am very happy if this year we can start the youth league and I am very lucky that my Chairman, Mister Pavin Bhirom Bakdi, supported me with a clear vision. We need more people like him.




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