Belize - Belize News - - Great Belize Productions - Belize Breaking News
Home » People & Places, Sports » Meet the Coaches for the Youth Football National Teams
Jun 15, 2021

Meet the Coaches for the Youth Football National Teams

The Football Federation of Belize recently announced the appointment of three head coaches to lead the continued development of the sport at the youth level. All are trained and licensed coaches from Trinidad as well as Belize, and included in the line up is female head coach Iris Centeno. News Five’s Duane Moody met the coaches this afternoon in a virtual session.


Duane Moody, Reporting

Nicholas Ara was named head coach for the U-fifteen national team back in December 2020, but over the past few days, the Football Federation of Belize announced that Trinidadian John George and Belizean Iris Centeno will head the U-eighteen men and the U-seventeen female national teams, respectively. It’s a mission by the youth development programme that is being undertaken to get these nationals team to no longer participate, but compete in international tournaments.


Nicholas Ara

Nicholas Ara, Head Coach, U-15 Men’s National Team

“My level, my passion, my heart is at the grassroots – my heart is at U-ten, U-thirteen, U-fifteen. That is where I find my passion. When I was at that age, I wish I had someone who would have taught me the way that we are teaching the youths today.  Some of these same players will be moving forward to the U-seventeen, will be going up to the U-eighteen and so forth. So it is very important for me as the head coach to put that foundation and instil in the players so that they can move forward. From the U-fifteen down to the U-sixteen, whether it is female, boys, all of us will be teaching a national playing style which is the four-three-three right up to the A-team. Everyone will be using that same style. So it is very important for me to lay the foundation down.”


For the first time in the history of the sport, Belize has a female national team head coach. It is something that Centeno has been qualifying herself for, having obtained a CONCACAF C and D License and not to mention years of experience in working with national teams. She says that even during the pandemic, the young female athletes prepared virtually as they will be facing off against Barbados, Curacao and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines later this year.


Iris Centeno

Iris Centeno, Head Coach, U-17 Women National Team

“I need to start to train them to understand the formation, to understand each position, how you supposed to move on the field – when we have the ball, when we lose the ball – and that’s our objective right now. It’s not about going to win; yes we want to start to compete – win and do great because we no longer want to go on trips to participate – but we want to start with the fundamental education hat you need girls to understand football, to understand the position to understand how football is being played now.”


Meanwhile, the U-eighteen Men’s National Team is getting a head start and the athletes are already in camp preparing for the UNCAF Championships slated to be held in October in Costa Rica. Coach John George has been in Belize for the past twenty years and is one of the pioneers behind the Valencia YWAM Boyz Football Academy. This team has been successfully winning tournaments in the region. Coach George shares his philosophy, which he believes results in successful football.


John George

John George, Head Coach, U-18 Men’s National Team

“As a coach, my teams and every team I’ve ever worked with has a high standard of discipline. It’s non-negotiable. For us, we have four words that is the foundation of this U-eighteen national team. These four words are the pillars that we have selected to be the standard by which the U-eighteen men’s national team will be defined by. Those four words are discipline, dedication, determination and respect. That’s the heart that we want to see developed; by nurturing our young talent early, we will see the results down the road. It is a large investment and it is a worthwhile investment.”


Duane Moody for News Five.

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

Advertise Here

Comments are closed