Return of AFC Youth Conference focuses on development of Asia’s elite talent

November 16 – After a break of four years, the 4th Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Youth Conference completed Thursday after a two-and-a-half day programme focussed on elite youth development in Asian football.

The event was attended by 90 delegates from 39 Member Associations (MAs), which comprised Technical Directors, Heads of Youth Football and National Youth Team Head Coaches, among others.

AFC Deputy General Secretary, Competitions and Football, Shin Man Gil said: “It is indeed timely that we are gathered for this Youth Conference, and it is essential for us to reflect on recent developments and the progress that have been made, while at the same time also ponder on what needs to be done as we move forward.

“I am confident that through the unity of the Asian football family, our youth will continue to dominate the biggest stages across the globe in the years and decades to come as envisaged through the AFC’s Vision and Mission.”

In his presentation, themed ‘Guiding the best’, AFC Technical Director Andy Roxburgh said to allow top talents to flourish, all aspects of an elite youth football environment need to be the best, ­­from coaching to facilities, scouting, football technology and more.

Roxburgh discussed various factors that underpin success, Asia’s challenges, and long-term actions that can be taken.

The conference saw technical analysis sessions of the AFC U17 Asian Cup Thailand 2023, the AFC U20 Asian Cup Uzbekistan 2023 and the FIFA U-20 World Cup Argentina 2023, which were presented by AFC Principal Coaching Consultant Wim Koevermans, Japan Football Association Technical Director Takeshi Ono and FIFA High Performance Specialist (Global Football Development) Kelly Cross.

Asian legend and Chairperson of the AFC Professional Football Task Force, Park Ji-sung, shared learning experiences from his career as a player for Manchester United and South Korea.

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