Earlier this month, Head of Coaching at Tranmere Rovers, Dan O’Donnell, and International Academy Manager, Matt Hunter, visited Surabaya in Indonesia to run coach education and player training sessions at UNESA, a highly rated University in the country.
Tranmere Rovers has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the University to lend coaching expertise in order to develop the football programme at UNESA as well as providing support to the local players and coaches.
The University has started a Club team, UNESA FC, which will run as an Academy from the ages of eight through to 18, before those players transition into the University programme. From there they will be able to play for the professional UNESA FC team which will begin by competing in the Indonesian third Division.
Dan O’Donnell explained, “The Club has been working in Indonesia for more than five years now, so we have a good understanding of the football culture and passion that exists within the country. The plans that UNESA have for their newly founded Club and Academy are ambitious and forward thinking and it’s a very exciting project to be a part of.”
On top of coaching players and educating coaches on a daily basis, the highly qualified coaches presented to over 2000 sports science and sports coaching students at the University. They also visited local schools, giving students insights into British football culture and providing background on Tranmere Rovers’ development credentials.
“It’s a unique opportunity for the Club to be a part of this project,” continued Dan. “The reception that we have received has been mind-blowing and everyone has been so welcoming to us. It’s a bit surreal seeing lots of people walking around in Tranmere shirts but it’s a good sign of the reputation we have in Indonesia!”
Matt Hunter commented, “We signed the MOU in November last year when key members from the University visited Tranmere and ever since then, we have been working on creating a curriculum for UNESA FC that we feel will help them to develop their own players and coaches.
“This is the third time Dan and myself have coached in Indonesia so it’s been good to combine our knowledge of football in the country with what we work on at Tranmere to create a tailored programme for UNESA. It’s a really exciting time for everyone involved!”
Tranmere will continue to support the players and coaches at UNESA over the coming months as the Academy develops with a view to the club returning to Surabaya in February next year.