The Japan Football Association (JFA) has announced plans to create an Associate-Pro (A-Pro) Licence Coaching Course to produce more female coaches.
Japan is set to introduce the WE League, a new women’s football league in 2021 – the A-Pro license and course has been created to see women become coaches at WE League clubs.
The JFA said that the league will be the foundation for growth of women’s football in Japan.
“This project was launched with the intention to reignite the popularity of women’s football in Japan ahead of the kick-off of the WE League. Football’s player population has currently hit the ceiling in Japan, but women’s football still has great potential for growth,” Vice Technical Director of the JFA Technical Committee, Ono Takeshi said.
“With the growth of our football family, more families will talk about football and attend more football matches, and that is the future we are envisioning. By making football part of our culture, we strongly believe that we can heighten the overall level of football in Japan.”
The course will involve both lectures and practical components. International opportunities such as training courses and language classes will also be held, with the hope that participants will be able to work overseas after the completion of the course.
“The ‘Nadeshiko Vision’ is a principle that is set to heighten the overall level of women’s football in Japan. In 2015, part of the article was amended from ‘everyone involved in women’s football’ to ‘everyone involved in Japanese football’,” Chair of JFA Women’s Committee, Imai Junko said.
“The development of women’s football cannot be accomplished without the support of the entire Japanese football community, and the development of women’s football will certainly contribute to raise the overall level of football in Japan.
“The participation of female coaches must be promoted at licensing programmes of all levels, and the support from technical committees and women’s committees from each prefectural FA is essential. We will provide our utmost efforts to achieve optimal and sustainable results (through the kick-off of the WE League and the A-Pro licence project).”
The WE League will become the top level of women’s football in Japan from autumn 2021. The new competition takes the place of the current Nadeshiko League and will feature between six to 10 teams.
The league’s name comes from the acronym for ‘women’s empowerment’ and is Japan’s first professional women’s football league.