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Beyond The Pitch - Tom Byer

Tuesday, August 02, 2011


Anto is joined by Tom Byer who grew up in America but moved to Japan almost 25 years ago when opportunities for soccer players were very limited in the 1980s. This is a remarkable story about fortune and some very hard work as Tom is the former director of Coerver Coaching Asia and has conducted more than 2,000 soccer events for more than 500,000 children and appears on a nationally televised daily show for children in which Tom has been the foundation for the development of soccer technical training for the Japanese nation. Tom has established the largest football school business in Japan and around the world, with over 80 schools and 150 coaches all dedicated to making all young players the best they can be and rising the technical standard no matter the age level. People in the highest levels of football development and coaching know his work greatly and often come to learn from a coach who has worked for years with the JFA National Elite Program. With so much success for Japan at virtually every level of the Mens and Womens program - culminating in a World Cup victory for the women in Germany this summer - there is little doubt that the Japanese national playing style finds its roots in the patient and persistent efforts at the grass roots level. We get into all the background which led Tom to Japan in the first place, the famous players he has come in contact with on the Japanese national scene including Kagawa and Honda - and so many others in his career - along with his friendship with Jurgen Klinsmann who has made his visits to these academies to get a better idea of how the Japanese have made an evolution as best practice. We also have a chat on the appointment of Alberto Zaccheroni as national team coach for the men, areas in which the Japan National Team can improve and the JFA organization itself which has laid the important foundation for the program. Then we close on the matter of the World Cup itself, what it means to the Japanese people in a very tragic year, reminding that sport gives nations hope in the worst possible times.

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