This was made possible after OFC technical director Patrick Jacquemet made his recent visit to Spain for talks with the Spanish Football Association recently.
One of the main discussion points surrounded the development of futsal in Oceania and an outcome of those talks will soon be put into place.
“We have agreed that a coach from the Spanish FA will come to the Solomon Islands, either in November or at the start of next year, to assist in the national side’s preparations for the 2012 FIFA Futsal World Cup,” Jacquemet says.
“This will be a big boost as Spain has a world-class futsal team and great resources.”
The Solomon Islands side, nicknamed the Kurukuru, will travel to Thailand for the World Cup next November after qualifying by winning the 2011 OFC Futsal Championship in Fiji in May.
The exchange programme will not just be a one-way arrangement though and Jacquemet says technical staff from OFC and the confederation’s 11 member associations will get the chance to head in the opposite direction.
“The Spanish FA will send experts to our region but they will also host our coaches, referees and other representatives in their range of courses and workshops.”
Jacquemet, a former professional goalkeeper who played in France and Tahiti, also visited the association’s technical centre and took in a national youth team training session during his time in Madrid.
The Spain leg of the trip was fitted around a meeting at FIFA headquarters in Zurich, Switzerland, during which OFC’s upcoming programmes and courses were discussed, as well as a UEFA coaching and education seminar in Prague, Czech Republic, and a visit to French Ligue 1 club Olympique Lyonnais.
The relationship between OFC and the Royal Spanish Football Association has taken another important step forward after the visit of OFC technical director Patrick Jacquemet to the organisation’s headquarters in Las Rozas, Madrid.
Jacquemet met with President Ángel María Villar, adviser to the president Miguel Galán, technical director Ginés Meléndez and legal consultant Gorka María Villar to further develop the terms of the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between OFC and the Spanish FA, originally signed in May of this year.
Under the terms of the MOU, the Spanish FA has agreed to support the confederation in a variety of areas, including implementing an exchange programme for players, teams and officials, assisting with World Cup preparations, supporting OFC in its social responsibility projects, securing media rights for major competitions and numerous other initiatives.
Many of these areas were discussed during Jacquemet’s visit and he is delighted with the progress made.
“I am very pleased for OFC and our people throughout the Oceania region as this is a great opportunity,” he says.
“We have a lot of good programmes on track within the confederation but I think the knowledge of experts from other parts of the world will help us develop even further. To have people from one of the world’s leading football countries available to us is a real coup.
“The staff of the Spanish FA were very welcoming and are happy to support OFC in our programmes, particularly in the areas of coaching and education.”