Whitmarsh’s A-game licence

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Local soccer coach Jamie Whitmarsh is upping his game.

The Football South Central Otago development boss and Queenstown Rovers coach is completing his A-Licence with New Zealand Football.

He describes it as the highest level of training in the country, made up of practical and theory elements.

“You have to design your own vision around football and then you have to bring that to life … It’s the best thing I’ve done in terms of football in all the years I’ve been coaching. If I get this licence it gives me the ability to coach football in a professional club.”

Whitmarsh stresses he isn’t looking to ditch his Rovers role. He thinks the training will help raise the standard of football in Queenstown.

He was one of 18 from around the world who took part, including coaches from Malaysia, South Africa and the Cayman Islands.

Originally from London, he was granted permanent residency last year.

He is one of seven completing the course nationally.

The second part of the course kicks off in September. The Brit also started coaching sessions with local primary schools last week.

While he admits the “high-level” skills won’t change how he trains youngsters, it will benefit the game long term, with kids moving up the ranks to senior squads, he says.

louise.scott@scene.co.nz