The Asian football fraternity has a unique opportunity to learn from some of the world's best coaching minds when the inaugural Asia Soccer Conference (ASCON) kicks off in Singapore this December.
Held over three days from December 8-10 at Victoria Junior College, the conference will feature experienced coaching quartet Raymond Verheijen, Fred Lipka, Roger Bongaerts and Dick Bate.
FourFourTwo are the official media partners for this unique event and will be on hand to cover all three days of the conference.
The four football experts will be speaking on a variety of topics over the first two days, with the theme for this year's conference being "Tomorrow's Soccer, Today".
ASCON 2015's optional third day will see Verheijen present his renowned World Football Academy (WFA) course, as the Dutch coach shares his philosophy and the finer points of conditioning and fitness coaching with interested participants.
"As a coach myself, I've noticed a lack of platforms for coaches to network to discuss and be educated," said Khairul Asyraf, chairman of the ASCON 2015 organising committee. "Apart from the Asian Football Confederation certifications, there should be more platforms for creating synergy.
"I think in this instance, ASCON 2015 can start things off by creating an educational, networking and discussion platform."
Interested participants can register for the conference at a special early bird price of S$350 per person until September 15. Tickets sold after this date will be at a normal price of S$450 per person, with groups of 10 participants able to purchase tickets at a slightly lower rate of S$400 per person.
There will also be a chance to attend a networking dinner on December 8 for S$100 and sign up for the optional WFA course on December 10 for an extra S$150. The WFA course, however, is only open to conference participants who have attended the previous two days.
"We're very proud to have brought Dick Bate, who I think is one of the foremost educators in the world and who has gone to different continents to teach and set up curriculums," said Khairul. "It can help us understand football in a global context.
"We also have Raymond Verheijen, one of the pioneers of the groundbreaking approach to fitness training and football periodisation these days.
"I think it's something we can look at to improve the level of fitness and the level of education among soccer coaches in the region."
More on the speakers
Keynote speaker Dick Bate is a technical consultant with both FIFA and the AFC, having held similar posts previously with the English FA, Canada Soccer and the Football Association of Malaysia (FAM), as well as English club Watford FC.
Raymond Verheijen is the CEO and founder of the WFA after stints with the Dutch, South Korean, Russian and Welsh national teams – he has been involved in every World Cup and European Championship since the year 2000 – and remains a consultant for several football associations and clubs.
Fred Lipka was recently appointed the technical director of youth and player development with Major League Soccer (MLS), having previously served as head coach at Racing Club de France and the Le Havre Academy as well as a consultant for the French Football Federation.
Last but not least, Roger Bongaerts is the head of youth development at VVV-Venlo, as well as the founder of Total Soccer Method. He is credited with creating a coaching vision that can be implemented at any level and into any culture.