Coach rounds off Africa trip

by Stuart Vose

Head of international football development coach returns from visit.

Sunderland AFC’s Head of International Football Development has rounded off his two-week trip to Africa.

Graham Robinson, who has been in Africa as part of SAFC’s partnership with Ghanaian club Asante Kotoko and South African side Bidvest Wits, finished his trip with a final training session and meeting with a familiar face.

The SAFC delegate who has been with Bidvest Wits the past week continued his work with the club’s academy. Graham held his final session with the club’s U21 team, where he focused on technique and attacking play, with decision-making in attacking situations at the core of the session.

Graham said: “I have told all the boys that their goals should be to push for a place in the first team and that they will only achieve this by working hard in training. 

"I have been impressed with the skill levels of the players and it is obvious they have a good understanding of the game.”

Throughout the week Graham has worked with the various age groups at Bidvest Wits Academy including their U15, U17 and U19 squads. As part of the partnership between the two clubs, Sunderland AFC provides Bidvest Wits with assistance around youth development.

Earlier in the week Graham was taken as a guest to watch Orlando Pirates v Bidvest Wits which ended in a 2-1 victory for Orlando. On the bench for Wits was ex-Sunderland player Benjani Mwaruwari, who Graham caught up with later in the week.

Rounding off his trip, Graham held a meeting with coaches at the club in which they discussed the potential of using all the knowledge they had gathered from Graham to support volunteer coaches to help improve the standards of players and coaches within the area.

Speaking about the visit, Graham said: “It was great to meet first-hand with the officials at both Asante Kotoko and Bidvest Wits. I would to thank everyone who I met for their warm welcome and hospitality.”