On Saturday, the 5th of August, the ÖFB hosted its annual Coach Congress in Saalfelden. This congress marked the beginning of a new era for coaches in Austria. The ÖFB in partnership with coachbetter introduced Players First to the Austrian Football Federation.
"We are very happy that we have now been able to implement the Players First project digitally. On the one hand, this allows us to share knowledge with the coaches and, on the other hand, to offer them support for their daily work," explains Thomas Eidler (General Manager ÖFB Coach Academy), who presented the platform together with Patrick Patzig from coachbetter.
Players First is a digital tool for the entire amateur football coaching sector in Austria and takes a completely different approach than what is commonly used in soccer. Players First moves away from old structures to a more supportive tool for the development of players. The idea is to focus on the human being behind a player.
ÖFB Sports Director Peter Schöttel agrees: "It's really about everything that soccer is about. It's about values, about training content.”
ÖFB President Klaus Mitterdorfer also sees the launch as an important step for grassroots soccer in Austria: "It is very pleasing that this strategically important flagship project for all levels of soccer is being launched. With Players First, we offer coaches professional assistance that supports them in their daily work. Players First thus makes an important contribution to ensuring that the quality and working methods of coaches, and thus of soccer as a whole in Austria, continue to improve and become more professional."
Players First follows a bottom-up approach, where the individual and the starting point is the main focus. It provides clear tasks and responsibilities for players, and provides recommendations for actions. Players First is a tool for soccer coaches to develop players, teams and, above all, themselves. It is intended to help improve soccer in Austria as a collective.
Coachbetter CEO Patzig particularly emphasizes that during the cooperation: "There was no ÖFB and coachbetter, there was only Players First as a project. Players First starts with the human factor. People are always at the center. Added to that is digital representation. This, combined with the good people at the ÖFB, is the recipe for success. ÖFB and coachbetter are changing soccer."
The platform was developed by the ÖFB and Coachbetter and we are excited to present Players First to coaches in Austria. Currently, Players First is available in desktop and tablet versions.
As Patrick Patzig said: “ÖFB and Coachbetter are changing soccer." and we are excited to follow the evolution of Players First in Austria!