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Maria Ruiz De Ona named as IFCCA’S fourth keynote speaker


International Football Coaching Conference Australia (IFCCA) is pleased to announce Maria Ruiz de Oña as the conference’s fourth keynote speaker.


Ruiz de Oña joins Grant Downie OBE, Thomas Federspiel and Hope Powell CBE OBE as confirmed high-profile speakers for the event, which will be held on Saturday, 25 and Sunday, 26 May 2019 at RACV Royal Pines Resort on the Gold Coast.


An elite professional and apprenticeship coach developer, Ruiz de Oña spent more than 20 years at La Liga club Athletic Club de Bilbao in personal and professional development roles.

Ruiz de Oña is currently working in Aspire Academy in Doha, Qatar as the Lead of Neurophysiologist Football Performance department and is President of International Association of Psychology Applied Football (AIPAF).


“I think that one of the most difficult tasks as coaches is to help players to grow both professional and personally,” she said.


“When we talk about talent development, we are not only talking about the ability to score goals, we are referring to how the player thinks and if he or she is capable of taking the right decision at a precise moment.”


At IFCCA 2019, Ruiz de Oña will present on her role in youth academies in world football, and in particular, reflect on her vast experience at Athletic Club de Bilbao.


“In the 1980s, Athletic had several great successes but in the ’90s, we fell into a deep crisis and after some strategic reflection, one of the solutions was to change the way we had been working in our academy,” she explained.

“If we wanted to be in a high performance soccer world, we realised that we needed to make players autonomous and responsible.


“Therefore we needed a change in the leadership of our coaches and to create a different culture focused on developing people.”


Ruiz de Oña has also previously presented coach development and leadership programs and workshops to the Premier League in England, Football Federation of Chile and top European clubs, including Villareal CF and Bayer 04 Leverkusen.

Early bird registrations for IFCCA have been extended until Thursday, 20 December.

IFCCA delegate passes give attendees access to all conference sessions and all exhibitors across the two-day conference, as well as exclusive accommodation discounts at the RACV Royal Pines Resort.

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