Sports

BFA appoints Marc Bircham as technical director

The Bahamas Football Association (BFA) has appointed Canadian Marc Bircham to take over the duties of technical director of the field of soccer in The Bahamas. The announcement was made in a press release by the association on Saturday.

Bircham replaces Garry Markham.

BFA Secretary General Fred Lunn said, “We are very excited to have him (Bircham) on board. He comes with a wealth of experience that will benefit our program and our development. From his CV (curriculum vitae), he is well qualified for the job so we are very pleased to have him on board.”

Over the past 11 years, the new technical director has been busy in England, Canada and the United States of America (USA) in youth development and in a capacity as assistant manager.

According to the press release, his role will be centered around development.

“In his new role as technical director, his primary focus will be on developing grassroots and women’s football at all levels throughout The Bahamas. Bircham will also guide the growth and development of football in The Bahamas across a multi-competitive platform for youth, men and women’s national teams,” the release stated.

Bircham holds a UEFA (Union of European Football Associations) Pro License and was in a position to move up to a first team manager role. The UEFA Pro License is the highest coaching certification available in UEFA. He holds UEFA “A” and “B” licenses along with a Football Association (FA) coaching certificate.

Some of the clubs he has worked for include the Queens Park Rangers (QPR) and Millwall Football Clubs in England. In Canada, he served as a youth coach for four years. In the USA, he worked as an assistant manager for the Arizona United and Chicago Fire soccer teams.

Currently, Bircham is not in the country, but Lunn said they hope to do some development via Zoom until Bircham arrives.

“We hope to get him on the ground here as soon as possible. Like everyone else, we have to obviously do some Zoom development right now because everything is locked down and we can’t train. We will be engaging our clubs and national teams via Zoom to get them involved until we can have everyone playing again,” Lunn said.

Lunn also pointed out that the senior men’s national team will still be coached by Nesley Jean and Bircham will be directing and assisting in the development of coaches and national teams.

The Bahamas is set to be a part of a new format for the 2022 FIFA World Cup qualification in the North, Central American and Caribbean area in October and November; that is depending on how the country and region battles the COVID-19 pandemic that has brought a halt to sports in the country and around the globe.

Back in May, Bircham was arrested for alleged aggravated battery in St. Petersburg, Florida, and posted bail. Asked by Guardian Sports if Bircham’s legal troubles are over, Lunn said: “As far as we know, yes.”

Apart from being an administrator in the sport, Bircham also had a professional career on the pitch in England for three different clubs. He played for Millwall, QPR and Yeovil Town FC and made a cumulative 272 appearances and had 11 goals. At QPR, he was the captain. He also has international experience, for Canada, with 17 caps and one goal.

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Simba French

Simba joined The Nassau Guardian in 2012 as a technical producer for Guardian Radio 96.9 FM. He joined the Editorial Department as a sports reporter in 2018. Simba has covered a wide range of sports stories, including the 2018 CARIFTA in Nassau, Bahamas. Education: College of the Bahamas, BA Media Journalism

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