With new technical director Michiteru Mita in town, Northern Mariana Islands Football Association president Jerry Tan believes the level of coaching in the CNMI will continue to improve.
“Other than helping improve our players’ skill level, coach Mita will be instrumental in helping us raise the coaching level here by expanding our pool of qualified coaches not only at NMIFA, but with all the clubs. Our national players come from the clubs, so it is important that club coaching standard will also be raised,” said Tan in an interview with Saipan Tribune last Tuesday.
Mita started on his new post early last month, taking over the spot left by Kiyoshi Sekiguchi. He is now working on NMIFA’s grassroots and national team programs and will also develop plans for coaches.
“Working on players alone will not be enough to ensure the development of the program. We also need to improve our coaches’ skills,” the former Jordan Football Association technical head said in an earlier interview with Saipan Tribune.
Mita’s move from Jordan to Saipan was made possible through the Japan Football Association.
“NMIFA is extremely lucky to receive continuing support from Japan Football Association by deploying coach Mita to support our program. We all witnessed the impact that coach Seki created in the past three years for the development of soccer here and we are very thankful for that,” Tan said.
“As one of the newest and fast growing sports in the CNMI, it is very important for NMIFA to have a highly qualified technical director like coach Mita to help us with the development of soccer, starting with grassroots level up to our coaches,” the NMIFA head added.
Strong work ethic
Mita is currently working with NMIFA staff/coaches in conducting training sessions for the U17 national pool and the youth players and his assistants lauded his worth ethic and strategies.
“He’s very hard working and very committed to the players and the team as shown in the three weeks we’ve been with him. He is bringing a different type of play to our national team, encouraging us to be more physical and quick, instead of sitting back. We’ve been working on quick pressure plays and a lot of attacking in training recently and all the players have been learning a lot from him,” said Sunjoon Tenorio.
Jersh Angeles, who is one of Mita’s assistants (the other one is Jonathan Takano), said the new technical head is very meticulous.
“He is particular even to the smallest things. Every day we have a meeting with coach Mita to discuss the training plan and the duties for the day. I’ve been with him for only almost a month now and I have learned a lot from him. He helps and gives advice to my training plan. He is strict and straight forward to almost everything,” Angeles said.
“He has a great vision for NMIFA through his plans and programs. He has almost the same strategies and concept as coach Seki. Coach Mita is easy to work with and he can be a good friend off the pitch,” Angeles added.