Education director receives certification and signed shirt

IPSO are very proud of our education director Colin Chambers.

Many won’t know this but Colin was just recently working at the last World Cup in 2022 with the Polish Football Federation as an opposition analyst and he’s just received a certification of working at the world cup with a signed shirt from the president of the Polish FA as well as current UEFA vice-president Zbigniew Boniek.

Although Colin works as the education director at IPSO, he is still very active in scouting, working recently for the Polish FA as well as a consultant for many other FAs including the Romanian, Indian, Estonian, Uzbekistan and Malaysian in his role at IPSO.

We asked Colin how this come about and what his job entailed. He said ‘‘having worked with the Polish FA for many years we at IPSO were asked to train the Pro-Licence coaches at their FA once and we’ve always had a good relationship with them. But when Czeslaw Michniewicz and Kamil Portykus became manager and assistant manager of the national team I got a call from them straight away asking if I’d be one of their opposition analysts.

It was a no-brainer and I accepted the challenge straight away. My role was Saudi Arabia!

Analyse them ASAP as they are one of our teams in the group stages. That was it, within a few days, I’m on a plane to Spain to watch them in build-up games a few weeks before the actual start in Qatar in November 2022. I went to watch them twice against Ecuador and the USA. Very impressed with Ecuador not too impressed with the USA in the games but my main target was Saudi Arabia. After the first two games, I wasn’t that impressed by the Saudis apart from their goalkeeper who was of real quality in the games. I reported on them accordingly and that was it. A few days before the start of Qatar 2022 Saudi Arabia had one last friendly against Croatia in Saudi Arabia so I was whisked off there to do one more report this time in their capital Riyadh. 

A big surprise was in store as Saudi Arabia was not as weak as I first believed, as they played their fringe players in the previous two games and they were not the side I first thought and the reality was they were a very good side and not to be underestimated as they lost 0-1 to Croatia but the truth is they should have won. Nevertheless, the report was done and the rest is history. We beat them 2-0 and Argentina lost to them 2-1. So hopefully my reports made a difference.’’