Strikers and Rams Combine Forces For Juniors

May 02, 2015 by

Sometimes you need to go the extra yard for the good of the game.

A recent joint initiative between Brisbane Strikers and Bethania Rams showed what can be achieved for the benefit of young footballers when PlayStation® 4 National Premier Leagues clubs and community clubs fully embrace the NPL model.

One of the roles expected by Football Federation Australia and Football Queensland of PlayStation 4 NPL clubs is that they help community clubs within their catchment areas to further the skills of junior footballers.

That is not simply a self-serving exercise for the elite-level club so that the best players are attracted to it, although the opportunity should be provided where possible.  The mission is broader than that:  to bolster coaching skills and football knowledge across the board for the benefit of all young footballers who want to improve.  The more good young players across all clubs, the better the quality of football for everyone.

Strikers continue to offer opportunities to coaches and players from our partner community clubs to attend coaching courses and training sessions at our Perry Park and Meakin Park facilities.  But what happens when coaches and players cannot take that opportunity because of the many logistical hurdles that affect families with children who play football?

The answer is that you can move things a step further take the opportunity to them!  So that is exactly what our Brisbane Strikers Under-12s did a week ago when they took a training session “on the road” to the Rams, who offered the use of their facilities for the session shortly after hosting a coaching clinic.

Coach Paul Wilton and his team visited Bethania Rams earlier this month and conducted their training session at the Rams’ Opperman Park home ground.

Assisted by parents and families of the Strikers’ Under-12s, whose co-operation in driving their young footballers the extra kilometres to training was essential, the boys went through their paces under instruction from Wilton with Paul Lonton and Under-18s coach Owen Baker on hand to help out where needed.

According to Bethania Rams President, Joe Janacek, the session was “the perfect complement” to the earlier coaching clinic.

“The Strikers session gave our coaches an excellent display of a well-constructed session that centred around a common theme”, Janacek said

“This put in perspective the way a session should be compiled from the start to end.  The Under-12s were disciplined and professional and, above all, very appreciative as they thanked us for the opportunity to train at our facility”.

Janacek said one spin-off from the session would be in opening the eyes of Rams coaches and players alike to ways they can improve.

“The overall experience helped our coaches see the complete session from start to finish and proved to be an invaluable tool for the future construction of their own sessions”, he said.

“It was not only beneficial to our coaches but it certainly left some wide-eyed kids dreaming of the NPL lights”.

These impressions were shared by Strikers coaching staff.

“From a holistic approach in developing football and trying to inspire the next level down, the night was a massive success”, said Wilton.

“The coaches from Bethania couldn’t believe the intensity and ability that our boys showed for just a training session.  Most had never seen players of this age do what our boys did that night.  To us it might have been just another training session to improve and get better.  But to them it was so much more”.

“I am particularly proud of the boys, not just for that night but for the season so far.  They have shown week in and week out that they are willing to listen, willing to learn and try their best to take what they are learning for developmental purposes and give it a go in games.

“But most importantly, the boys learned that being an NPL player is about more than just bettering themselves and their team”.

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