As promised earlier in the season, I write to keep you informed about the progress that we are making as we move forward, building on the work previously done by our President Ivan Dalla Costa and the committee over the past five years.
I am glad to say that we as a club have established and held our first meeting as a new Football Department.
The aim of the Football Department is to create a ‘total football environment’ and is representative of all of our programs, from the Saturday Morning Program right through to our Over 55s. As Bob Messenger, one of our longest members at the club, said, “Its football for life”. The Department consists of football people with the appropriate skills i.e. Technical Director, Head Coaches, people with administration skills, people with people skills, etc…
The department and I are looking at what innovations we can implement that will give coaches time to better plan and deliver their sessions, to ensure we continue to improve the development opportunities for all our young players. Our State League 1 Senior Women’s coach Bobby McGuiness presented a new player assessment tool that he utilised in his previous role as a National Training Centre coach and immediately it was suggested we could develop it as a coach’s assessment tool.
A major component of what the Football Department will do is develop the support for coaches that will improve and provide increased consistency in our coaching by developing our existing coaches and attracting good new ones. To begin this we have set up a Coaches Development Program and a Young Coaches Development Program that will capture and nurture our young talent. An example of how this program works is young Jack Soklevski, who at a young age of sixteen is playing in our Senior Men’s Reserve team, and is assistant coach to Dom Ennis, one of our top youth coaches at the club.
This season has seen a lot of issues and conflicts across the club and full credit to those who now make up the Football Department like Ben Lafford and David O’Connor, who have stayed with the problems until we found solutions. A down side to all that work is football people are still spending too much of their time with non-football issues such as registration and parent liaison. The Football Department will look to find solutions to ensure football people can solely focus on football issues.
Apart from announcing the new 2019 Trial dates, the Football Department has organised our first ever in-house accredited training courses – the Aldi Miniroos Certificate and Skills Training Certificate. Sarthak Mishra and Ben Lafford from the Football Department will be in touch with our current coaches within the next couple of days. We will also soon announce our Summer Program and two of our Academy teams, so keep your ears open for more news from our Football Department.
Director of Football Operations