Kids learn from Fury stars
• JUNIOR SOCCER
ABOUT 35 kids were treated to one of the biggest thrills of their fledgling soccer careers on Sunday when they participated in an hour long coaching clinic run by North Queensland Fury players David Williams and Matt Smith.
The A-League players were helped out by a small group of Proserpine and Cannonvale’s junior coaches, enabling the 35 kids to be split in to four groups with each focussing on a different skill.
As the clinic was for young kids – most were between five and 10 – the coaching concentrated on fun and basic skills such as passing, dribbling, shooting and first touch control.
Towards the end of the hour however, the kids were put in teams of five with each getting the chance to play against their heroes in a series of small sided games.
The parents of many of the kids came down to watch and the general feedback from them was that the clinic had been great value, particularly considering it was free, as both Smith and Socceroo Williams seemed to take a genuine interest in the kids they were coaching.
Smith explained that it was important for professional players to take an interest in the grass roots because they were the future of the game.
“Every player’s got to start somewhere and I can remember when I was the same age as these kids,” he said.
“I would have loved an opportunity like this and I think it’s great to be able to provide that for them.” Smith said he and Williams had been impressed with the level of talent shown by “three or four of the kids”, describing them as “very good for their age”.
That kind of encouragement is priceless for a young player’s development and clinic organiser Dawn Hodgen said it would provide a big boost for junior soccer in the area.
“The kids loved it and I thought it was really good,” she said.
Mrs Hodgen said she had spoken to Fury Community Manager Mark Burgess about getting some more Fury players down to the Whitsundays in May, with another clinic in the pipeline.