Roar of approval for grant
BRISBANE Roar's crusade to find the next young superstar like Mitch Nichols is being ramped up.
A $25,000 grant from Optus has kicked off top-level coaching clinics in Brisbane with a view to expanding these camps to Ipswich, Toowoomba, the Sunshine Coast and the Gold Coast later this year.
Roar community coaches Jordan Leatherdale and Lorna Dent have begun spreading the football gospel through small-sided games.
With the Roar winning the A-League title for the second straight time in April, Dent said junior football numbers were on the rise.
"You go to any club on a Saturday morning and there are hundreds of little kids playing," she said.
"The nature of the way the Roar is playing means kids try and emulate it on the field."
Leatherdale, who used to coach in English Premier League club Chelsea's talent identification program, actually believes Australia is ahead of England in its small-sided football programs.
"It's just getting the coaching numbers out here which is the problem," he said.
"Because in Australia football is an emerging sport, there are lots of kids playing but not so many adults that can coach them."
Brisbane football parent Lawrie Caruana has been impressed with the lengths the Roar has gone to in order to help raise the profile of the sport.
"These kids get regular visits from Roar players and club officials which is very good," he said.
"There's a lot of community involvement from the Roar and this forms part of their success."