First-Kicks and Fun-Footballers from across the city are taking the opportunity to play on English Park this winter season.
Last Saturday, 260 aspiring footballers from 3 local clubs – Coastal Spirit, Parklands United and St Albans/Shirley – spent the morning at Canterbury’s home of football, following a programme of drills and fun, small-sided games, all part of New Zealand Football’s Junior Framework.
“The rotation of 6 stations, each with a different deliverer, provides a suitable environment where the players can experience plenty of touches of the football. Also, many of our players never get the opportunity to play at English Park.” says Xavier Morin, Mainland Football’s Junior Football Development Officer.
“The players benefit from the structure, consisting of four fun games and two matches (4v4,5v5), and the format assists the clubs in reinforcing the junior Framework.”
The Club Day initiative also provides a valuable conduit between the federation and the local footballing community, “We see it as being important to build the relationship between our clubs and the Mainland Football technical team. It gives the kids a chance to meet our staff, put names to faces, or just kick a ball with players like, Football Fern Annalie Longo or Canterbury United Dragon, Gary Ogilvie.
“Parents also get the chance to be involved. We run a parents classroom briefing on the Junior Framework, and reinforce what we expect in sideline behavior.”
It is important we also acknowledge our wonderful sponsors, Connetics and McDonalds, who supply the giveaway footballs for each child and the Connetics team also man the community BBQ, providing the players and parents hot food as the finish their session.”
John Thompson, Connetics General Manager of Business Services says, “it’s our way of giving back to the community. It is fantastic to see the smiles on the junior footballers faces at the end of their session.”
The programme continues this weekend, with 300 juniors from Cashmere Technical advancing on English Park.