Top tips boost young talent
He’s been involved in professional football teams at home and in Europe, but Auckland City captain Ivan Vicelich is getting back to the grassroots of the game.
Since late last year Vicelich and City assistant coach Ramon Tribulietx have been visiting Wesley Primary School, teaching keen kids soccer skills.
The 32-year-old says he’s wanted to get involved in coaching the next generation of young talent since returning from playing professional football in the Netherlands last year to play for Auckland City.
“It’s good for the club and the kids learn new skills and a bit of discipline.”
“They have some fun and run around after the ball.”
Vicelich says a couple of the kids have even signed up with Auckland City’s sister club Central United for the upcoming winter season.
Wesley Primary principal Rae Parkin says the coaching sessions are invaluable for the children.
“The kids see them as role models. The children love being physical and having things to do.”
“It gives opportunities to children who might not otherwise have them.”
Ten-year-old James Williams, who is one of the children involved in the coaching clinics, agrees it’s been a great experience so far.
“I like scoring goals, running around and keeping fit,” he says.
Auckland City spokesman Steve Vuksich says the Sandringham-based club initiated the programme in an attempt to get more involved with the local community.
“We want to spread the word of Auckland City around the local area and at the same time find some good young talent.”
Other schools set to join Auckland City’s community coaching programme include Balmoral Primary School, Kowhai Intermediate School and Monte Cecelia School.
Central Auckland schools interested in taking part in the programme should contact Michael Marinovich at mike.marinovich@ xtra.co.nz or 0274-961-551.
What a team: Auckland City assistant coach Ramon Tribulietx, front centre, and captain Ivan Vicelich, right, with children from Wesley Primary School.