Swifts offer young footballers range of opportunities
Winter is coming and with comes the football season.
This community’s football club, Matamata Swifts, is in the midst of its junior registration and grading process, so it’s a busy time of year.
The club is also promoting several coaching programmes which are open to everyone, regardless of whether or not they intend to play football.
The Swifts’ club development manager Dwayne Barlow oversees the club’s development programmes. Working in conjunction with Scott Parsonage, WaiBOP Football’s football development manager for this area, he’s been able to ensure the club can offer a set of football coaching programmes which ensure local youngsters of all ages, abilities and stages of physical development can be involved in football.
The club offers several popular programmes.
‘‘We piloted our Football For All programme last year and received plenty of positive feedback,’’ Barlow said. ‘‘Basically it’s designed to provide children with an active and healthy session no matter their
it ability. It gives boys and girls the chance to learn skills, play games and have a great time under professional supervision.’’
Football For All sessions are held after school at the Matamata Domain on Wednesday afternoons.
‘‘Doing this mid-week means children who are involved in other sports on a Saturday morning have the opportunity to play football as well,’’ Barlow said.
‘‘In 2014 the mix of attendees was roughly 50/ 50 between registered footballers and nonplayers so it’s clear the interest is there.’’
Along with WaiBOP’s Parsonage, who is also a Swifts first team player, other Swifts first and reserve team players provide the coaching at the sessions.
They get under way at the beginning of term 2 and run until the end of term 3.
The club also runs a couple of other coaching programmes over the winter season. ‘‘Every school holiday period we hold a threeday coaching camp, which again is open to all children, regardless of whether or not they are registered club members,’’ Barlow explains. ‘‘ In the upcoming holidays we’ve set April 13 to 15 as the dates, with the children coming in from 9am to 3pm each day.’’
The Swifts also run the Matamata Skill Centre, again in conjunction with WaiBOP’s Parsonage, every Wednesday morning. ‘‘The Skill Centre is for players who are serious about getting in some extra specialised training during the season,’’ Barlow said. ‘‘These sessions are aimed at children who have some experience playing football. The curriculum is close to what WaiBOP Football offers at their Football Talent Centres.’’
Barlow is pleased the club can now offer such a range of football opportunities for budding young local sportspeople. ‘‘I’ve got kids coming through myself and I think it’s pretty cool they get to have these football experiences,’’ he said. ‘‘Hopefully many more children will join us.’’
More information on Matamata Swifts’ football coaching programmes can be found at the club’s website – www.mata mataswifts.com/coaching.