For­mer soc­cer pro puts play­ers through paces

The Weekend Post - - Sport - JOR­DAN GER­RANS

IN AL­MOST two decades as a pro­fes­sional foot­baller in Europe, re­tired Soc­ceroo Luke Wilk­shire played un­der an ar­ray of ex­pe­ri­enced coaches at clubs like Mid­dles­brough, FC Twente, Dy­namo Moscow and Feyeno­ord.

And the 37-year-old was quick to com­mend the coach­ing abil­ity of Cairns’ Zenon Car­avella dur­ing his trip to the Far North.

Wilk­shire is host­ing a three­day fo­cus work­shop with the Car­avella Foot­ball Academy, which started yes­ter­day and runs un­til to­mor­row.

“You can see how the kids re­act and work with him and re­ally ap­pre­ci­ate him,” Wilk­shire said. “It is great to come up and see what Zenon is do­ing. It is a great thing and the in­ter­ac­tion with the kids is fan­tas­tic.”

Wilk­shire, who is now the Wol­lon­gong Wolves coach in the NPL after re­tir­ing from play­ing, is en­joy­ing the clin­ics in Cairns.

“There are worse ways to spend a day than be­ing up here in Cairns en­joy­ing foot­ball with these kids,” Wilk­shire said.

“We have var­ied age groups with dif­fer­ent abil­i­ties. It is about get­ting out here, en­joy­ing your foot­ball and learn­ing a few things. It is a beau­ti­ful game we have and these kids are show­ing lots of com­pet­i­tive­ness, even at such a young age.”

A vet­eran of 80 caps for Aus­tralia, the right back said he was hop­ing the Soc­ceroos bounced back overnight against Pales­tine at the Asian Cup after their first-up de­feat.

KICK­ING ON: Luke Wilk­shire runs a drill with Car­avella academy player Toby Web­ster. Pic­ture: BREN­DAN RADKE

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