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Soccer pathways for juniors

Friday, 4th December, 2015

Joey juniors Jazmin Callegher, Blake Patterson and Jacob Muscat can’t wait for next season and the opportunities that it will bring. PICTURE: Patrick Reincke Joey juniors Jazmin Callegher, Blake Patterson and Jacob Muscat can’t wait for next season and the opportunities that it will bring. PICTURE: Patrick Reincke

By Patrick Reincke

St Joseph’s Soccer Club’s juniors will see new pathways open next year in a partnership with an Adelaide club.

St Joe’s has joined the Eastern United Football Club to create the “Saints Regional Development Squad” to foster their young talent.

This is in addition to the pathways already provided by Football Federation South Australia.

“This comprehensive arrangement is the first of its kind in Broken Hill and is hoped to increase participation numbers in local junior soccer,” said St Joe’s Junior Coordinator Anthony Wellington.

“It’s all for junior development. It’s giving our kids opportunities and hopefully lead them to becoming better soccer players.

“We just wanted to show some positives and say ‘We’re still being pro-active to help our kids and give them every opportunity.’

“Our goal at St Joe’s is to provide every opportunity to our juniors; we want our juniors to strive to be the best that they can be.

“We want our juniors to play A-League, to play overseas and to even play for the Socceroos.”

Mr Wellington said because EUFC prided itself on junior development and had strong ties with the AC Milan Soccer School, the St Joseph’s board saw it has the perfect partner.

In addition to having extra local training sessions focusing on skills, technique and tactical knowledge every week, the squad will have access to EUFC Academy training in Adelaide during the school holidays and when they come to Broken Hill.

EUFC’s link with the AC Milan Soccer School will also mean St Joe’s juniors will be eligible for scholarships to attend the AC Milan Soccer Camp in Adelaide, to trial with EUFC and to play in tournaments in Italy.

Furthermore, two EUFC coaches will run Academy five-day sessions during holidays once to twice a year. 

The sessions will be open to all soccer juniors in Broken Hill at a cost to be determined.Development Squad members can attend at no cost.

Former Italian professional player Diego Pellegrini will run the sessions and will look to impart his skills and experience.

Pellegrini played at Italian soccer’s highest level in Serie A and also represented Italy in the Under 21 side.

St Joe’s is also looking to give their juniors an unforgettable experience on March 11 at the Adelaide United home game at Cooper Stadium.

Up to 70 juniors will be able to go down to play games at half time, be the ball crew on the boundary and even walk out with the United and Melbourne City players before kick-off.

Mr Wellington said St Joe’s were likely to combine with EUFC to make up the 70 kids required.

Parents are urged to register their children as soon as possible with great interest already being shown.

The next day on Saturday morning, the juniors will attend a coaching session with Mr Pellegrini before possibly playing inter-club matches against EUFC.

The Saints Regional Development Squad is open to all St Joe’s junior from age six to 17.

“This is a magnificent achievement,” Mr Wellington said.

“The additional opportunities this now provides to our juniors is immeasurable.

“A lot of what we are putting in place will only benefit St Joe’s players directly but there are other components that will benefit all junior soccer players in Broken Hill.

“We at St Joe’s cannot wait for the 2016 season.”

Parents wishing to register their children for the squad may call Mr Wellington on 0428 879 275

Squad training starts in February.

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