SOME of the region’s top junior football coaches have been upskilling in Armidale this week.
Coaches from Tamworth and New England along with coaches from Lismore and Forster have been attending a C Youth Licence course at UNE.
The course is the first of its kind to run in a regional area and is part of a big week for Northern NSW Football.
Yesterday they held a seminar for the skill acquisition coaches.
Today 150 of NNSWF’s most talented young players move in for the annual high performance camp.
The camp is for the various zones – ie Northern Inland – 12s and 13s squads and doubles as a selection trial for the NNSW Country sides.
Two 12s sides will be selected, as well as one 13s.
The 13s will compete at the National Championships in Coffs Harbour later in the year, while one of the 12s will travel to Japan to play in a tournament there.
The second side is more of a development side. Their program hasn’t been finalised yet.
The coaches course was overseen by NNSWF technical director Dave Smith and head coach of its skill acquisition program Ryan Campbell.
There were 23 on the course. “I’m really pleased with the numbers,” Smith said.
He was a bit disappointed that there were no women.
They had two but they pulled out.
“We’re sadly lacking educated female coaches,” Smith said.
The course ties in with the skill acquisition program NNSWF has adopted as part of the Football Federation Australia (FFA) National Football Curriculum (NFC).
It’s about trying to get consistency of coaching across the board, and developing its elite coaches.
They’ve adopted the theory, Smith said, that if they don’t improve the coaches they won’t improve the kids.
The three day camp in Armidale was the first part of the course.
“We’ll meet back for two full weekends in February and March,” Smith said.
All up it’s about a 60-hour course and a mix of practical and theory.