LAST year, David Field coached Arsenal’s under 17s girls’ team to the English title and rubbed shoulders with some of the United Kingdom’s best football coaches.
This year, he has been appointed as the Eurobodalla Football Association’s director of football and hopes to set up academies throughout the shire to nurture talented South Coast youngsters.
“I initially went overseas to further my football coaching and now I’ve come back here and I’ve got this new role as director of football for Eurobodalla and my main focus is to set up grassroots football academies and run holiday clinics,” Field said on Monday.
The Narooma man, originally from the Central Coast, spent the last five years at English Premier League club Arsenal, where he worked predominantly with the women’s youth teams.
Also during that time, he completed coaching courses with the English FA, which has led him to being one assessment short of obtaining his UEFA (European football’s governing body) A license – the same accreditation held by most Premier League coaches.
And while his main focus will be to get youth academies up and running, Field said he’d also like to share some of his knowledge with the Eurobodalla’s coaches.
The first of the academies will be held at the start of the next school term at Moruya’s Gundary Oval – however, an exact starting date has not yet been set down.
“The first aim will be to set up the academy in Moruya and that will run in conjunction with the school term, and we’re aiming for an eight-week block over term two,” he said.
“Football Federation Australia did a national review a couple of years ago and they found that Australian kids are behind the rest of the world in their technical skills.
“So we’ll work to improve their one-on-one attacking and defending skills, their striking skills and their dribbling skills.”
Field added that, ideally, he would like to have another academy set up in Batemans Bay in term three and yet another in Narooma by term four.
“Hopefully we’ll be going three nights a week with three academies up and running,” he said.
Another part of Field’s vision is to also hold clinics in each of the three locations during school holidays.
“Kids get maybe an hour or two hours each week with their club coaches – and I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with club coaches, it’s just that they’re usually someone who has put their hand up help out because there’s nobody else,” he said.
“So we’re going to work on their technical development, but they’ll also get the social aspect with it as well.”
Field, who is also a PE teacher, indicated he would be setting up coach education programs in the region sometime this year.
For more information, visit the Eurobodalla Football Association website.