FOLLOWING a successful coaching clinic in the Netherlands, members of the Northern Areas Football Association (Nafa) are hoping to bring the clinic a little closer to home.
More than 70 budding soccer players from Port Elizabeth’s northern areas took on young European teams during a two-week international tournament earlier this year.
The youngsters from u-13 to u-18 also underwent four days of extensive training at a specialist football camp in Zeist, the Netherlands.
Now the various clubs in the northern areas will get the chance to have Dutch soccer coaches come to them for intense soccer coaching clinics.
Nafa president Valentine Brink has been in talks with the team from the Netherlands to get them out to Port Elizabeth to coach more of the local coaches.
He said the Dutch coaches have other projects they would like to do during their visit and finalising all these is time-consuming.
“It would also be much cheaper to have them come here than taking players overseas.
“The trips costs about R17000 per child which is a lot more than the average parent can afford.
“With Pro-Camp coming here they will pay their own travel costs but we will have to provide accommodation,” he said.
“We have 36 clubs registered and having the specialists from the Netherlands come here will afford us the opportunity to have many more youngsters and coaches be a part of this wonderful programme.”
Brink said there were many loose ends to tie up but he hoped the Dutch coaches would be able to visit the city some time next year or in 2013 at the latest.
“We need to empower the teams and give the children every opportunity to realise their potential,” said Brink
“There is a lot of untapped talent here in the city.
“We hope that by bringing the clinic to the northern areas we can bring out the best in our coaches and this will hopefully filter down to players and help them reach their full potential.”
Swallows Football Club u-18 player Nigel Dennis said he had thoroughly enjoyed the trip overseas.
“The coaches at the clinic approached us differently and had awesome facilities.
“I learnt a lot, especially skills like dribbling and playing with the ball at your feet,” said Nigel.
The Gelvandale High School matric pupil said the coaches had a lot of valuable training tools to share with more people.
Nafa u-15 coach Wendall Naidoo said he had been very impressed with the coaching clinic.
“The players greatly benefited from this and it is great to bring them (Dutch coaches) out here.”
Naidoo, who has coached the Nafa u-15s for the last five years and been a coach since the 1980s, said he has seen an improvement in the players and their games already.
“We took part in our annual districts tournament where the players performed really well and they are implementing the skills they learnt overseas.”
Naidoo said the Dutch had a unique way of training their players, spending quality time on each aspect of the game.
“This method allows coaches to hone in on technique and work on all aspects of the game.”
Fairview Rovers midfielder Reeve Frosler said the teams seemed to be playing better soccer together since attending the clinic.
“Learning new ball skills and also how to be more disciplined were the highlights of the trip – as well as the sight-seeing we did,” laughed the u-13 player who is in Grade 8 at Victoria Park High.
“There is so much to learn from these coaches and having them here will only improve the quality of football.”
Brink said the northern areas has had phenomenal players coming through the ranks.
Orlando Pirates player Daine Klate and Supersport United’s Elrio van Heerden – who have both turned out for Bafana Bafana – are some of the local players who had excelled. Both played at Glenville Football Club as youngsters.
Brink said each of the 36 clubs registered with the association had at least five senior teams and several junior teams with more than 100 coaches who would benefit greatly from a visit by the Dutch.