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YOUNGSTERS in Melksham are being given the opportunity of taking part in an innovative football coaching programme which, it is hoped, will help produce football stars of the future.
England Futsal Captain, Luke Ballinger from Melksham, and experienced coach Luke Smith, who have set up the new football academy, have a dream to develop players for the future of English football.
After England’s embarrassing exit from the 2010 World Cup, there was a lot of press coverage about how young English players are coached and developed compared to more successful countries such as Spain and Italy. The Future of Football (FOF) Academy set up by Luke Ballinger and Luke Smith, along with many big names in football, believe we need to adapt to their way of coaching in order to produce ‘technical footballers’, players who are confident, agile, well co-ordinated, skillful and above all, players who aren’t driven only by this ‘must win’ mentality English football has always promoted.
They say, “The FOF Academy will be holding weekly sessions for boys and girls (of all abilities) aged 5-13 (year 2 upwards), providing players with ‘ball at feet’ technical training and small sided games of 2v2, 3v3 and 4v4. The FOF Academy focuses on individual skill development delivered through their very own unique ‘Player Development Pathway’ and innovative curriculum. Sessions involve skills-based training, footwork skills – learning to master the ball, speed, agility and quickness development, small-sided games (maximum 4v4.)
“Their goal is to develop players that are comfortable using both feet with flawless technical ability partnered with a creative mind and tactically aware football brain – the complete technical player with a licence to be creative. We will encourage inventiveness and praise creativity.
“Sessions will be relaxed, but focused and there will be an application of deep practice – encouraging players to not necessarily increase their effort levels but to enhance their thinking and their ability to break down and learn a new skill. At FOF Academy the emphasis of winning or losing is lowered. Our approach will re-emphasize the value of learning skills, developing individual technique and ability. We want to create an environment that ignites a desire in all our players to recognise and fulfil their potential through willingness to listen, learn, practise and as a result improve, but also to work just as well as part of a team.
“FOF are looking for those already in teams and also children with no experience – most youth teams train once a week with sessions typically focusing on match-related topics. Their sessions are focused purely on developing a player’s individual ability with the ball and intelligence without the ball. We would like to make a special thank you to kind sponsors boomerang Family Play Centre and Melksham Tandoori, Both of which have invested in our vision and Melksham’s footballers of the future
“To kick off the Future of Football Academy, we will be offering a limited amount of spaces on our FREE TASTER SESSIONS. This will allow parents and children to get a feel for the sessions and also sign up if they like what they see! The FOF Academy will cost £24 per month per child and those signing up for 3 months will receive a FREE full kit worth £40. There will also be discounts for families with more than one sibling.”
Register your interest by emailing your child’s name and age to firstname.lastname@example.org by Friday 7th March.