LEARNING FROM THE A-TEAM: A-League giants Brisbane Roar will be back in the Clarence to host another FL Active Program skills day at Rushforth Park after last year's event was well received by local juniors.
LEARNING FROM THE A-TEAM: A-League giants Brisbane Roar will be back in the Clarence to host another FL Active Program skills day at Rushforth Park after last year's event was well received by local juniors. Debrah Novak

A-League coaches roar into the Clarence

FOOTBALL: With the passion of the A-League growing each season, it was only a matter of time before clubs began branching out into the regions.

While many clubs in North Coast Football are aligned with the Newcastle Jets feeder system, the orange marauders from north of the border, Brisbane Roar, have spotted an opportunity to touch down in the Clarence Valley.

The Roar brought their inaugural coaching clinics to Rushforth Park last season and after the popular demand of the hundreds of kids there on the day, the A-League giants are back in town for this year.

The clinics are run in conjunction with the South Services Gunners Soccer Club but registrations are open to kids from across the Clarence with club president Shanon Tough hoping to host more than last year.

"We are expecting to get 250 across the whole day with clinics run in three different age groups," he said. "We would love to attract a few more players from the Lower Clarence region as well."

While the Roar coaches will focus on many skills-based drills, there is also education on food and diets and pre-game preparation.

The Roar team will touch down in South Grafton next Saturday, February 25 with clinics from 9-11am for players aged 5-8 years, 11.30am-1.30pm for 9-11 years and 2-4pm for 11-17 years. Players are still able to nominate for the clinics with Tough giving parents until next Friday but he said spaces were filling fast.

"This is a massive boost for football in Grafton," Tough said.

"Not just for the kids but also for the local coaches and volunteers.

"It is just a level of coaching that you don't see around the regional centres. There is a ripple effect from these clinics and hopefully it floods the area with good coaching techniques."

Tough hopes an increased involvement in the clinics from all local clubs will spur the Roar to up the ante next season and potentially use the Clarence as a player breeding ground.

"Too many clubs are going individual," he said. "If we all stand together, then we can have more come to Grafton. We could even look at hosting A-League teams up here."



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