AC Milan coach trains young players on new Lismore field
ANDREA Icardi, former AC Milan player and respected coach, says the soccer skills of our young players have improved in leaps and bounds over the years.
However, he believes more work is needed if Far North Coast youth want to capitalise on professional opportunities in the game.
Mr Icardi has been at East Lismore's artificial field since Monday to host the AC Milan Soccer School and will remain there today to train about 60 junior players, aged 6 to 17.
"The skill level is, to be honest, a little lacking compared with Newcastle or Sydney or Melbourne or Adelaide," Mr Icardi said.
"I think they really miss the technical part, the co-ordination, at the beginning of training.
"I was here in 1994, '95 and '96 and the desire was not fantastic at the time but I can see big improvements.
"But, you know, we're here to improve the football skills of Australia and if we manage to inspire players, that's excellent."
Event organiser and Lismore City councillor Gianpiero Battista was pleased to see the Asia Pacific Football Institute's artificial field bustling with competitive spirit.
Those attending the soccer school were the first in Northern New South Wales to try out the field.
Various young players said they were learning a lot from the AC Milan Soccer School and, most importantly, having lots of fun.
Some said they hoped to be professional players, but others were simply enjoying kicking a ball around with their mates.
The field was constructed with a grant from the previous Federal government.