NEW MAN: Coach Gavin Whitney wants to change Goonellabah’s approach to the game.
NEW MAN: Coach Gavin Whitney wants to change Goonellabah’s approach to the game.

Hornets coach has big plans

A MORE intricate style of football and ensuring the club's future remains in good hands - and feet.

Those are the twin goals Gavin Whitney has targeted as he settles into his new position as Goonellabah soccer coach.

Whitney met the players for the first time last Thursday to assess resources and discuss ideas for the 2013 season.

Although he is still formulating plans for the 2013 Football Far North Coast premier division season, the experienced coach has immediately targeted a greater passing style as one of his aims.

"I am looking to further improve the style of football they had here," he said.

"We want to start playing better football. That is the aim for next year.

"This means better ball retention and more effective use of the ball.

"In a nutshell, I am looking for players who are technically able to keep the ball."

The former Italo Stars coach brings a great pedigree and a wealth of coaching knowledge to the club.

A holder of the National B Coaching Licence - one of the highest coaching qualifications in Australian soccer - Whitney also has proven successful junior coaching skills.

Having spent 2012 coaching the Far North Coast Under-13 representative side, Whitney said improving Goonellabah's depths of youth talent over the next few years was one of his biggest aims.

"One of the biggest things here is building up the juniors," he said.

"If you do not have that youth base, you have nothing.

"It is about attracting more players to the club and developing them, especially in that important 9 to 12 years age group.

"All the premier division players have taken it upon themselves to help with that and that is great to see."

Whitney inherits a talented squad that reached the premier division preliminary final this year, losing to Lismore Workers.

The new coach said reaching the top division's top five in 2013 was another realistic minimum aim.

"I would not say (we are talking about) winning the competition," he said.

"Making the top five (of the regular season) is the aim. Any-thing after that is a bonus.

"It should be a good season andI am looking forward to the challenge."

Whitney said pre-season training would kick off in late January.

Anyone wanting to sign up or find out more should contact Gavin Whitney on 0400-117494.



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