Top soccer minds lend expertise

Barcelona coach, Craig Foster, here for clinics
Barcelona coach, Craig Foster, here for clinics

STEVE MACKNEY is out to kick a few goals as Football Far North Coast general manager, and has done just that with his latest coup for local soccer.

Heading to town next week are national technical director Han Berger, assistant national director Alistair Edwards, and Barcelona Escola coach Ruben Della.

The trio, together with support staff, will deliver the most comprehensive coaching courseregional Australia has seen at Goonellabah from next Friday, January 22, to Monday, January 25.

The four-day free coaching symposium will feature two intensive days on the new FFA National Curriculum and two further days on the youth development methodology of one of the world’s premier clubs, FC Barcelona.

“This is huge for football in our region,” Mackney said.

“For all coaches, players and even parents within our broad geographical proximity to have the opportunity to come and listen to such football experts is massive.”

Over the course of the first two days, the full National Football Curriculum – the 1-4-3-3 System – will be presented by Berger and Edwards.

Australia’s finest coaches will hold topic specific sessions on soccer conditioning, creating width and depth, encouraging decision making, skill acquisition, and curriculum building blocks.

Former Socceroo and SBS soccer analyst Craig Foster will also attend across all four-days.

“The two coaching directors have advised me that all FFA coaches will be able to accumulate points for their coaching accreditation by attendance at the course,” Mackney said.

For the third and fourth day, the emphasis switches to techniques for younger players, with Della tailoring a course to include theoretical and practical aspects of the game for every coach.

The Barcelona mentor will address issues such as the philosophy behind his club, player identification, player values and principles, player development and age-related progression, as well as running practical sessions to put everything into practice.

Steve O’Connor, former Australian Institute of Sport head coach and now youth coach of Sydney FC, will be attending,as are Kimon Taliadoris, David Zdrilic and others.

“There will be an illustrious turnout; some of the ‘who’s who’ of coaching,” Mackney said.

Both courses are free and everyone is welcome, including coaches, players and interested parties.

Registration is required via email to or by contacting the Football FNC office.