Futsal: East Coast Eagles and academy players tested ahead of upcoming year

On target: Academy member Will Navan attempts one of the shooting drills on Sunday. Photo: Paul Jobber
On target: Academy member Will Navan attempts one of the shooting drills on Sunday. Photo: Paul Jobber

HOW do they do what they do?

It’s a common question East Coast Eagles coach Mick Day has been asked on more than one occasion following continued success at national level.

It all starts somewhere as shown by a training clinic run by Jason Buchanan and Soccer Genius Australia on Sunday.

Some players from Football Mid North Coast clubs registered and were run through a five-station clinic that focused on different aspects of football and futsal.

“It’s all laser tested so it’s really accurate,” Day said.

“You test the timing of your dribbling ability, there was a one touch and two-touch passing station, a sprint station, a goal shooting station and a shot power or speed station so it’s testing all aspects of the game.”

Day said while the testing setup was new for a lot of players who attended, it was something their representative players and academy players had become used to.

It enabled them to continue raising the bar and the results followed.

“This is part of our development plan and part of our academy coaching so it’s one training aspect that tests all our players at the beginning of the year,” he said.

“We re-test and re-evaluate mid year and then at the end of the year as well.

“It gives us a guide of how we can finetune each individual player to be able to perform the best they can at futsal and football.”

Day has partnered up with former Socceroo Craig Moore along with former English international Michael Bridges who will run some of the sessions.

“We decided part of our development plan was to share that knowledge and make the sport stronger overall,”  Day said.

“That’s one of the reasons we opened it up because for our academy kids, it is part of their training anyway.”

That local academy is linked to the Alexandria Soccer Academy in the United States, allowing the potential for players to travel between the two.

Day wasn’t concerned that by providing a snapshot of what they did, the gap between themselves and the chasing pack would close.

“I think we’d be stronger as a sport if we all share a bit of knowledge because that’s a belief we have,” he said.

“We have tricks up our sleeve, but a big part of what we do that clubs and teams and coaches don’t understand is we don’t just train, we try and reinvent training and the game.

“What we did at nationals we won’t do again because we’ve used that.

“What we’ll do next time is nothing we’ve seen on YouTube or comes out of a textbook, it comes from seven hours standing in one of the indoor stadiums working out what works and what doesn’t work.”

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