Murray United will continue to prepare the Border’s young soccer stars for the NPL competition by changing its Skill Acquisition Phase (SAP) program to a year-round effort.
The program targets talented boys and girls aged 7 to 12 years wanting to further develop their own technique and skills and will be delivered by Murray striker Gonzalo Freddi and other coaches at the club.
Murray’s Bright Red Academy, previously managed by former coach James Coutts, will also be combined with the SAP program.
SAP training will be held two nights per week for nine weeks, making it 18 sessions during each school term.
To further complement the sessions, players will also play up to five gala days against other regional NPL clubs and will be invited to Murray United senior home games for pre-match and half-time exhibitions.
All sessions have an aim to achieve the correct balance between technical, tactical, physical and educational components according to age and the stage of player development.
It’s not easy, (former coach) James (Coutts) did a great job and I would like to continue the same way, so it’s pretty exciting.Gonzalo Freddi
Freddi has had vast experience coaching juniors in his homeland Argentina before moving to Australia, as well as mentoring the under eights at Dandenong City during his first season in the NPL.
“It’s not easy, (former coach) James (Coutts) did a great job and I would like to continue the same way, so it’s pretty exciting,” Freddi said.
“We’ll be training twice a week developing skills for young children to get them ready for the NPL when they are 12 or 13.
“I like doing it and I’m comfortable working with children and other coaches and learning every day.
“I also worked in a soccer academy one summer in Melbourne called Football Technique Australia, which was a great experience.
“I’ve just kept learning and learning and that has helped me get this job.”
Players can opt in and out each term and are allocated into groups in the first week of each term based on current ability level.
The term one program commences on Monday, January 29, at Albury’s Cadell Street fields.
Expressions of interest for aspiring coaches wanting to join Freddi in the SAP program will be taken up until Friday.
“This is an opportunity for you to become a role model for our wonderful children in a fun, positive, learning environment and to be a part of the only NPL club in the region,” club director Pedro Afonso said.