Showtime Soccer School is back up and running and Olympia FC Warrior’s Academy Director Nick Taylor couldn’t be happier with the response he’s had from parents and players, during these difficult circumstances with the COVID-19 restrictions still in place.
I was invited out to Warrior Park last night to cover the Academy’s return.
“Tonight was our junior academy setup, Tuesdays and Thursdays ranging from 8-12 year olds and that’s been our real focus throughout 2019” Taylor said.
“To have a really advanced program under the ages of 13 who work harder in a structured environment with other likeminded kids. We had a great turn out of 30 to 40 kids tonight which is great for a Tuesday night”.
During the global pandemic a lot of clubs have had to think outside the box to keep in contact with their players and staff. Showtime and Olympia’s Academy may of taken it a step further than most!
“We went social media crazy. With our Youth Academy and Showtime Soccer pages we started uploading videos. Wednesdays and Fridays fitness & skills videos where we got players involved and included follow up emails every Sunday with jobs for kids to do”.
“As much communication as we could with Football Tasmania and parents to keep people in the loop”.
One of Showtime’s bases they have launched is out over the Tasman Bridge at Cambridge Soccer Club.
“Cambridge was always part of the plan as we already have an affiliation with the club. We provide Coaches for them. The facility is geographically perfect for us to branch out with Olympia and Showtime”.
In a statement released last week by FT they announced that clubs would now be able to train again provided they get council approval and only field small groups of ten players.
“Basically with the new COVID-19 rules the groups are smaller so we can’t run as many people on the field so it’s sort of forced us to use Cambridge more. We used their bit last year but now we are going to make it real hub for junior football moving forward into 2021 and and at end of 2020”.
Taylor said he is blessed to have such a huge group of willing coaches and players to help out the Academy.
“The last two weeks has been fee-free so no Academy players have been charged so in that we needed volunteer coaches”.
Some of the coaches include;
- Rob Clarke (2019 Olympia NPL Coach)
- Andrew Brown (Current NPL Coach) Coaching Juniors
- Stuart Collins who works in the WSL setup
- Tomasz Pinkiewicz(Southern Championship)
- Loic Feral (NPL) , Calum and Declan Brown (NPL) Coaching Juniors
- Jack Duffy (NPL) Coaching U18s
- Ryan Granquist Coaching Juniors
“All fantastic coaches. We have had 11 to 12 put their hand up for coaching in the next 4-6 weeks. Most of them coach the programs anyway but we are overwhelmed with who we have at the moment”.
Taylor believes Tasmania is leading the way with the return of what he hopes will be a standard home and away season for all competitions.
“I speak to people in the US and UK almost daily. Obviously QLD which is where I was from before here. I think the timing feels right for me and if we are going to get a season going then we probably do need to start”.
“For home and away fixtures, cup competitions, junior and youth we need more football. I think technical directors need to work more together to organise more pre season friendlies and post season for sure”.
“I don’t know why we try to complicate things, seems to be a Tasmania trait and the will with junior and youth soccer every year. We have changed from 2 senior teams to three. It’s almost spontaneous”.
“I went to the competitions meetings and there was never a suggestion of having more senior teams as it was hard enough to fill two last year”.
Football Tasmania and their work with SPEAK UP Stay ChatTY have been advocating all involved with football maintain their mental health status and Taylor says it’s vital to keep this.
“It is important for the kids, coaches and players to maintain their mental health and play”.
“It is perfect timing for me. FT and FFA are handling it quite well”.
Taylor concluded our chat by touching on the debate of “soccer not football” in his Showtime Soccer School name.
“I wasn’t tempted to make it football school. That would purely be my ego attached to it wanting to call it football school. Soccer school related to primary school kids and their parents and I think the majority of Australians, especially Tasmanian’s with the AFL code so i thought it had a nice ring to it!”
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I must apologise for our absence of reporting over the COVID-19 period. I haven’t had much time to get into the things I wanted to cover but now with the restrictions easing, and a hopeful season start of July I can safely say we will be here ready to go!