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Stoke City FC Under 11′s showed that the future could be bright for the Potters after coming out on top at a regional Futsal tournament that was organised by the Premier League™ in Birmingham recently. The squad (pictured below at the 2012 Grassroots Football Show) completed the tournament with a 100% record having competed against Reading FC, Wolverhampton Wanderers FC, Aston Villa FC, Swansea FC and Bristol City FC with this success being all the more rewarding given the fact that the majority of the U11 squad are from Stoke-on-Trent it-self.

Stoke City FC Academy Manager, Dave Wright (see below image) said: “It’s great for the lads to have some tournament experience that can be a really big part of their development. Futsal is focuses on developing a player’s technique and skill, which ties in nicely with the Coerver Coaching programmes that are been implemented at the Academy”.

Stoke City FC Lead Foundation & U11 Coach, Will Ryder added “The incorporation of Coerver Coaching into our programme has shown to really benefit the players when using their 1 v 1 skills, which is key both in and out of possession in futsal. The fact that we work on quick changes of direction, mini opposed and fast break attack practices was evident throughout the day”.

“The players have a really good understanding of the format and rules of futsal and how to incorporate our playing philosophy into the 5 v 5 structure. They showed when and how to counter attack and when to show patience to build and retain possession to wait for an opportunity to attack so we were really pleased with their performance throughout the day”.

Coerver® Coaching UK Director, Scott Wright (see above image) who works as Coach Developer/Technical Coach at the club added “It is a fantastic achievement to see our boys playing so well in this Premier League tournament against quality academy opposition. We are really happy with how the players are transferring the Coerver based work from training into game play and performances such as this show that the boys are developing their ability to use their skills effectively and consistently, at game speed, under game pressure, at the right time and in the right place”.

“It is very satisfying to see these components come together in a game environment as this is ultimately where we can assess if the work we are delivering in training is effecting the understanding and development of each player. I’m pleased to say that we are seeing this on a regular basis which validates our programme here at Stoke City and bodes really well for the future of the club”.

Stoke City FC are one of only a select number of clubs in the country to have achieved Premier League™ Category 1 academy status and at the time of writing have scored within the top three highest grades in the country from independent academy assessors, Foot PASS.

Coerver® Coaching have provided support through the Partner club programme since 2011 with specialist support being provided to the club in a number of areas. This includes Technical Coaching for the players, Coach Education for the staff, Age specific session planning and a cutting edge home study website that supports the education of all players and coaches.

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Former Coerver® Australia kid Tom Rogic has this week signed for Scottish Champions Celtic FC from Australian A-League side Central Coast Mariners on a four-and-a-half-year deal with a transfer fee of £450,000 being quoted. Tom has had a fantastic season in the A-League where he has played 24 times scoring five goals which had put him on the radar of a host of professional clubs in Europe.

The 20-year-old has been on trial with Celtic on their recent winter training camp in Spain and, work permit permitting, will join the squad and be available for selection for the re-start of the SPL season at Parkhead against Hearts on Saturday 19th January 2013. A host of Premier League™ clubs, including Fulham, QPR and Reading, were also said to be keen on signing Rogic but Celtic was the preferred destination for the Australian International midfielder.

Former Celtic midfielder Michael McGlinchey, who was a team mate of Rogic at A-League side Central Coast Mariners, feels that he could be the missing piece in Neil Lennon’s Celtic jigsaw and said “When Tom found out Celtic were interested I said it would be a great move, he had other offers but I told him he had to go to Celtic and I know he was keen on going to Spain with them to see their set-up. He was excited about finding out what the club is all about. Tom’s well capable of making a real name for himself in Scotland. He’s already in the Socceroos squad and over here everyone is talking about him as Australia’s new wonderkid”. (see below image of Tom Rogic playing for the Australian National Team).

“From what I’ve heard, Celtic need a No.10 type player to unlock defences with killer passes, especially in games at Parkhead, Tom could do that, he has all the attributes to play that role. We play 4-2-3-1 and he operates just off the striker. Tom likes to play between the lines, he has a great left foot and an eye for goal. He has an unusual style and is one of those guys who just seem to glide with the ball. He’s the type of player Celtic fans will enjoy watching”.

McGlinchey was stunned by Rogic’s quality when he turned up for training with the Mariners last season. He appeared after winning a talent competition that saw him named one of the eight best young footballers in the world. And McGlinchey isn’t surprised that a year after joining them, clubs such as Celtic, Reading, Fulham and QPR were after his signature.

The 26-year-old midfielder, who left Celtic in 2009 and is now a regular in the New Zealand national team, said: “It’s incredible to think Tom has only been a full-time pro for 12 months – his progress has been fantastic. He was still playing Futsal about a year ago. He was in a squad that went over to England and that’s when Reading were keen on him but they couldn’t get a visa. He joined us towards the end of the season and we couldn’t believe how good he was. Tom has real quality and he’s different as he’s 6ft 2ins and can play as an attacking midfielder or up front”.

“He’s unusual because, despite his size, he’s got great feet, he’s just a terrific footballer and I’m not surprised so many teams were after him.”

Everyone at Coerver® Coaching is extremely proud of Tom, who adds his name to the long list of players to have developed under the Coerver® programme and have gone on to fulfil their dream of being a professional footballer, WELL DONE TOM!.

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Former Coerver® Australia kid Tom Rogic has this week signed for Scottish Champions Celtic FC from Australian A-League side Central Coast Mariners on a four-and-a-half-year deal with a transfer fee of £450,000 being quoted. Tom has had a fantastic season in the A-League where he has played 24 times scoring five goals which had put him on the radar of a host of professional clubs in Europe.

The 20-year-old has been on trial with Celtic on their recent winter training camp in Spain and, work permit permitting, will join the squad and be available for selection for the re-start of the SPL season at Parkhead against Hearts on Saturday 19th January 2013. A host of Premier League™ clubs, including Fulham, QPR and Reading, were also said to be keen on signing Rogic but Celtic was the preferred destination for the Australian International midfielder.

Former Celtic midfielder Michael McGlinchey, who was a team mate of Rogic at A-League side Central Coast Mariners, feels that he could be the missing piece in Neil Lennon’s Celtic jigsaw and said “When Tom found out Celtic were interested I said it would be a great move, he had other offers but I told him he had to go to Celtic and I know he was keen on going to Spain with them to see their set-up. He was excited about finding out what the club is all about. Tom’s well capable of making a real name for himself in Scotland. He’s already in the Socceroos squad and over here everyone is talking about him as Australia’s new wonderkid”. (see below image of Tom Rogic playing for the Australian National Team).

“From what I’ve heard, Celtic need a No.10 type player to unlock defences with killer passes, especially in games at Parkhead, Tom could do that, he has all the attributes to play that role. We play 4-2-3-1 and he operates just off the striker. Tom likes to play between the lines, he has a great left foot and an eye for goal. He has an unusual style and is one of those guys who just seem to glide with the ball. He’s the type of player Celtic fans will enjoy watching”.

McGlinchey was stunned by Rogic’s quality when he turned up for training with the Mariners last season. He appeared after winning a talent competition that saw him named one of the eight best young footballers in the world. And McGlinchey isn’t surprised that a year after joining them, clubs such as Celtic, Reading, Fulham and QPR were after his signature.

The 26-year-old midfielder, who left Celtic in 2009 and is now a regular in the New Zealand national team, said: “It’s incredible to think Tom has only been a full-time pro for 12 months – his progress has been fantastic. He was still playing Futsal about a year ago. He was in a squad that went over to England and that’s when Reading were keen on him but they couldn’t get a visa. He joined us towards the end of the season and we couldn’t believe how good he was. Tom has real quality and he’s different as he’s 6ft 2ins and can play as an attacking midfielder or up front”.

“He’s unusual because, despite his size, he’s got great feet, he’s just a terrific footballer and I’m not surprised so many teams were after him.”

Everyone at Coerver® Coaching is extremely proud of Tom, who adds his name to the long list of players to have developed under the Coerver® programme and have gone on to fulfil their dream of being a professional footballer, WELL DONE TOM!.

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Gordon Craig has been a Director of Coerver® Coaching in Scotland for 20 years and during this time he has delivered many Coerver® workshops as a consultant on behalf of the association. Gordon has recently been appointed a position within the newly formed National Performance department which has been put together to deliver the Scottish FA’s £10 million Performance Strategy (see below image with Gordon Craig, Scott Booth – Scotland U16 Coach & Mark Wotte – Scottish FA Performance Director).

As part of the Performance Strategy, seven schools throughout the country have been selected to house the cream of Scotland’s talented young footballers. There, they will marry their football education with their normal school curriculum as part of the Scottish FA’s commitment to elite player development.
Seven coaches have been appointed to work in conjunction with the schools and the players’ clubs to enhance their technical skills at a key stage of their development, Gordon is in charge of the Performance School at Braidhurst High School in Motherwell.

Each coach is responsible for up to 20 of the most talented under-12 players in their region – both boys and girls – and are to provide a minimum five extra coaching sessions focusing on skills development. Over a four-year period, this will provide the most talented young footballers throughout the country with an extra 800 sessions.

Led by Scottish F.A. Performance Director, Mark Wotte, the Regional Performance Schools are the crown jewels of the Performance Strategy. A series of football festivals involving senior clubs, boys and girls clubs and school teams helped the performance team to identify the best players eligible for each school in time for enrolment in August 2012.

Wotte believes the new schools will help produce Scotland internationalists of the future and spoke enthusiastically of the relationship between the Scottish FA, education authorities, local authorities and the clubs. “The creation of the Regional Performance Schools is one of the most significant and positive developments for Scottish football in decades. The schools will enhance the coaching provided by clubs by implementing an individual player development programme by our experienced football teachers. Our young players need more contact time with the ball and must develop key skills like balance, agility, speed, movement and co-ordination.”

In addition to his role within the Performance School programme, Gordon has also been working with the best young players in the country as part of the technical staff for the U16 National team. This included Scotland’s recent participation in the Sky Sports Victory Shield, which is the first time players will fully represent their country in a home nations tournament with Scotland, England, Ireland and Wales taking part. In the most recent game Scotland visited England, taking them all the way to a narrow loss of 1-0 in extra time in front of an enthusiastic 4,000 crowd at Burton Albion FC (see above image).

Part of the preparations for the game included 4 days at the new £105 million England National Training at St Georges Park in Staffordshire (see above image). Gordon Craig said “ The SFA are focusing on technical excellence and developing a strategy to produce special players for the future. This has given me the chance to take 20 years of Coerver work and experience to the best players in the country. Playing with the best versus the best is key in making sure the players not only have the technical skills but the tactical, physical and mental skills to match. It’s our job as coaches to inspire and ignite player’s inner confidence and help them to reach their full potential.”

“One highlight of the trip to England was working and staying at the magnificent facilities at St Georges, as well as meeting Scottish Football legend Archie Gemmel who visited the squad as we trained in the build up to the game. Everyone remembers the great individual goal Gemmel scored in the 1978 World Cup when Scotland beat a great Holland team 3-2 with the Dutch going on to the 78 Final against Argentina despite our win. For me its goals like Gemmel’s against Holland that inspired me as a young footballer and encapsulated why I’ve taught the Coerver method to so many young players and shared my knowledge to other coaches, perhaps looking to recreate such memorial moments. Coerver can inspire the future generation we are all working so hard to develop. Players who can play with flair, freedom and confidence on the world stage and who can create magical goals”.