MASTERTON - The Whole of Football Plan hit the field in the Wairarapa region for the first time on Sunday 10 April, as Douglas Villa became the first club to get underway with the ASB First Kicks programme.
The ASB First Kicks programme is just one section of the new junior framework of the Whole of Football Plan which is being introduced around the country in 2011.
Douglas Villa coaching coordinator Dave Wright says the club’s decision to run with the new programme was based largely around improving the experience of football for all of those involved in the game: players, coaches and club volunteers.
“Douglas Villa has chosen to run with the Whole of Football Plan as we want to give our players the best development experience possible,” said Wright.
“The First Kicks programme gives all players involved an equal chance to learn and grow within the game at their own pace. The amount of touches the players will get on the ball is the key and in a traditional environment there is not always equal opportunity for players to have touches on the ball or experience success.
“As a club that relies on volunteer coaches the First Kicks programme makes it easy for our volunteers to give the players the tools they need to develop with minimal coaching experience or knowledge about the game. It's fun and easy.”
Compared to his own experience growing up playing football, Dave believes the new framework is a more inclusive approach and it will result in a much improved experience for the players for both social and football development reasons.
“I think it has taken it from an isolated win or lose game situation to kids just playing football. There is less pressure to perform and more opportunity to have fun. There is also more opportunity for involvement from parents as the structure allows parent participation if the player is shy or uneasy about things.”
Capital Football Federation Development Officer for the Wairarapa region, Juan Bautista Propato helped set up the ASB First Kicks programme in the club and believes the programme will flourish with a host of enthusiastic supporters right behind it.
“The attitudes of the club’s volunteers, parents and those who will be delivering the programme will shape the experience for the players involved and I know the kids at Douglas Villa are in the best possible hands.”