Around the Clubs

All aboard for North Coast Football evolution

July 14th, 2021

Twenty local youngsters will this week begin a special journey under the well schooled eyes of North Coast Football’s Player and Coach Development Manager Alex Nolan.
The ESAP program (Early Skill Acquisition Phase) runs for 10 weeks at Leisure Park and 40 youngsters trialled for a place in a development course more prized than a ticket on the Hogwarts Express.
The target cohort is seven to nine-year-olds – and it’s a significant step to aligning with much of the rest of the football world who introduce elite skill coaching for youngsters at an earlier age.
“The ESAP program focuses on mastering the ball. We seek to develop creative players who love having the ball and can make correct decisions when under pressure,” Alex said.
“The rich variety of movements, technical actions and decision-making developed in the ESAP phase can help develop highly skilled and well-rounded, confident young people.”
In his new role at NCF, Alex is particularly excited to roll out the ESAP program.
“I love working with kids of this age. You can see the progress very quickly and generally there’s a massive improvement,” he said.
While Alex said the program needed to be fun and engaging, it would provide a considered pathway for player development.
“This is the time players master the art of dribbling, being exciting with the ball and seeking creative solutions,” he said.
“We want our players to be able to deal with the ball in a variety of environments but the message is always clear: love having the ball and be exciting when in possession.”
The rich variety of movements, technical actions and decision-making developed in the ESAP can help develop highly skilled and well-rounded, confident young people.
The aim is to provide the necessary technical tools to players in order to help them be able to play the game at the highest possible level, with a focus on functional game skills.
ESAP squad: Kai Brian, Taj Carniato, Piper Daley, Harrison Deans, Thane Easman, Mase Feltrin, Louie Francis, Louis Harrigan, Edison Hay, Oliver Horton, Huon Jurd, Archer Lee, Ashdan Lee, Harsaaj Lehl, Bonnie O’Neill, Cohen Straw, Lachlan Speirs, Jaxx Trottman, Ebony Forsythe and Sebastian Wiseman.

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