Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Selections trials for Tasmanian Indigenous team

Photos (Top to Bottom): John Moriarty; Ivan Stefanovic, John Moriarty and Sean Collins at Clare Street; One of the Indigenous youngsters testing his skills; The trialists are all ears as the coaches explain what is required; Franco Previdi puts the trialists through their paces

The first trials to select a Tasmanian Indigenous youth soccer team were held simultaneously in Hobart and Launceston on Sunday.

Fox Sports TV host Andy Harper conducted a training session and trial in Launceston, while local coaches Dale Itchins and Franco Previdi did the same at KGV Park.

Also in attendance at KGV was John Moriarty, Football Federation Australia’s Indigenous ambassador for football and the first Aboriginal ever to be selected to play soccer for Australia.

A dozen young Tasmanian Indigenous players attended the Launceston trials, while 14 trialed at KGV.

A Tasmanian squad of 15 will be selected after further trials to represent the State at a national Indigenous festival of football in Townsville from the 4th to the 10th of July this year.

“I’m here specifically to see the kids train and play and be coached as part of this selection process,” said Moriarty.

“They look very keen and a couple are just bursting out of their skins, which is what we like to see in kids of this age coming into the sport.

“This is particularly so because the festival in Townsville is the first time that something like this has been done with football in the Indigenous community in this country.

“At the Launceston clinic, we’ve even got a couple of kids from Cape Barren Island, which is a fantastic thing for those kids to be involved in.

“These clinics are the first part of the process to bring Indigenous kids together for the football festival in Townsville and we hope that many more will come out and provide their names to Football Federation Tasmania to get involved.

“It’s not a closed shop and we’d like all kids who are interested to come out and have a kick and be involved.”

Moriarty was impressed with some of the talent on display at KGV and he later attended a Premier League match at Clare Street between New Town Eagles and Kingborough Lions United.

“I saw one particular kid who has a tremendous amount of talent,” said Moriarty. “He’s pretty mobile, pretty switched on and can anticipate where the ball will be and, importantly, where it’s going to go.

“His instinctive play can be picked out even at this early age.”

FFT coach, Dale Itchins, said it was a welcome new initiative and almost 30 players had attended the two trials.

“None bar one of the kids plays for a club and they’ve come from the Indigenous community and, generally, they’ve been okay,” said Itchins.

“They’re willing to learn and discipline is good and things are going well.

“FFA will fund the Tasmanian squad to go to Townsville and there’ll be a staff of three accompanying them, namely a coach, manager and an assistant coach.

“We’d like to get a squad of 15 together in the end in which the emphasis is on talent.

“Franco and I are both enjoying working with these kids because they’re so enthusiastic.”


ddmd said...

Good to see the trials were not a closed shop like nsw's trials. Unless you were from dubbo or moree you were told to hit the road. Participation - yeah right. And how come the great aboriginal socceroo Harry Williams was not involved in the festival. Was he even asked?

172007 said...

Its pleasing to see John Moriarty still involved in the game. He was also a great aboriginal footballer like Harry Williams. Harry should have been the ambassador for NSW not W.M. It is possibe there was politics involved with the NSW selections for the festival. Hasn't Warren got ambitions to run for a labor seat within the Dubbo Moree areas. The FFA should have ensured politics were kept out & held proper-fair selection trials (with help from Football NSW) for all kids who were interested. This would have been the fairest way to produce the best possible NSW team-s to compete. Just like the other states did.