Monday, June 22, 2009

Shai Maynard is a unique footballer

Photos (Top to Bottom): Shai Maynard goes through his paces; The players listen to coach Dane Hudson; Hudson demonstrates juggling skills; Hudson explains a point during training; Tasmania's coach, Dane Hudson, also coaches Prospect Knights in the Forestry Tasmania Northern Premier League; Shai Maynard...a unique young footballer

There would not be many young association football players who travel to training by light aircraft.

Shai Maynard, 15, a member of Tasmania’s representative youth indigenous soccer team is one.

Maynard lives and goes to school on Cape Barren Island and must travel by light aircraft each week to the mainland before attending state training in either Launceston or Hobart.

He is in grade 9 at the small school on the island and his soccer activities are encouraged and supported by teacher Judy Hunter.

Maynard is looking forward to an even longer trip by commercial jet early next month when the Tasmanian indigenous team travels to Townsville for the inaugural national Indigenous festival of football, which will be held from the 4th to the 10th of July.

“I’ve played soccer for the school before, but this is the first time I’ll have played for Tasmania,” Maynard said at State training at the Showgrounds in Derwent Park on Sunday.

“It’s a good game and we have a kick around at school.

“I can’t wait to go to Townsville for the tournament because it’s going to be fun.”

Maynard would love to become a professional soccer player and follows the progress of two of Australia’s leading A-League indigenous players, Jade North and Travis Dodds.

Coach of the Tasmanian indigenous team, Dane Hudson, 47, of Launceston, is pleased with the way preparations are going.

“Training is going really well,” said Hudson, who coaches Prospect Knights in the northern Premier League.

“Each one of the boys has turned up consistently over the weeks so it’s just a matter now of becoming a team and making sure the boys get to know each other well enough.

“Each boy has a twinkle in his eye and they’re all keen to do well.

“As a senior club coach, I can see a pathway now developing for these boys, even though some of them haven’t yet become a part of football in Tassie.

“I’m sure that those who are already involved in football will continue on.”

Hudson said the team will fly out on 3 July and, apart from the actual games, there will also be coaching sessions for all the teams.

“Hopefully, I’ll be able to tap into some coaching up there and see what is being done at a junior level.’ Hudson said.

“There’ll also be some time away from the games for the boys just to relax a little bit and enjoy each other’s company outside the game.”

No comments: