Legendary Socceroo Harry Kewell has spent the last two evenings at Lindfield Football Club running a football master class as part of his new venture: The Harry Kewell Academy.
Kewell, who played for Leeds, Liverpool and Galatasaray, was capped 58 times for Australia and is probably best known for his goal for Australia against Croatia which took Australia through to the knockout stage of the World Cup in 2006.
When talking about his academy Kewell said “Three of the most important things I’ve learned in my career are: Work hard, get the basics right and get good people around you.”
I’ve heard about these sorts of football academies before, where a group of coaches band together and trade on the name of a team or football star who rarely makes an appearance. Not so this evening; Harry was right in the middle of the large group of kids, completely focussed, working with each player on their technique. He was clearly doing what he enjoyed. Yes, he is supported by several other coaches, but that means players get a lot of time in a one-on-one situation having their skills analysed and developed.
And there were a lot kids who were keen to be involved. Aged from 8-15 years old there was a great cross section of boys and girls. When I spoke to one of the organisers, they told me that the classes sold out in minutes. “We organised two nights, with seventy places each evening and every spot sold in minutes”. There is clearly an appetite for high quality football skills training classes in the area and Lindfield FC are to be applauded for taking the initiative.
The classes were held on Lindfield’s new all-weather pitches beside their clubhouse and it was clearly a success with dozens of parents watching on as their kids were given a football mater class by a legend of the game.