TOP TECHNIQUES: Juniors must be taught the right way to tackle according to Ipswich Diggers 20s coach Chris Doyle.
TOP TECHNIQUES: Juniors must be taught the right way to tackle according to Ipswich Diggers 20s coach Chris Doyle. Franca Tigani

Why footy kids 'need better coaching'

IPSWICH rugby league clubs are losing players because juniors are not being properly developed and taught to play the game, says Diggers Under-20s coach Chris Doyle.

According to Doyle parents paying hundreds of dollars in registration were entitled to expect their children were learning to play safely with the correct technique but clubs were not supplying coaches with the necessary knowledge.

He said regardless of which grade was being contested, players should be given every opportunity to develop and this was not occurring.

"I want to get my point across about how terrible it is at a junior level," he said.

"Parents are paying good money but the standard of coaching is disgusting.

"The clubs need to spend time developing coaches."

Doyle said it was all too easy to blame the NRL and QRL, and clubs needed to take responsibility for ensuring coaches were equipped with the necessary knowledge.

The former NRL coaching mentor, who was employed to train coaches at a grassroots level, said many junior coaches thought they were Wayne Bennett because they watched football on the television but knew very little about the basics of the game.

He said inexperienced coaches were often taking charge of teams that they were not qualified to manage and that winning was being over-emphasised at a young age when the focus should be on development.

"You've got coaches going straight into Under-16s and 18s, and trying to make a name for themselves by winning championships," he said.

"There is a win at all costs mentality.

"Teams are playing to win when they should be striving to compete at their best."

Doyle said many teams trained with very little contact when they should be practising under full contact to ensure players were physically prepared and deploying safe techniques.

"The coaches do not know how to coach," he said. "They just practise set moves all night.

"The kids need to be able to tackle one-on-one with both shoulders and pass a footy.

"That hasn't changed in 100 years. In the end it is the kids who miss out."

While working for the NRL it was Doyle's role to make sure coaches were teaching the correct methods.

He said the initiative proved highly successful and was embraced by the majority of coaches, who genuinely wanted to learn.

Though encouraged by their willingness, Doyle said more could be done to supplement the positive impact of that program.

In his opinion, a minimum standard of coaching should be enforced in order to lift the overall quality of the Ipswich competition.

He said if Ipswich was to succeed in future years at the Chairman's Challenge this issue needed to be addressed.

Doyle's comments come after his talent-rich Ipswich Diggers Under-20s bowed out in straight sets on the weekend.

Though praising the resilience and grit displayed by his players, Doyle said there were noticeable deficiencies in skill and fitness.

"We're still a fair way off," he said.

"On getting into the grind and competing at 100 per cent, we have them covered.

"But on pure skill and fitness we get lapped every time. There is daylight between them."

Expectations were high leading in but a luckless Ipswich outfit had their chances cruelled when a number of its stars went down injured in the opening clash with Brisbane.

Finishing the game with just one man on the bench, the Diggers delivered a gallant performance but went down 16-14 with a late chance to equalise narrowly missing.

Backing up against the Gold Coast the next morning with the bare 13, Ipswich hung tough, going down 20-14.

West End's Reece Broadway showed courage to play on for 50 minutes after suffering a broken hand. His performance impressed Doyle who said he had no doubts that Broadway would become the premier prop in the Ipswich competition.

Other standouts for the Diggers included Goodna's AJ Sausoo and Fassifern's Charlie Christensen.

"In my mind we were far from beaten," he said. "The boys were just outstanding.''

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