Footballers are learning from the best
IPSWICH'S footballers of the future are taking a master class in the world game in their own backyard this week.
A trio of coaches with links to English sides Watford and Reading are in town to pass on some of their skills and knowledge to a group of 27 St Edmund's College players.
While the young lads are put through their paces at the Tivoli Sporting Complex, the visiting coaches also get to further develop their own skills.
Paul Edwards from Football Coaching International said the Brisbane organisation used its English connections to bring some of the top British club academy coaches to Australia.
"These guys coach some of the cream - the elite young players back home," Mr Edwards said.
"They also want to work with the grass-roots players."
For the young St Edmund's players, this week's coaching clinic represents a great opportunity to improve their game.
Western Pride under 14 player and St Edmund's year 9 student Hayden Whyte said the coaching was top class.
"We're learning new things about defending and attacking the space," he said.
The clinic started yesterday and continues until Thursday, with the academy also bringing a top goalkeeper out to the field today to run some specialist lessons.
Visiting coach Tom Laxton, who is currently spending his weekends playing for Mitchelton in the Brisbane Premier League, said he enjoyed the opportunity to train with the youngsters.
"I also came out here last year so it is interesting to see how much the game is growing here," he said.
"The number of kids in each grade is increasing - there is quite a lot of depth."
Although strictly not a scouting mission, the coaches said they did notice a couple of young players who showed definite potential.
St Edmund's deputy principal and sports coach Wayne Warren said if nothing else, the training camp was a great way to further promote the world game in Ipswich.
The school has 17 teams involved in the Associated Independent Colleges Competition.
"It's a good way to build on the enthusiasm the students already have for the game by giving them exposure to some of the best coaches in the game," he said.