Ipswich an option to nurture more exciting young footballers

AT 27, Western Pride technical skill coach Jamie Dixon could still be playing a high level of football in Queensland.

However, coaching and teaching have become his priorities in recent years.

After three years at Olympic, he sees Western Pride as an appealing option to nurture more exciting young footballers, from an early age.

"For me, I am passionate about the skill development. That's why I specialise in and that's what I'll do moving forward,'' Dixon said.

"We've got to get these nines, 10s, 11's kids working.

"Not necessarily leaving their club but we can go to the club and help them.''

Dixon worked with newly appointed Pride technical director Gabor Ganczer at Olympic before accepting his new role.

He favoured Western Pride because of the long-term vision the club has.

"What Pride is doing is an open page,'' he said.

"Come in, can we try this, can we try and do that? And just the way they want to stick to the Football Queensland policies and the FFA regarding trying to help our partner clubs.

"And we concentrate on the best of the best players rather than try and steal every player to try and have 101 teams.''

Dixon grew up in the UK before moving to Australia four and a half years ago.

The centre midfielder played youth team football for Notts Country Football Club in the UK before becoming involved with the Stoke Football Club Academy.

He's going to coach Western Pride's under 13 and under 16 NPL sides next season.

Another part of his work is with the Football Queensland Skill Acquisition Program (SAP).

He's keen to assist even younger players, like under 9 and under 11s.

Dixion has been working with a group in recent Sunday sessions.

A key focus of that ongoing program has been helping develop players from their local clubs, with a view to strengthen their skills when they return.

"What we've done is to actually invite the kids to come two hours, two hours 15 minutes,'' he said.

"And extend that program so we have more contact time with the kids and try and prepare them and enhance their development.''

After the program, talented kids will be invited to work at Pride's training centre at the Briggs Road Sporting Complex.

"From there, we'll try and get out to satellite centres,'' he said.

"As soon as we get this done, we can get out to the partner clubs and settle their centres, help those kids.

"We've got to be proactive and we've got to go to them (catchment clubs) to show them we want to work here.''

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