Guest Coach Craig Foster at ESFA SAP


Craig Foster was a special guest coach for the ESFA Skills Acquisition Program on Friday.

The rising stars, aged 10 and 11, experienced a specialised training session that focused on technique and game understanding. The exercises developed the player’s control and passing and instilled game concepts that will remain with them for their entire playing lives.

Foster, a former Socceroo and currently SBS Chief Football Analyst, is studying for his FFA Advanced A License and conducting sessions for various ages across both the men’s and women’s game at Queen’s Park, ESFA, FNSW Institute teams and the Koala’s Women’s Premier League team.

“I’m thankful these organisations allow me the flexibility to work with their elite players as my schedule permits and the opportunity to work with all ages and both genders with my daughter at Queen’s Park Under 7’s, ESFA Under 11 SAP mixed squad, FNSW Institute Under 13 and Under 16 males and senior women at the Koala’s is invaluable to develop a wide range of tools and understand the different needs of males and females, all within the philosophical framework of the National Curriculum.

These sessions cover all of the developmental stages of discovery, skill acquisition, game training and performance, providing a broad understanding of the components and vital importance of each stage to the subsequent work.

I’m delighted to report that the kids at ESFA are a pleasure to work with, are committed to working hard and are open to learning and, given the importance of laying correct foundations for every elite player, these programs are absolutely critical to providing a sound education from the very beginning.

As former players, we all have a responsibility to donate our time wherever possible and I look forward to watching the kids develop and grow as both players and people, as they learn the important life lessons of the game.”

In 2013, ESFA is one of the inaugural licensees for the revamped Football NSW Skills Acquisition Program (SAP) and incorporates the fundamental principles of the FFA National Curriculum and Small Sided Football Regulations.

Greg Kokoviadis, the ESFA SAP Technical Director, outlined the nature of the program.

“We have the kids training in an intense, technically focussed program designed to develop them as well rounded footballers. The main focus of the SAP program is to provide them with the building blocks of football technique that are fundamental to becoming a top player.”

ESFA President Raff Del Vecchio shares Craig and Greg’s enthusiasm.

"I’ve been looking at the development of these kids from trials to now, and the players are learning a lot and, as importantly, really enjoying their football. We’re focussed primarily on their technical development and ensuring they acquire all the necessary tools to progress as elite players.”

ESFA has a proud history with youth representative programs; including winning the Centenary Cup in both 2011 and 2012 and players who have come through ESFA programs in recent years now grace a variety of clubs that will compete in the NSW Premier League 1 and Premier League 2 in 2013.