Hills Football Association might be one of the newer football associations in New South Wales, but it has wasted no time in building a fantastic set of competitions and clubs.
And with a solid player base of 21 clubs and over 13,000 players, General Manager Kurt Johnson said the association is going from strength-to-strength in 2020.
“We have a lot of free come and try days at the start of the year to give those who have never played for before or are looking for a club to come and have a look at the game,” he said.
“We’re also doing introduction to football days so if a new player comes into the association and they’ve never played before we will have a free session for them to attend.
“At those days they’ll learn the basic rules of the game and some basic skills – sort of like a football 101.”
Johnson said that Hills Football was passionate about growing the female participation base in its association and not just for players but for coaches and administrators as well.
“We will be running free women’s coaching courses to help get more girls into coaching positions at our clubs,” he said.
“We will also have some female football admin internships as well. We’re really keen to see more women participate in the sport and that doesn’t just have to be as players.”
Coach education is a big priority across the board and Johnson said the recent appointment of A-Licensed coach Daniel Sheppard as their Head of Football and Technical Director was indicative of the Hills’ commitment to making coach education and support more accessible to the coaches within the association.
Sheppard supports a range of the association’s programs, including it’s Little Legends and Academy programs.
“Little Legends is our 3-5-year-old introductory program,” he said.
“It’s introducing both girls and boys to football, in a fun and safe environment, where we teach kids the fundamentals of football, gross motor skills, life skills as well as providing a great way to make new friends.
“We also have an academy program which provides extended training programs for kids looking to take the next step in their development.
“The academy is open to any Hills footballer aged from 7-years-old to 13.”
The Hills FA also runs a range of school holiday programs to ensure its players have as many opportunities to play football during the year.
Whilst the Hills FA has enjoyed strong growth in its junior ranks in its formative years, there is a new trend which Johnson said is contributing to even more growth of the association.
“Each year the association has increased its player base,” Johnson said.
“We’re seeing strong growth in the junior age groups in the younger under-6, 7, 8s and 9s, but now we’re seeing very big growth in the over-35 ladies as well.
“We’re seeing a lot of mums who have been bringing their kids down show an interest in playing and because a couple took it up a lot of others have realised playing is an option for them, which is great to see.”
With so many options available to parents and players, anyone interested in learning more about the Hills Football Association, its programs and its clubs should head to https://hillsfootball.com.au/ to find a local club or read more about the various programs on offer or check on the club listings on the graphic below.