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Being involved in football at an early age is what shapes the future to be a professional footballer.
School Of Excellence program since it’s initial years in the 90’s has been dormant throughout; clubs known to implement the program targeting young children are Rangers FC, Naha FC, Koloale FC and mostly the Solomon Islands Football Association (SIFF).
Kids that brought up in the capital Honiara during the 90’s were known part of these program with respective clubs they team up with, since then clubs only concentrated with their senior sides and left the school of excellence program unattended.
Under SIFF’s umbrella, funding for these programs was included when SIFF receive its first allocation of the FIFA Financial Assistance Program (FAP) grant in 1999.
However, with administration woe has been the blamed factor hindering the sustainability of the youth program.
Today, Royal Football Academy (West Honiara) and Marist Football club has stepped in reviving the importance of bringing up a footballer with the same visions.
Marist FC has already two month away into its newly expanded school of excellence (Marist youth football program) with lot of progression and more children being part of their program every Saturday 8am-11am at the DC Park/Panatina field.
“We have registered more than 500 children aged from 4 to 16 years old. Headed by Juliano Schmeling and Patrick Miniti, the program features age appropriate group, pitch and goal sizes which alone with more child friendly approach to competition, aim to improve the experience of football for those taking the first steps in the game. The club is committed to continue raising young footballers and recently we received a lot of positive feedbacks from parents and the public,” the club Management stated.
Their main objective is for a complete development of young players.
“Making sure that yes we groom and educate them on the pitch, and also give them opportunities to grow and excel. We provide a platform to ensure our young players play in safe, supportive, and positive environment.
“We believe that dedication and passion for the game is what makes Marist youth football program so special,” the club stated.
Marist youth football program provides opportunities for every young child in Solomon Islands to learn football and groom them to become fine footballers.
Likewise, Royals Football Association has already into months of engaging young children with a proposed competition for early next month together with the Solomon Islands Planned Parenthood Association (SIPPA).
The competition is set to fall into categories, Under 12, Under 10, Under 14 and Under 18.
“We are preparing these kids for the future, the Championship is engineered to allow kids to experience the joys and the pains of the game early. Also it will help us to scout talented kids at an early age to shape them for national duty,” the organisers stated.
Key features for the school of excellence, Marist Club.
All the children are divided to their respective group age.
– U7s and U8s 5v5 format
– U10s and U12s 7v7 format
– U14s and U16s 9v9 format
Age appropriate pitch and goal sizes
– More touches of the ball
– More goals and scoring attempt
– Increased enjoyment
– Develop technical skills
– Provides better preparation for 11 aside football