Celtic FC coach adds expertise to JUFC’s NPL Junior trials

Joondalup United’s National Premier League (NPL) Juniors trials continued for the 11s and 12s at Wanneroo City Soccer Club and were boosted by a visit from Glasgow Celtic’s Celtic International Academy Manager and 13s Academy Coach Chris Hendry.

Currently in Perth scouting a venue for a potential elite player program in January, Chris carved out some time from his busy schedule to put on a small classroom session for the NPL coaching staff followed by a training session for the 11s and 12s.

“Having a partnership which such a massive club like Celtic affords us the opportunities to tap into the wealth of knowledge they possess and gives us a model to try and replicate at Joondalup United, which can only pay dividends for coaches and players alike,” said JUFC Club President Stephen Martin.

If the elite player program in Perth does get off the ground it will be another massive coup for the club and will hopefully see one of the JUFC youngsters heading off to Glasgow to spend some time with Celtic.

“The Development Trials for Joondalup United have reached new heights in the football community in Perth for the 2018 season,” said Darren Brogan, who is the club’s NPL juniors Coaching Co-ordinator, NPL 12s Head Coach and the official liaison with Celtic.

“We are always wanting to try and do things a bit different to what every other NPL club does trial wise; we like to use the small sided games format with lots of touches for the kids, with skills, juggling and different themes going on throughout the trial to make the kids comfortable on the day and maximising the players chance of success.

“Whilst some clubs have set the bar, JUFC have raised it by utilising their partnership with Celtic Football Club and having Chris Hendry, the Celtic International Academy Manager and 13s Academy Coach, on hand to assist with our NPL 11s and 12s was a massive bonus. The trial session, which lasted two and a half hours, gave every child the chance to train in a unique Academy style environment.

“The event was an amazing spectacle with parents and players commenting that the trials were the best they have ever attended with the 40 kids not wanting it to finish. We had the best talent in Perth on show in these age groups which elevates the club to a whole new level in development terms.

“Celtic also put on a coaching seminar before the event which allowed all our coaching staff a unique insight into one of the best academies in the world totalling the most contact days for kids in Europe providing nine sessions per week and games, reaching the 10,000 hours required to reach top level football.”

A big thank you also goes out to NPL First Team Coach Nick Jennings, 20s Coach Stephen McDowall, 13s Coach Greg Hart, 11s Coach Paddy Rooney and first team vice-captain Josh Whitmore for helping with the training session.