Pdraig Hoare - Wexford Echo, Ireland - August 16, 2007
Even in Europe and the United Kingdom it's tough finding volunteers.
HOW DO you tell a bunch of eager ten-year-olds that there may not be a football season for them after all? That the best they may get is two or three minutes here and there?
That is the precarious position that Forth Celtic may just find themselves in this autumn as there are currently not enough adults to train the youngsters for the various leagues.
The catchment area between Murrintown and Piercestown has grown so rapidly in the last few years that the children who want to play football vast-ly outnumber the coaches who can take them through the season.
Gale Jordan, school-boys’ secretary of the club, told The Echo: “The area has grown so much in the last few years that the club has too. That invariably means more and more youngsters every year.
“It is fantastic to see such enthusiasm from the children but the last thing we want to do is disap-point them and tell them there aren’t enough adults to coach and supervise. We will always accommodate anyone and we wouldn’t dream of turning anyone away.
“But with such large numbers that means there are some who will only get a few minutes on the field and a kick or two. That is disheartening for adults, never mind children.
“That is why we are desperate to recruit anyone interested who would like to give it a go. We want to provide as many teams for children of all ages. We want to provide for girls and boys but we can’t sustain it the way it is. I suppose it’s a bit of an SOS at this stage. The start of the season is close and we are in danger of not having under-10s and 12s. ”
Mr. Jordan wished to emphasise that no experience is necessary for any adults wondering if they were up to it. It’s as much about supervising as coaching, he added.
He said: “If anyone came in who had no experience then we have people at the club who will gladly assist. The club will share the load. We would love women too as there are plenty girls wanting to play for the underage teams.
“Maybe there are young people who want a start in coaching. The club will encourage that also. The FAI run excellent courses and we would back potential coaches all the way. We would also encourage parents from Europe or Africa to come along and provide that experience.
“All it takes is one night a week training and to go to a game every second Saturday. A lot of parents drive their children to the games anyway; it wouldn’t be too hectic for anyone. Logistically the children’s teams are close to each other in the leagues so travel is not an issue.
“We are starting on September 1, so it is really urgent. We cannot disap-point the children.”