What makes a great footballer stand out from just a good one? Technical skills.
Part of the scholarshp with Coerver Greece is, if they feel that that child is of good quality, that they will set up trials with major clubs in Greece – Stacy Christakakis
Beckham would be nowhere if he couldn’t bend the ball.
That’s the philosophy of Coerver Coaching, and it’s what has taken the football coaching program to more than 35 countries.
Inspired by the teaching of Wiel Coerver and created in 1984 by Alfred Galustrian and Chelsea great, Charlie Cooke, it created a program to train coaches and train young children in more advanced, more individual programs tailored in skills rather than generic football tactics. It was before clubs started establishing academies and complemented club basic training. It’s not about winning games, it’s more about finding what skills a child excels at and making them experts at those skills.
The program sailed to Australian shores about 10 years ago and has grown so rapidly that there is now at least one Coerver branch set up in every single state and territory.
One of the newest branches to open is Melbourne Metro Coerver, launched by Anastasios (Stacy) Christakakis.
It caters to inner city youngsters and aspiring coaches but also deals with the state’s growing demand in the West.
The Melbourne North East and South East branches were well developed early on and have amassed a strong following, but Stacy’s Melbourne Metro branch only recently made it into the Coerver club and met with quite a few problems.
“Starting out was difficult, it wasn’t easy,” he tells Neos Kosmos.
“Because there are so many players and so many academies out there, you’ve got about 30 to 50 competitors.
Amazingly, Stacy started out with just two children, and in just a couple of years, he now coaches between 60-70 children on a weekly basis.
The program works perfectly with the 6-16 age groups, and gives players a chance to hone their skills outside their clubs.
“We don’t want to be seen as rivals to clubs, and we’re not,” Stacy says.
“The club is the school and Coerver is the tutor.
“We are assisting, complementing club training, for those who want a little bit more, that’s what we’re there for.”
When looking at the Coerver system, it’s hard to come to terms with the fact that there is no real emphasis on winning games. The pressure really isn’t needed when children are honing skills, not bowing to pressure.
“We don’t do it enough in this country, we still focus a lot on winning, physical attributes and speed and not so much about the ball,” Stacy says.
His passion for coaching has taken him all over the world, and just last year, Stacy travelled to Switzerland to an advanced skills course and got in touch with Coerver Greece and countless other top coaches around the world.
“My roommate was an AC Milan coach, there were Panathinaikos coaches, Athletica Madrid, big Europa league clubs, and here I am, a coach from Melbourne Australia and they treated me equally,” he says.
His connections have made an invaluable impression, and so now Stacy has self-funded a scholarship at Melbourne Metro Coerver to bring a student to Greece for three weeks to train exclusively with Coerver Greece.
“Part of the agreement with Coerver Greece is, if they choose or if they feel that that child is of good quality, that they will set up trials with major clubs in Greece,” Stacy says.
The huge opportunity will see the talented youngster immerse themselves in one of the world’s best football codes.