Yet again Rosario YFC are breaking new ground by setting up the first coaching scheme in the country for younger players.

Thirteen players between the ages of 14 and 18 have been selected to take part in the innovative scheme which aims to give them the skills to coach within the club or further afield.

The junior coaches joined their ‘more mature’ counterparts last Sunday (8th), gaining their Grass Roots training qualification, and will get assistance to obtain their level 1 qualification in the near future.

The recruits will get two one-to-one sessions with a UEFA B coach and, capitalising on the club’s recent partnership with St Mirren FC, they will travel to the Scottish club at the end of the season and receive coaching from their squad of Scottish Premiership coaches.

The IFA are following the club scheme closely and have indicated they will help the recruits gain experience in different aspects of the game including refereeing, marketing and media.

The club also intend to strengthen the recruits’ mental fitness and are organising several wellbeing workshops, a first aid course and a safeguarding session, which will stand to them on and off the football pitch.

As well as their own training the junior coaches have been helping other coaches from the senior team to under 6s, gaining practical coaching experience over one or more session per week.

Once the trainee has chosen a year group which suits them best, they will join the coaches of that group for the rest of the season, attending training sessions and matches where possible.

The group will be required to stay with the club for another year and coach, but it is hoped the players will remain committed to the Roses for years to come.

Chairperson Ciara Boyes, says the scheme she has initiated will benefit the club and young coaches but in the long term could also help maintain the club’s policy of not turning any players away. “Unfortunately Rosario YFC has been a victim of its own success and we are finding it difficult to recruit enough coaches to keep up with the number of players joining us,” she said.

“We have the resources, knowledge and the expertise to develop in-house coaches and, in the process, retain players to stay within Rosario YFC and gain a skill to benefit the club, the community and most importantly themselves.”

Ciara also hopes that this scheme will help to keep the players who regularly fall away in their teens, either from outside distractions or a belief that they are not good enough to contribute to the club.

“As the players graduate into Junior Soccer, the standard of football becomes more competitive and with other issues in young people’s life such as exams, school and other activities, we see a decrease in interest,” she explained. “This scheme can convince them they are still part of our team.”

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