Football West officials visited Newman this week as part of the soccer body’s commitment to supporting the game’s development in regional areas.
Former Perth Glory captain Jamie Harnwell, who is Football West Head of Development, and Strategy and Research Officer Henry Fagan spoke with local soccer figures and club development officials during their Newman visit.
“There are so many opportunities for football in regional Western Australian and we’ve seen that in the enthusiasm of the people involved in the game up here in the Pilbara,” said Harnwell, who also conducted an impromptu training session with players from Newman Junior Soccer Association.
“We live in a huge state and it’s important that we do as much as we can to build relationships as far and wide as we can. It’s especially important that we are connecting to smaller towns like Paraburdoo and Pannawonica, where football has a growing presence.”
Funding through the State Sporting Association Annual Grant Scheme will assist Football West in developing a North West Service Delivery Framework to assist football in the Pilbara and Kimberley.
The Newman trip was the first step in establishing the areas specific needs to assist in building capacity and increasing participation.
“We’ve worked with the Junior Association but we also want to help the Senior Association to re-start their men’s competition, which has lapsed in the last few years, while the women’s competition is still going well,” Harnwell said.
“It’s imperative that we find ways to help support the mums and dads who are setting up clubs and associations and setting up ALDI MiniRoos Kick-off programs for their kids to play in.
“Regions account for 23% of player registrations and Football West is committed to developing pathway opportunities for identified talented players, coaches and officials but also for those who just want to participate in the game. Our aim is to reach out directly to as many local clubs and associations as possible to make sure everyone has a great experience.”
Club Development officers from across the Pilbara and representatives from Sport and Recreation were in Newman for the meeting, while others attended via webcam.