Victoria’s largest junior pre-season soccer tournament, Bendigo Boys FC, is just over a month away.
Football Federation Victoria technical director and former New Zealand international Sean Douglas said the event was a perfect lead-up to the 2013 season.
The FFV-run seven-a-side tournament is on March 16-17 at Epsom Huntly Recreation Reserve and will involve boys from under-10 to under-16 age groups competeing on half-sized pitches.
“The confined space fosters fast and precise play and maximises players’ touches on the ball,” said Douglas.
More than 950 players from Bendigo, Kyneton, Castlemaine, Swan Hill, Albury, Echuca, Ballarat and metropolitan Melbourne took the opportunity in 2012 to prepare for the winter season in a fun, yet competitive environment.
FFV is anticipating another strong turnout for the fifth version of this annual tournament.
“Some of the best players in the world grew up playing street football. Playing in a smaller space and with fewer people speeds up player development and teaches players to control the ball under pressure,” said Douglas.
“With each team playing a minimum of four games over the weekend, the tournament offers more opportunities both technically and tactically for teams to try out new things ahead of the regular season.
“If something doesn’t quite work they can work on it immediately rather than waiting a week for another competitive game.”
While trialists for Victoria’s 2013 state squads have already been notified, Douglas said that FFV scouts would still be at the event on the lookout for future talent.
“We are always on the lookout for talented players and with almost one thousand players taking part in 2012 it’s a great opportunity to identify players and see how they improve over time,” he said.
Team entries for Bendigo Boys FC close on February 22.