Kick Start for soccer’s next generation

A NEW soccer academy aimed at boys and girls aged 3-8 years will kick off later this month at Golden Square-based Bendigo Major League Sports.

A dual championship-winning coach at Eaglehawk, Nathan Claridge will give tips at the Kick Start Soccer Academy.

“Our first session, which will be weekly, is on November 26,” Claridge said at the Waterson Court-based complex.

“The major emphasis is on developing skills – passing, dribbling, ball control, and one versus one – and most importantly, having fun.”

Claridge said Kick Start was aimed at being an introduction to the sport.

“A goal is to help those who have never played soccer before, but also those who may want on to kick on and play small-sided football.

“At Kick Start the sessions are game-based, not drills.”

The games include Lion King, 1-2-3 Red Light, Egg Hunt, Big Bear and more.

Claridge is looking forward to the challenge of teaching skills.

“I have had a break from coaching (at club level) for a couple of years, but was keen to be involved with the game again,” Claridge said.

 One of the first to sign up for Kick Start, in which the youngsters will be given their own Little Rascals strip to wear, was Nathan and Kirsty Claridge’s four-year-old son, Max.

Nathan and Kirsty, who was a star in midfield for Eaglehawk’s women’s team for many years, have played a lot of soccer.

As a teenager, Claridge spent some time playing college soccer in the United States, and later played for Green Gully before he returned to play and later coach in the Bendigo Amateur Soccer League.

To sign up for the Kick Start Soccer Academy, phone 5447 1077 or visit 

Max and Nathan Claridge are eagerly awaiting Kick Start to kick off. Picture: JODIE DONNELLAN

Max and Nathan Claridge are eagerly awaiting Kick Start to kick off. Picture: JODIE DONNELLAN


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