International scouts headed to Illawarra in landmark agreement

Talent development: The Illawarra Football Academy's April camp will be led by experienced international coaches. Picture: Mark Tyssen.
Talent development: The Illawarra Football Academy's April camp will be led by experienced international coaches. Picture: Mark Tyssen.

Experienced football coach Lee Waddington is looking forward to arriving in Wollongong to lead his first Illawarra Football Academy training camp.

The FA Master Coach will work for the IFA as part of a partnership with Manchester-based Pro Football Academy that will open up opportunities for talented footballers from the region to travel overseas and chase their footballing dreams. Waddington will be joined by fellow PFA coach Carlos Roca at the camp.

To Waddington, the partnership was a no-brainer, with the two organisations placing an emphasis on developing all-round individuals and focusing on skill-development both on and off the pitch.

“IFA have a similar philosophy as PFA in terms of putting the child at the centre of the development process,” Waddington said. 

“We believe in developing children with character and intelligence to go along with the obvious requirements of the elite game such as the technical and physical elements.”

The camp runs from April 23rd to the 27th at Guest Park, Fairy Meadow, and Waddington is hoping to coach a passionate group of players with a desire to improve their skills.

“We are hoping to observe young players with a love of the game, enthusiasm, high level technical ability, and good physical attributes, including speed, strength and endurance, matched with excellent learning behaviours and character to work hard and succeed.”

Waddington said the partnership will provide the juniors with access to international opportunities thanks to PFA’s network of experienced international coaches.

“PFA can offer players from Illawarra the opportunity to travel to England to participate in academy standard coaching sessions, play in high level academy games and, if of the standard required, be observed by a professional club scout with the aim of securing a trial.

“Pro Football Academy offers players the highest standard of coaching by fully UEFA and FA qualified staff coaches in an elite training environment.”

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