Legend coming to town
WHEN Brisbane Roar assistant goal keeping coach John Garside said he would bring some of the leading professionals in the game to the Central Highlands, nobody really thought he would go quite this big.
Headlining a list of soccer stars to descend on Emerald later this year for a Roar-supported coaching clinic will be the highly respected former Australian soccer coach, Rale Rasic.
The football great, who led 58 international matches as Australian coach, also laid claim to being the first coach to take Australia to its maiden World Cup final in West Germany in 1974.
Garside made a brief visit to the Central Highlands earlier this year to gauge the viability of staging coaching clinics in the area and confirmed the processes were under way for the first event of its kind run by the Roar in Emerald.
He said to have the likes of Rasic on board was a massive boost for the program and its students.
“He’s an incredible guy – to work with him - I take that as a real compliment,” Garside said.
The football mentoring sessions planned by Garside and his Roar team will be far from one-off visits. The vision was to develop a footprint in Central Queensland like never seen before and tailor a coaching program to reflect the sport’s commitment to stay for the long haul.
“We (Brisbane Roar) are going to create an image that we’re here and we’ll look around,” Garside said. “If we see something that we like, it’s just a matter of saying - ‘keep an eye on that kid there and let us know how he progresses in two months time’.
“I want to bring real football up here and let the kids know the Roar cares and we want you to be part of it – that there is an avenue there now where there wasn’t one before.”
If the September clinics prove successful, the Roar plans to hold regular sessions in the region at least every school holidays.
Garside’s Ultimate Coaching Event will be held from September 17 to 21, with minimum one-hour sessions morning and afternoon.
Application forms are available from the clubhouse at Morton Park on Tuesday and Thursday evenings and will soon be available from the club’s website at www.emeraldeagles.com.au.