Brooking visits Caister school

AN expert eye had its sights on the skills of young footballers at Caister High School when former England international Trevor Brooking paid a visit.And the FA's Director of Football Development was pleased with what he saw at a time when the sport's governing body is putting more emphasis on the technical side of the game to prevent a repeat of England's disappointing Euro 2008 exit.

AN expert eye had its sights on the skills of young footballers at Caister High School when former England international Trevor Brooking paid a visit.

And the FA's Director of Football Development was pleased with what he saw at a time when the sport's governing body is putting more emphasis on the technical side of the game to prevent a repeat of England's disappointing Euro 2008 exit.

He said: “I was pleased to see in all the games we were getting passing

and understanding between the players because, from the FA's point of view, we are trying to improve the technical side.”

The former West Ham midfielder visited on Friday to oversee both coaching and players' standards and present awards as part of the FA Charter Standard.

Coaches from Caister FC led the practice sessions involving children from local schools - some of whom

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play in the club's youth section,

which boasts 14 teams from U7s to U17s.

Brooking's role was also to promote healthy lifestyles as part of the preparations for the Olympics in London 2012 and the RESPECT agenda, which aims to improve player discipline and respect for referees.

At a youth level, the agenda is also trying to discourage so-called 'pushy' parents from putting too much pressure on their children by shouting from the touchlines. He added: “From a fitness point of view it is the health side that we want to sustain otherwise we will be putting pressure on the health service in 10 or 20 years' time. There are a lot of opportunities opening up for the Olympics in 2012.”

Brad Stark and Martha Baldwin, both 10, were two youngsters who enjoyed getting the opportunity to display their skills for one of the legends of the game.

Brad, who plays at centre-back for Caister's U11 team, said: “It was fun, I really enjoyed it. We learned passing and communication skills.”

Martha, who plays at full back, said: “We learned basic football skills. I have heard of Trevor before and it was great to be able to meet him.”

The club's secretary John Lewsley said to receive the award the club had to demonstrate how it developed children's footballing abilities by working with local schools.

The youth teams play in leagues in Norfolk while the club's first team plays in Division One of the Anglian Combination League.

He said: “We try to keep a nucleus of teams together. There is infrastructure in place within the county so that boys who have the ability to move on further so they get seen by clubs like Norwich and Ipswich. They can get recruited to the professional team's player development centres within their clubs and then ultimately into their academies.

“The RESPECT agenda promises to be very good. It has been mooted for a while now and hopefully the children will have the freedom to go out and express themselves on the field without interference from the touchlines,” he added.