ON THE BALL 22nd June 2016



ON THE BALL Wednesday 22 June 2016


Saturday morning saw a bit of light rain invade the Soccer grounds but the weather was quite mild and apart from damp gear everyone looked to be having fun. Well the players were anyway. We keep saying it is a winter sport and as Parents pay big money these days for their Sons and Daughters to play, players need to play rain hale or shine as they say. There will be a break for the July School Holidays soon so make the best of it while we can. Our only problem could well be wet grounds and at the present time the grounds are carrying lot of surface water and more rain this week could well mean no play this Saturday.



I took in the Under 9 game between Stags Pink, an all-Girls Team, and MKB Black in light rain. This was a good close game with both sides makings good breaks down both wings only to be stopped by good defence and because of this not many goals were scored, just the same it was an exciting game. The Referee for this game was former STFA Player
16 year old Manessah Humphries who now plays for Manly United in the Sydney under 17 State League. She is out injured at present with a dicky knee.

On the next field, in the under 9s, I think it was the local derby between Workers FC and Workers Blue and this was equally an exciting game. A feature of this game was the young Referee in control of the game, Nick Coppolino. His whistle was loud his signals were good and everyone from the Players to the Parents knew exactly what was going on. You may remember his big brother Julian got a mention here as winner of the Ray Tweedy Medal for best player at the Branch Championships. Their Dad John is a Senior Referee and Mum Rebecca has the tough job of appointing all the Referees.



As we mentioned last week the Girls under 12, 14 and 16 Country Cup played over two days of the long Weekend was a huge success with the Association receiving much praise for the way the two days were run.

It was also a success for one of our local Female Referees, Susan Shephard. Susan has been assessed to go to Sydney to act as an Assist Referee or in the old terms a Linesman for the National Premier Women’s League. After she has been assessed running the lines she will move up to refereeing the Women’s League. Susan who hails from Crookwell has been Refereeing local soccer for a number of years and it is long overdue recognition for her efforts over the years.

Susan, we wish you well and look forward to your success.



A few people would be surprised to know it is over 30 years since the STFA introduced Mini-soccer, now called MiniRoos. In fact it was the 1983 season that we started under 7 Mini-Soccer and in 1984 added under 8s and in 1985 9 a-side, under 9s kicked off. Mind you the rules and size of the fields have changed a little since then, so has the name but the concept is the same. The STFA was one of the first Associations to play Mini Soccer back then.

At the time the move to Mini-Soccer was regarded by many with scepticism, some said it was not real soccer. Real soccer was 11-a-side played on a full sized field. Can you imagine under 8s playing on a big Adult sized field, 100 meters long and 70 meters wide with Adult rules? Well I saw it and you would now wonder why we put those poor little players through that. I remember well the battle we had to convince Clubs this was the right move. It is now accepted and has gone all the way to the under 12s.

The mini game was first established by David Lee of the Kuring-Gai association in 1976.

David Lee was one of the most influential Coaches back then. He was ahead of his time and was responsible for introducing skill into the game. Again he was ahead of his time with this as Coaches of this era thought the only way was to play the kick and chase game.

Thank god we now have a National Federation and Coaches who are coaching skills into the game at MiniRoos level.

The important idea of the mini-game was the pitch and goal size were scaled down to suit the players. For example, the pitch is approximately 3 kicks long and 2 kicks wide just as a full sized field is for adult players.

The idea of the Mini game is to allow the players to be in touch and in contact with the game and get more kicks of the ball thus improving their skills. It also eliminated competition points and tables. This is not to say that winning is not important – of Couse it is – and so is losing, after all, each game is a competition in itself for the young players.

So let us all get behind the MiniRoos which by and large is the case in our Association.



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