The lucky 100 Grand Bahama youngsters who make the cut for this year’s Premier League soccer camp won’t just be getting top coaches – they will be learning from someone who actually coaches the coaches.
The day job of Robbie Pringle, who will be joined at the camp again by fellow Brit coach Abbie Sadler, is teaching at a UK college where already-qualified coaches sign up to hone their skills and learn new routines. As such he is at the leading edge of his profession.
The quality of what is on offer is what makes this year’s camp the best deal ever. Not only will there be four pro coaches rather than the usual three to lead the sessions during the week-long event, but the cost of the week has also been slashed from what it has been for the last 10 years.
But those who want to attend will have to sign up soon, because for the first time attendance has been pegged at 100 – well below the average number of kids who have attended each year since the camps began in 2004.
“Parents who want their children to benefit from the great coaches who are coming need to sign up without delay,” said organiser Derek Archer.
The camp is next month – June 19 to June 23 – and as usual is being held at Freeport Rugby and Football Club, with campers getting uniforms to wear as well as lunch every day.
Pringle is really at the leading edge of his profession. After spending eight years as a youth coach for the Football Association in England, he moved on to become assistant head of the youth program at Premier League team Sunderland and then head of the schools’ program and coach development for China super league team Shanghai.
“I currently work across three areas in football: coaching, tutoring and mentoring,” he said. “Coaching involves working directly with players, working with children through to adults. Tutoring involves delivering formal coach education programs and qualifications to coaches as part of their continued professional development. Mentoring involves supporting coaches informally to help improve how they work with their players.”
Pringle and Sadler will be joined by two college coaches from the U.S. In addition to their skills teaching their advice will be very useful for youngsters who are hoping to earn a soccer scholarship.
Parents can get registration forms from Town and Country, Yellow Pine Street, Freeport, where Mary Woodside, head of the Grand Bahama girls and ladies programs, can give lots more details about the camp.
They are also available at the rugby and football club on East Settler’s Way, during evenings and at weekends and Barefoot Marketing on West Mall Drive.