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Where better to learn

The Cheltonian’s Football writer, Shane Duff speaks to Emma Logan at about his new business venture

“After 11 years as a professional footballer, I have now been involved in coaching at all levels from grass roots to elite for 2 years and have ventured into developing a business with my own name attached to it, the Shane Duff Soccer School.”

“I have a real passion for exposing children to sport and more specifically football for the immediate future. The business has plans to develop into other sports with the same model further down the line.” Shane Duff Soccer Schools will look to offer an introduction to the game at grass roots level. “Our aim is quite simply, to bridge the huge gap that currently exists between novices and academy football. Football academies were introduced by leading clubs in a bid to identify and nurture talented players from as young as eight years old. The 9,000 or so boys up and down the country, who currently fill the ranks from the Premier League to League Two, are desperate to succeed but the reality is that only a handful will make it to the top.”

“Our soccer camps and club sessions will offer young people the chance to develop their skills and learn new techniques in a safe, fun environment. All coaches are fully qualified and have gone through a thorough examination process. Just having coaching qualifications won’t be enough; I will only utilise coaches who have the same philosophy and ethos that I have. The business is being set up to give the local public an excellent service and I will be ensuring that high standards are driven throughout.”

Children will be taught skills and techniques that have kept Premier League stars at the top of their game. Football at top level is getting better and better as years go by, so it has become more important to give boys and girls the right information at an early age. Youngsters are then adaptable and can take in information like a sponge.

The Shane Duff Soccer School has already been approached by professional football clubs looking to forge links, as they know that we will be doing things ‘the right way’. Says Shane, “I will personally take great satisfaction in seeing youngsters develop with me and transcend into football academies. We have a vision and a dream to one day see faces come through our system and end up on television on a Saturday afternoon playing Premier League football.”

“We will strive to give all our players more opportunities and greater experiences designed to help them progress on and off the pitch as players and as people.”

A typical day at a camp includes a proper 'footballer's style' warm-up, skill sessions, penalty competitions, small sided games, and water breaks of course! The last hour of each day consists of a tournament for the youngsters to show off their newly learned skills. Every day is carefully structured to give the children the opportunity to learn new techniques, to enjoy their football and meet new friends.

The next Shane Duff Soccer Camp will take place from 11th-14th February at All Saints Academy, Cheltenham from 9.30am-3.30pm (extended hours from 8.30am-4.30pm are also available). £12 for one day, £30 for three days, £40 for four pounds. Extended hours is £5 per day. For further information and bookings, please contact Shane Duff: Tel: 07813 800238; www.shanduffsoccer.co.uk