CamdenNewJournal

The independent London newspaper

Lockdown sessions key to talented Town aces’ skills

Coach tells how training at home in pandemic was ‘game-changer’

15 July, 2021 — By Steve Barnett

Camden Town Youth FC’s Under-9s won the Camden Youth League Challenge Cup at Coram’s Fields in Bloomsbury this summer

COACHES from a youth football club have described the online training sessions they started during lockdown as “a real game-changer”.

Youngsters from Camden Town Youth FC were introduced to “ball mastery” classes to help keep them fit and focused in their time away from the pitch in the pandemic.

And now founder Oscar Fullone, who set up the club in 2016, says the sessions are here to stay.

“Starting the online courses was a real eureka moment,” he added. “The kids really enjoy them.

“In the space of a sofa they can have a brilliant football session, working on their technique – left foot, right foot.

“We also held quizzes, giving the players the chance to have fun and win prizes. I loved it, we’ll be running them again for sure.”

The club’s Under-9s side were celebrating this summer when they won the Camden Youth League Challenge Cup at Coram’s Fields in Bloomsbury.

And while he admits “winning is always nice”, Oscar insists the club’s number one goal is supporting players to enjoy the beautiful game for as long as possible.

With his top team, which includes UEFA “A” and “B” qualified coaches, Oscar says he always wants to help all of the players improve, not just a select few.

“You can’t kid a kid, or their parents. If you’re being trusted to look after someone’s child, then you have all the motivation you need to support them and make them better footballers.

“You can’t just go around saying you have professional scouts here and there, and making false promises.”

Prioritising inclusion over silverware, Oscar added: “Some people might say, ‘show me your medals’.

But if you can keep a child playing when they’re 16, 17, or when they go off to university, then that’s the win. That’s a success story.

“I’m really proud that we have managed to build an old-school grassroots football club here that is a real community.”

• Camden Town Youth FC currently run teams from Under-6s to Under-13s. Call Oscar on 07971 677 428 or visit www.camdentownyouthfc.com for further details.

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