A-League champions Western United forge strong links with Tasmania and Tasmanian clubs
Western United unexpectedly won the latest A-League title and are now busy planting themselves in the hearts and minds of the Tasmanian footballing public.
The club has played half a dozen A-League games in Tasmania - all at UTAS Stadium in Launceston - and are now busy in the south of the State with junior coaching clinics held in conjunction with local clubs.
This week, Western United are working with Clarence Zebras and Hobart City Beachside, while next week they move north to join forces with Launceston United and Riverside Olympic.
Photo: David Clarkson addressing clinic participants yesterday. [PlessPix]
It’s the brainchild of former Tasmanian David Clarkson, who is Western United’s representative for the Apple Isle.
Clarkson, of course, cut his footballing teeth in Hobart with Rapid and Hobart Juventus before carving a career out for himself with Brighton and Hove Albion in England and with a couple of Hong Kong clubs.
He returned to Australia and played for and captained South Melbourne Hellas in the National Soccer League.
He is in Hobart this week running the clinics at Wentworth Park and Sandown Park and spreading the word about Western United, who regard Tasmania as their second home.
Photo: David Clarkson (left) with Clarence Zebras' junior coaching coordinator Geoff Brown. [PlessPix]
Clinic participants get a Western United shirt, and he even had a Western United ballcap for me.
“These clinics are a brainchild of mine called the United football program and, basically, we’re working with communities and clubs in Victoria and Tasmania, which is our second home,” Clarkson said.
“We’re starting with holiday camps to expose the kids to learn to play the Western United way.
“The beauty of this program is that we arm the coaches here with a coaching app that gives them all the drills as to how to run the program.
“We do two full days and the club then pays the coaches, which is a great thing, and we do a revenue share so that any money that comes in for registrations goes 50/50.
“For example, here at Clarence, 50 pe cent goes to Clarence Zebras and 50 per cent to Western United to cover our costs.
“Today [Monday] is the first day of the holidays and we’ve got over 60 kids registered and that’s really wonderful.”
Photo: Clarence Zebras star Daniel Baumgartner (left) assisted Clarkson (right) with the coaching clinic. [PlessPix]
Clarkson said that on Thursday and Friday the clinics would be at Hobart City Beachside and there were already over 70 registrations.
Next week, at Launceston United, there were already over 50 registrations and there were over 70 for the Riverside Olympic clinics.
“There are already well over 200 registrations with the four partner clubs, and they’re partner clubs for us, which is really good,” Clarkson said.
Photo [L-R]: David Clarkson, David Smith and Bruce Pears. [PlessPix]