Navy football coaches get elite tips

Published on LEUT Tony White (author), ABIS Craig Walton (photographer)

Location(s): Western Sydney Wanderers training facility

Topic(s): Soccer

(From left) Navy Football Federation Australia (FFA) Director of Football, Lieutenant Commander Jim Ford, RAN, Western Sydney Wanders Technical Director Ian Crook, Treasurer of Navy FFA, Chief Petty Officer Combat Systems Manager Pete Burnett and Royal Australian Navy FFA player Leading Seaman Communications and Information Systems Rick Lea at an A-League WSW training session in Rooty Hill, Sydney. (photo: ABIS Craig Walton)
(From left) Navy Football Federation Australia (FFA) Director of Football, Lieutenant Commander Jim Ford, RAN, Western Sydney Wanders Technical Director Ian Crook, Treasurer of Navy FFA, Chief Petty Officer Combat Systems Manager Pete Burnett and Royal Australian Navy FFA player Leading Seaman Communications and Information Systems Rick Lea at an A-League WSW training session in Rooty Hill, Sydney.

Members of the Navy Football Association (FFA) recently had the opportunity to receive elite level coaching tips from Western Sydney Wanderers’ Technical Director Ian Crook at the Wanderers’ Training facility at Rooty Hill.

Navy FFA Director of Football, Lieutenant Commander Jim Ford, who also has a day job as Director of Navy Workforce Management – Aviation, found the experience useful in both roles.

“Staying fit, working as a team and working hard for each other – this is exactly what team sport can inculcate in our members. These values are important for Navy FFA and Navy more generally.” said Lieutenant Commander Ford.

“Elite sport and the way Navy trains to fight and win at sea have more in common than we think. The cross-fertilisation of ideas today has been particularly valuable.”

Ian Crook came to the Wanderers after a playing career at Tottenham and Norwich in English Premier League football as well as earning caps for England’s B team. He said that the difference between the modern game and that of his playing days was the much higher levels of accountability and technical professionalism.

“In my day there was a coach who told us what he wanted. Now at the Wanderers we have two physios,  three sports scientists, three video analysts and a level of technology I could not have dreamed of in my playing days.”

The training session observed by Navy FFA was filmed both from the sidelines and by an overhead drone to provide for later video analysis. The training systems and analysis methods such as using GPS and heart rate monitors were explained to Navy FFA members by Crook along the way.

“The technology we use means that everyone is accountable, there is nowhere on the pitch to hide and we can analyse everything we do and everything our opponents do every week.” said Mr Crook.