Guest Post and Pictures by Tess Holderness
In 2016, Collingwood City FC strengthened its relationship with the A-League club, Melbourne City FC. In October, we were invited to help highlight Melbourne City’s support of community clubs and the growth of grassroots soccer, taking part in the live weather crosses for Channel 9’s Today Show. Presenter, Stevie Jacobs, got Collingwood kids to demonstrate their soccer skills live to air, with help from Melbourne City’s community coaches. Representatives from the Melbourne City W-League Women’s team also ran the girls through their paces, and parents stepped up to ‘model’ the ‘all abilities community soccer’ format.
Collingwood was later selected as the feature club in Round 9, for A-League sponsor, Hyundai’s ‘Goals for Grassroots’ program - which supports the development of grassroots soccer around Australia. Collingwood was grateful to receive a $2,000 donation from Hyundai (a $1000 grant plus an extra $1000 for the single goal scored by the home team, Melbourne City, to draw the game).
Prior to the A-League game in Round 9, Foxtel Sports came to visit Kevin Bartlett Reserve, to film a ‘Goals for Grassroots’ story featuring U12’s Collingwood player, Josh (who has a special interest in soccer as well as ballet). Thirteen other players also took part in the film shoot, running through some training drills with club coach, Christian.
On the day of the Round 9 match, on 3 December, 16 Collingwood players (including the kids involved with the Foxtel filming) were given the opportunity to attend the Melbourne City v Brisbane Roar A-League game with their parents, and to also take part in a pre-match training session, on Gosch’s Paddock, with Melbourne City Junior coaches. It was a really worthwhile experience and great fun.
Adam Centofanti (in the middle of the group photo below, with the Collingwood kids and fellow Melbourne City juniors coach Oliver Schulze), is the co-ordinator of Melbourne City’s summer soccer program – which includes beach soccer, a 5-a-side tournament and various clinics.
To cap the year off, in Round 11, on December 17, Melbourne City invited some of Collingwood’s junior players to accompany their A-League men’s team (and the Melbourne Victory team) out onto the pitch, as team mascots at the start of the Melbourne Derby game. This was a thrill for the kids involved, who got to step out with the A-League players and feel what it is like to walk out onto the AAMI Park stadium in front of a Derby crowd. Free tickets to watch the match were an added bonus! We rewarded the club with an additional fifty memberships from CCFC supporters as the two clubs move into 2017, looking to strengthen their ties!
Thanks Melbourne City FC for supporting Collingwood City FC! We look forward to a continuing relationship in 2017.