The 2019 season is nearly at an end and it has been a challenging yet rewarding season for many reasons. At the start of the year, we decided to focus 100% on local talent at first team and reserve level. For the last three years, we have been nurturing that talent, building their experience and their ability to play. This season they were ready to play in the NRFL Division 2, and Senior Men’s Head Coach Tracy Wrigley and her team, which included our Director of Football for the Youth Academy Ben Fletcher, set about building the teams.
What I have seen over the past few months is especially pleasing for me. This is what Franklin United was built for right!!! But pleasing also because I have watched a group of young players come together and compete in many different areas, guided by, in my opinion, the right mentorship. Results wise it has been challenging and there have been many lessons learnt, but the critical thing is that without exposure in the environment, the lessons would never have been given. And our players would have missed out.
I read an article called The Teenage Tumble: Why Teenagers are Leaving Sport, written by Wayne Goldsmith. It focused on the ever increasing numbers of teenage players leaving sport, the 15-16 category being the fastest falling age group. And like most articles I have read on this subject, it is again coming down to the fact that we put performance before the participant. Like most people I speak to, the blame gets pointed into social media, XBOX, or the fact that “kids are so lazy these days”. This article states that it is because of us: coaches, parents, and all of those that are responsible for delivering sports platforms to the communities we live in. In my opinion we don’t give the members the chance to develop because results are the primary focus.
Franklin United has been created to allow players and coaches the chance to develop. If we get this right, in a roundabout way, the results will come.
To our players, be aware of the Our Franklin United players have been given an opportunity you have been given because most clubs would not let you them have one. Franklin United could be one of those clubs that brings talent from across Auckland to climb the ladder and you could say that we have done this in the past out of necessity. To our players; continue to learn and listen to those around you, take in the advice and mentorship that coaches and senior players around you can give. Learn to play under pressure and in challenging environments and your time will come. The advice to work hard, play smart, have fun, be free, have the right attitude within the right environment; you will in time realise how important this time has been for you.
Keep enjoying every Franklin football moment. Until Next Month. Jim
Add Player Profile Jake text : Jake McCoy
Jake played his first game of NRFL for Waiuku AFC at the young age of 15 in 2014, this was also the year that Waiuku AFC was promoted to the NRFL Division 1 competition. Jake made 10 appearances often playing at right back or center midfield. Fast forward five years and Jake played his 100th game last weekend. He has become one of the leaders within the Franklin United first team setup. Jake has lead by example within the club, alongside his commitment to the first team, his ability to give back to the younger players has been exemplary. In 2018 Jake was the assistant coach of the U19 team. He has helped out where he can in the Franklin United Youth Academy and Football in Schools, showing the younger generation what it takes to rise to which provides an example of the person he is!
Congratulations to Jaedyn Hancock, Harrison Darby, Badhan Mali, Lavdeep Singh - FUYA players in the Pukekohe High School First XI who recently won the 2019 Counties Manukau Football Competition.