Another season has passed, my 19th season of winter football in Franklin. Another year of progression – slowly but steady improvements that continue to drive the football talent space forward in our community. I was MC at last week’s prize giving and whilst writing a speech, it gives the chance to reflect.
Firstly, thank you to the member clubs whom are doing a fantastic job in getting kids into and keeping kids in our sport. Our Franklin United aim is to promote and develop the players that want to move into the talent space so that our area can hold representation in each age group Metro division (13-17) and a space in NRFL Premier division (18 and up).
When Franklin United first started, we were in trouble as we had a massive gap between older, experienced retiring players that could play at a certain level, and the younger players coming through. The players that we were developing were taking up their progression outside Franklin, so we were losing them from the area. As the younger players have aged (now reaching 21, 22, 23), there is still a gap in the age group above them (24-28), but we are not as exposed as the potential coming through is increasing year by year. There is still a need for more development, as the results prove, but they will get there. The average age of our first team/under23 squad this season was 21.5 and 92% of the players were from our Franklin area.
We know that in terms of developing quality, we must remain focused. NZF/AFF, National League teams, coaches, talent pathway people, are not looking at our players. Our players are not getting the opportunity that other clubs in Auckland can create just by being more established. Hence why we are moving through the NZF Y Licence accreditation, so it allows our players to play against the best, our coaches to coach against the best. We have for the first time in our existence, managed to get a squad of players down to the Weir Rose Bowl tournament in Hamilton this year. This is a prestigious tournament focusing on 12 years old. To allow this to happen, we have built a team of players from further afield with 50% of the squad coming from Manurewa, and 50% of the squad coming from Franklin. Plus, with the addition of 2-3 players from Papakura and Beachlands Maraetai, we are sending the potential of a larger area. Imagine if we could send a 100% Franklin team in the future.
Coaching will continue to be the prime focus, next year and how we can continue to add value into our member clubs and the families in our community. It is no secret that without good coaches, players will have a very difficult time developing and improving their skills in the game. Our belief is in getting full and part time coaches close to the grass so they can mentor our players forward. Behind the scenes, we continue to refine our coaching support system which includes bits like recruitment, retention and development of our coaches through on the grass scenarios and coach education opportunities. We have just this week been successful in a grant application for more coach development. We know, well we all know, that one of the most important pieces of criteria a family/player uses for selecting Franklin United is the quality of the coach. And we continue to focus on, not just the on the training pitch piece that you see, but the many hours behind the scenes planning sessions and games.
See you in Term 4
Weir Rose Bowl 2019
The Weir Rose Bowl is a three-day competition for Under 12 girls and boys teams from clubs within Northern Football, Auckland Football and WaiBOP Football Federations.
We have the following four clubs collaborating for this event:
• Beachlands Maraetai AFC
• Franklin United
• Manurewa AFC
• Papakura City FC
We will be taking 3 teams, 1 girls and 2 mixed (boys). The teams are as below;
Boys team 1
Boys Team 2
Ben N (Manurewa)
Plus one to be added
Plus one more to be added
The tournament will be held from Sunday 6th October to Tuesday 8th October at St Peters School, 1716 Cambridge Road, Cambridge.
All team members and staff will be staying on site at St Peter’s College.