The Northern Irishman Behind Australian Soccer Camps
Meet Andrew Power, a self-confessed football fanatic, and founder of Australian Soccer Camps.
It was quite by chance that the first Australian Soccer Camp came about, a few years after Andrew had emigrated from Northern Ireland to Australia (Northern Territory).
While chatting with a friend about the lack of soccer/sporting opportunities for local children living in rural parts of Australia, Andrew was struck with the idea to change that. Given he already had a demanding full-time career, this was a huge undertaking but ever the determined visionary, Andrew made it happen. And so, in June 2012 the first Australian Soccer Camp, officially opened by the Lord Mayor, took place in Darwin. It was incredibly successful and so well-received that Andrew was approached to organise another camp… and then another…
Since this first 5-day camp which was attended by 117 local children, Australian Soccer Camps have continued to organise soccer events for children aged between 6-16. Andrew’s primary vision is to give soccer sporting opportunities to those children who live in more isolated parts of the country.
“There are already loads of great sports camps on the go in Australia, but they tend to focus on the heavily populated areas where children (and parents) are already being spoilt for choice. I wanted to be able to bring these same great sporting opportunities to the children who so often miss out because of where they are rurally-located.”
Over the past six years, ASC has continued to grow, with professional players and coaches from the UK coming over to work with the camps. “I’m fortunate to have really great connections with some of the top UK clubs and work with them to bring over footballing professionals. We’ve even had some of our camp kids offered opportunities to train with the Rangers Youth Academy in Glasgow, Scotland. That’s pretty exciting for them (and us)!”
Australian Soccer Camps has also recently partnered with Soccer Genius, a revolutionary skills training and development program, whose ambassador is former Socceroo, Craig Moore. “This is a really exciting development for us. Soccer Genius is unlike any soccer skills training already out there. It gives kids the opportunity to diagnostically test their skills against their friends and the world’s top players. FOX Sports are currently in negotiations with Soccer Genius too. It’s an exciting time!”
So, what does the future hold for ASC? “I’ve got big plans and 2019 is set to be a busy year. We’ve already got events planned in Queensland and the Northern Territory, with training from Man Utd former players and Rangers coaches. We’ve got Over 18s Q&A sessions planned with Clayton Blackmore and Lee Martin… and other developments are currently in the pipeline.”