The Northern Irishman Behind Australian Soccer Camps
Meet the founder of Australian Soccer Camps, Andrew Power – a self-confessed football fanatic with a vision to share the global love of the game with Australian children.
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. In June 2012 the first Australian Soccer Camp took place in Darwin, officially opened by the city’s Lord Mayor. 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 and 16 years across the country. Andrew finds it particularly rewarding to deliver soccer sporting opportunities to those children who live in regional and remote parts of Australia.
Andrew says: “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 reach children everywhere by making sure these same great sporting opportunities are available to some of the children who so often miss out because of where they are rurally-located.”
Over the past six years ASC has continued to grow and provide quality training opportunities, including professional players and coaches travelling from the UK to Australia to work with children attending 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 proud to have former Socceroo Craig Moore as its ambassador.
“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!”
Andrew sees a bright future ahead for Australian Soccer Camps.
“I’ve got big plans and 2019 through to 2020 is set to be a busy period for ASC. We’ve already got events planned in Queensland and the Northern Territory, with training from Man Utd former players, Socceroos and Rangers coaches. We’ve got Over 18s Q&A sessions planned with football greats Clayton Blackmore, Lee Martin and Keith Gillespie … and other developments are currently in the pipeline to bring even more EPL legends and amazing coaches out to Australia and to the Australian kids.”