What a great way it was to wrap up 2015 with our end of year seminar at Heidelberg Soccer Club on Saturday 12th December.

Over 70 members and guests attended our 49th Coach Information Session with Ron Smith as our keynote speaker for the day. You can always guarantee a crowd when coaches know Ron will be 'spruiking his stuff' and this was no exception. We are so fortunate to have Ron Smith as one of our Foundation Members and after 5 long years of extensive research on his thesis on Goal Scoring, we were the first to begin to hear his findings and comments from his work. All of Ron's work is backed up with video evidence and during the day we were shown snippets of this as well as some practical examples of practices to support this demonstrated by players from the Heidelberg club. His research and findings are so extensive we decided to use this day as a Part A and the intention is to bring Ron back into Melbourne next year to deliver Part B and expand on his findings.

The entire day was recorded on video, both the practical and theory sessions and we will endeavour to post this on our site or in association with Ron Smiths' site- thefootballcentre.

On the day, Ron put out an offer to all attendees for a special rate to anyone who wanted to join up on his very informative website. I am pleased to say almost a dozen coaches since have taken up Ron on this very attractive offer and can now log on and have access to his fantastic site at www.thefootballcentre.com.au

The thousands of goals Ron has logged from elite leagues and competitions around the world, including our own A League have been placed into  catergories for the purpose of his research. One interesting difference I have found between his research and mine is the definition of a cross. I record more crosses in goals scored in my research due to the fact I take a cross from 5 metres further back from the corner of the penalty box whereas with Ron's definition rather than a cross it would be noted as a ball in behind defenders.

Rather than explaining his findings here I will leave it to the video when we release it to cover his major points so stay in touch and keep checking our site for it's release. However, the crux of his research indicates the more your players can play in balls BEHIND defenders the more goal scoring chances you are going to have.

On the day I also launched our "Best/ Favourite 5" concept I want to introduce into our program for 2016. I am asking for local coaches, either members or non members, to come forward and volunteer each month to show us their ' Best/ Favourite 5' practices on a particular theme. It might be 5 Favourite Shooting Practices, or 5 Favourite Crossing Practices or 5 Favourite Defending Practices. Any topic of your choice- just let me know at info@afcat.com.au if you would like to a have a go and share your practices with AFCAT members.

In order to show your practices, rather than organising a seperate venue with unknown players, why not invite us along to one of your training sessions using your own players!!For the purpose of launching this concept on Dec 12th I used the idea of Counter Attacking which I  believe is a common form of scoring these days in the EPL- just look at the two goals scored recently by Norwich against Man Utd!! On the day I showed 5 practices I would encourage coaches to do with their players to assist them to be more successful in counter attacking.

During the day we also talked about the P word. In recent years it has been used so much in our coaching scheme associated with the word POSSESSION, or more precise EFFECTIVE POSSESSION. What I suggested was that we should start using the P word more in the form of PENETRATION and PRINCIPLES of PLAY which were the corner stone of the coaching scheme here and around the world for decades but in recent times seem to have disappeared from our coaching language.

During 2016 we plan to show sessions using the framework of the Principles of ATTACK- PENETRATION/ SUPPORT or DEPTH/ MOBILITY/ WIDTH and IMPROVISATION and also from a DEFENDING point of view- DELAY/ SUPPORT or DEPTH/ BALANCE/ CONCENTRATION and RESTRAINT. Say tuned.

I have also been doing some research myself this year, only in the EPL, attempting to compare teams who have the greatest amount of possession in a game and the relationship with winning games. I will release details of my findings in a seperate blog to go with the points I mentioned during our seminar.

On the day ,we also had AFCAT member Patrick Tomson show us an App he currently uses to help with video analysis and Petr Kratky gave us a very informative presentation of a recent trip to Japan he made with his Heidelberg Under 13 team.

So, all in all, it was a very busy day and from the feedback we have had, it was a very successful and enjoyable one for all in attendance.

Thanks to the Heidelberg club for access to their very comfortable facilities and especially the 40 young players who made themselves available on the day for the practical sessions. All of this was with the help and assistance of Petr Kratky. Also, thanks to Patrick for his presentation, a BIG THANK YOU to Ron Smith for always being prepared to share his knowledge, love and passion of the game with us and especially a BIG THANK YOU to the 73 AFCAT members and friends who supported the day by coming along. Much appreciated.

We look forward to seeing you all back again in 2016.