CACL footballers return to their roots after 40 years

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With sports centres and universities closed for the virus pandemic, CACL Football has returned to its roots at St John’s Field after 40 years.

Four decades ago, CACL Sports Coaching started with ten children at the pitch then known as Meads field. Since then the coaching organisation has coached over 5,000 children in various sports, albeit mainly in football and gymnastics.

“We are proud to have coached so many local footballers,” said Chris Pinch, Director of CACL.

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“It was very nostalgic to be returning, the walled field has always had a great ambiance and when you are young it is like playing in your own stadium. So many current CACL coaches and parents have spoken of playing there, particularly in Collins Cup Finals and the ESFA Primary Schools competitions.

Socially-distanced trainingSocially-distanced training
Socially-distanced training

“This occasion though was vastly different – a far cry from our normal sessions! The Covid-19 regulations meant we had to increase our training hours by 60 per cent as only one coach can take five children. In addition, we had to make sure that our young players sanitised their hands, that we had 2m distance signs around the wall and that the balls were sprayed with antiseptic sprays after each session. Also, as a precaution our coaches wore surgical gloves to prevent any contamination; this will, for a period, be the norm but at least our young footballers can train again and take part in football skills.

“We cannot wait until the FA gives the go-ahead to play small-sided games, which after all is what it is all about.”

To enhance the enjoyment of the sessions, CACL provided 16 goals of different shapes and sizes, in addition to speed and agility equipment, fast feet ladders and target apparatus.

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“The players, with a ball each, concentrated on dribbling skills and close control incorporating turning, fast footwork and shooting.”

Coaches socially distanceCoaches socially distance
Coaches socially distance

CACL caters for players of all abilities. Head of football Andrew Ghammache said: “It is great that we have so many experienced coaches looking after the young players in our care.

“Many of our coaches have been at centres of excellence, including those who have played at county and Football League level.

“We also have coaches who have in the past been involved with Sussex Youth teams, worked with the Arsenal Academy and taken Brighton and Hove Albion Youth sides.

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“One of our main aims is also to develop young coaches; many of our trainee coaches have been with CACL since they were five years old! CACL Coaching is, in the main, a ‘facilitator’, it is a coaching centre which trains players from many clubs and schools in the area and helps them to improve their skill level, their understanding of the game.

CACL trainingCACL training
CACL training

“We hope our sessions will develop our CACL footballers into better all-round and honest young footballers who will enhance the game in the future and return to their

clubs with a higher level of skill.”

C.A.C.L Sports Coaching will be running Summer Camps as usual, albeit a different format due to Covid-19.’ For details visit C.A.C.L Sports Facebook page or Tel 01323 730467.


Training at CACLTraining at CACL
Training at CACL

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