• Mirko Gozzo

Open letter to the Academy's parents

Updated: Nov 27, 2020

Dear Parents,


Thank you so much from all of us for your support to the FC Five Dock Academy. When we started thinking about it in August we wouldn't have thought so many kids would join and we would have so much fun!


Nevertheless, this term is almost finished and we are humbled by your support and your children's participation. We hope they had fun too and learned a thing or two (of that we are sure, the confidence and skill progress we have seen, have both improved week after week).


We are now launching out 2021 term 1 sessions but before that we would like to share with you couple of things:


  • Our vision

  • What we have learned this term

  • 2021 sessions

  • Where you money goes


OUR VISION

F.C. Five Dock is committed in providing all players an inclusive, fun and positive environment to learn and play football. We commit to hold ourselves, our members and all players accountable to those values.

  • Player centric: we put our players at the centre of our project.

  • Inclusive: we welcome everyone. Sexism, racism, homophobia, transphobia, ageism, religious discrimination, and bigotry of all kinds have nothing to do with the game of soccer.

  • Fun and Positive: We believe that by being positive and collaborative all players have more fun and they acquire better skills. We oppose any form of discrimination and aggression towards teammates, club members, other players or referees. Our motto is #havefun #trainhard and #playfair.

  • Collaborative: We don't have everything figured out, good ideas can come from everywhere. We are here to listen and learn as well.

Being player centric means that we wanted to plan our activities for the good of the players. The academy was created with that in mind and specifically to fill couple of gaps:


  • Seasonal gaps: With the regular season only happening between April and September, kids have a break from learning for about 6 months. As you can see, in the long term the miss out on quite a lot of football and social skills (confidence etc)

  • Professional training gap: During the regular season, it’s normally parents who volunteer that coach your children. We are ever so grateful that they do this and the club wouldn’t be able to run without them. Nevertheless often parents train, at best, the same way they were taught 30 years ago and in the worst scenario they coach without knowing what they are really doing. By putting the burden of coaching these fundamental skills on parents or untrained coaches we are doing a disservice to the kids. The academy is one of the 2 activities we are doing to mitigate this gap. In the academy we hire certified and qualified coaches that have studied the latest best practice in teaching kids football skills.

  • Infrastructure gap: Our long term dream is to be able to have top grade infrastructures (equipment and field) where our children can learn and enjoy the game. The academy is allowing us to invest in this vision.


WHAT WE HAVE LEARN THIS TERM:

It’s important for us to share what we have learned this term so it’s easier for you to understand some of the changes we will make next term. 29 of you answered to our survey (closing on Sunday) and you told us:


  • You loved pretty much every aspect of the academy, your kid enjoyed and you thought it was good value for money (THANK YOU).

  • You told us that your favourite days for training would be: - Tuesday afternoon - Wednesday afternoon - Thursday afternoon - Saturday morning

  • 50% of you would be interested in individual (1:1) football training sessions.

We have also learned that:

  • The optimal size for a group is 10-12. Any group bigger than that makes it too hard to focus on every kid and any smaller group makes the energy of the group too low.

  • There is a lot of behind the scenes organisation. A 45 minute session has taken roughly 1.5 hours of time (between organising the session and preparing the field)


2021 SESSIONS

With all this in mind, we have made some changes to the Academy timing, organisation, pricing and group size.

  • We are decreasing the number of max players per session. We will cap each session to max 10 kids.

  • Because of the above and because we think we will attract more players, we are planning to have more sessions per week. If we are not able to fill some days, we may need to merge groups.

  • We are hiring more coaches.

  • We are giving interested volunteer coaches the opportunity to book individual coaching sessions with academy coaches for their season's team. More info to come.

  • We are increasing our pricing a bit. Baby Dockers and Mini Dockers will now cost $120 while the Skill Acquisition Program will cost $200. This will help us cover all costs (we didn’t in term 4) and allow us to save a little each term and reinvest in infrastructure upgrades. For more details on where your money goes, please read the next section.

If you are ready to register your child for the 2021 Term 1 Academy please head to https://www.fcfivedock.com.au/shop


WHERE HAS YOUR MONEY GONE?

The money you have spent this term only partially covered the costs to run the academy (roughly 80%). F.C. Five Dock covered the remaining 20%. Of the total funding,

  • 14% was used for advertising.

  • 16% was used to buy the player kit end additional equipment

  • 15% was paid to the Five Dock council in order to rent the field plus insurance

  • 12% was paid to the Football Federation and

  • 42% was used to pay the coaches.


We hope this give you enough visibility into the Academy work and hopefully help you understand some of the changes.


Thank you again for your support,

F.C. Five Dock Team

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