14th Training Session – “Winter is Coming…Again?!” – 7/11/2016

Rain, wind and cold. Three things that for some will be a factor to now coming to training. I was at first a bit worried that we wouldn’t have enough people to complete the drills or even have a session due to the nasty weather. I posted a comment on the “MeetUp” page just to motivate the players that the rain shouldn’t stop us from having a good session! As mentioned, I had my doubts of how many would actually show up. Clearly I was proven very wrong.

Again, the commitment and dedication from this group still amazes me. We started off the session with the easy warm-ups, following up with two basic drills that was active at the same time. I divided the group up into two groups and let one half do the shooting drills while the others did the dribbling drills, after about 15-20 min we could switch. Now, these drill are very basic to get the feel of what I want to do in the future and how to really work on the basics of dribbling and shooting. As some have noticed, and I can clearly state it now, I love to put on layer after layer on a drill! Start with the basic and then add more and more steps to really get the repetition going.

After the dribbling and shooting drill we did a quick 2v2 to work on those dribbles, I told the players that “You know you have a team player that you can pass – but only if needed, I want to see the dribbles we have been practicing, the fake left- go right type of stuff”. While doing the 2v2 I started my Individual Session with Steven, half way through my time with Steven I told the group to set up a game, and then took Matt aside to give him a individual session with me. Both Steven and Matt did very good, still very impressed with how much they have learnt.

We finished off with a slow jog and stretching (in the rain). I was so glad so many showed up and it looked like we had a good time even tho the weather was bad. Cant wait for Thursday! Rest those legs!!

Albert Baumgartner

13th Training Session – “Possession”- 3/11/2016

Thursdays session ended up to be a success once again. At first we only had a few players that showed up which got me a bit worried since I needed at least 11-13 players for my drills. However, people started to show up around 7:28 – 7.30 so it was all good!

We started off as usual with the warm up and some quick talks about what we were going to focus on. This week we have been focusing on ball possession and how to use it to you advantage. We started off with a simple “wall-pass” exercise. I had to play with one group since we were one short, it turned out good and even-though I was participating I could see that the passing game as really improved over the last few weeks!

After that we started with the successful drill, “Matt’s Book”. We did this exercise last session, but I wanted to do it again because it is a really good drill for both defensive, ball possession, short and long passing game. Also we had some players that didn’t show up for Mondays session whom I really wanted to introduce this fun drill to.

Matt’s Book turned out to again be a very fun drill and I can really see how much the players like it. We finished off with a big game without goals to really focus on ball possession, I interrupted the game to not criticize but to inform the players of what I REALLY wanted to see from not only the team but as individuals. And I can only say that the players once again really listened to me and my tips and how I wanted them to play the ball around, it turned out to be a great success and the players fought very hard to retrieve the ball, and to keep it. We later used the same amount of space to add two goals to finish of the session with a full game. Once again, I was really impressed with how the players adopt what they have learnt in training and then adding it to the game.

Overall a great session and a great week of ball possession! Next week we will start on shooting; shooting techniques and dribbling!! See you on the field!

Albert Baumgartner

12th Training Session – “Matt’s Book” – 31/10/2016

We started off the session at a beautiful field at Wellington College, and for once the sun was out and the wind was not a issue! I think this raised the moral of the players, I know it made me more keen for the session!

We started off with a harder passing drill with two balls, three players and one defender. It took some time for the players to completely understand what to do, but there was a shed of magic! Because of this I will do this drill again in the future. Repetition will really help to improve the players!

After that we moved to one of my all time favorite drill called Matt’s Book. There were some great feed back from players so I will definitely do this drill again. It practices on both attacking, short and long passing and even defending. It includes a lot of pace and vision. Really easy drill to set up and explain, and not only is it beneficial, its also heaps of fun!

We took a quick break to talk about what I wanted the purpose of the drill Matt’s Book to be about and later moved to a 40 minute game. I had a 40 min game because we at AOF have decided to introduce Individual Skill Assessment Sessions with the players, so that both AOF and the players can assess skill levels and track improvements. So I had set up a few drills to go over with two individuals. It turned out to be a success, and I really set a good base on where to begin!

We ended the session with a slow jog around the field (as a group) and then a group stretch.

Overall, a very FUN and beneficial session!

Albert Baumgartner

11th Training Session – “Layers!” – 28/10/2016

This session was also going to be on attack! The “basic” drill we did last week was good, but I had future intentions for it. So what I did was to call my previous head coach from Ireland to come up with some new ideas/ layers to the basic attacking drill.

We had two new players showing up which was real fun, and they did an excellent job participating in drills, talking to others and getting some good touches on their feet.

We jumped right in to the drills. Of course we started with some warm ups to get the body nice and warm, we started of with a similar basic drill as we did last week just to get the idea of that we would be working with. After that we moved to a drill called the “Chelsea Attack”. This had a lot of steps in to it and instead of having just 2 players doing the drill, there were 4-5 players participating. I think this was good for the players to be able to play with others more rather then with just one or two.

After that we moved to “Attack + Shoot”. This drill included a shooting and dribbling combo drill. This turned out to be a success in a way that the players improved after each turn, it was a bit messy at first to explain the “combo-drill” but after some practice and demonstrations we mastered it together.

We finished the session with a 30 min game, 4 v 5. The team with 4 players didn’t struggle at all, they even ended up wining the game!! Overall a great session and I was told that this was the furthers they have been pushed in a session, which I see as a positive factor. After all, AoF aims to make sure the players are feeling tired and exhausted after each session!

Next week we will start will ball possession! Cant wait!

Albert Baumgartner

9th Training Session – “The Basics” – 22/10/2016

I showed up a bit early to make sure everything was in order for tonights session. The weather was going to get worse so I informed everybody to dress warm. Not to many people showed up because of injuries and the weather, but it didn’t stop us from having a good session!

We started off with some normal warmups to get the legs and body warm, we then moved to some regular passing drills. My intention was to see how everyone passed the ball on short and long distances since the session was going to focus on attack-passing drills. It all went good but the wind was an issue when doing long air-ball passes.

We then moved over to a simple drill that only needed a 2 players to perform. The drill was very basic and easy because I wanted to see how the players fared with new “international” drills.The drill I introduced was fairly basic but very easy to add new layers to which I will be doing next week.

We finished the session with a 40 min game to really work on those long and short passes. The basic drill that was introduced during the session really had an effect on the players. Even though the rain kept pouring down on us I could really feel that the session was professional and everyone put in a lot of hard work.

Albert Baumgartner

8th Training Session – ATTACK!!! – 17/10/2016

The winds picked up as we kicked off our first session at Alex Moore Park in Johnsonville on Monday the 17th of October. As we looked to move into attacking drills, it was great to see so many new faces, and I was impressed at how well they embraced the drills and fit in with the group! Plenty of encouragement, as always, made the night extra fun, and players’ improvements were impressive!

The overlapping run down the wing was met with great enthusiasm, and players did really well to accelerate down the wing, and receive pin point accurate balls to run on to with pace. As we held our ground, and timed our runs to perfection, making sure we beat that offside trap at the last moment at full pace, people responded really well to comments, and your improvements were astronomical, with the impressive flair of Michael Owen shining through as you met those balls in behind defenders, ready to take on Fabien Barthez one on one!

The crossing was awesome, and great to see players timing their runs, meeting that ball with pace. Keep thinking about the comments about holding your run, and the front post getting there quick, ahead of your defender, and the back post runner holding off, to react to where the cross is coming. Make sure you angle those runs in, so that you meet the ball with power, and send the ball flying past David De Gea.

Awesome session everyone, was truly fantastic. Enjoy Albert’s session Friday, and we will change next week’s early session to Tuesday, 8pm at Wakefield  Park!!
This will be my last week with you, so we’ll make it as beneficial for you as possible.
Do not hesitate to ask any questions, and we’ll see you all again soon!

Nick Daly
Head Coach

6th Training Session – “One on One” – 10/10/2016

Once again the weather held off for our first defensive session, at Wakefield Park on Monday 10th October. It was bitterly cold, however, which saw the fierce footballers engage into action putting their most confident foot forward in taking on those players with the ball.

The session was great and everyone’s best efforts were appreciated, as sometimes defending can be not the most fun footballing aspect. Learning to press and hold the attackers on the ball, and support that first line of defense saw us shaping up well as a unit, understanding where each defender around the ball should be. Players got a chance to take each other on in a one on one battle down a channel. Focusing on the defender’s body shape, everyone was starting to use their body to great effect by shielding the area they wanted to protect, and showing the attacker to the sideline. A few nutmegs gave us a bit of laughter, but overall, the confidence to step in when the opportunity arose, was impressive, and the defenders had the upper hand every time!

It was with great sadness that at this session I had to announce my departure from AOF due to family health issues in the UK. I will be leaving with my partner to join my father and brother in the UK very shortly. I have really loved my time with you all, and I must thank you for all the hard work you have put in. I feel like I’ve already made some friends in most of you, and I wish you all the best for the future, hopefully I can come visit and pop in when you’re all playing for the Phoenix in a years time.

Apologies for the late Blog post, my life became infinitely more busy over the last week with preparations for moving!!

Thanks for a great session everyone!
Be sure to keep coming along, and I have absolute faith in Albert’s ability to take you to exactly where you want your football to end up.

All the best until next time!

Nick Daly
Head Coach

7th Training Session – “Eyes Closed” – 13/10/2016

Albert took his first training session (with more preparation this time) on Thursday the 13th of October at Wakefield Park with an attendance of 14 members!

This weeks theme was “Defense”. To start off, Albert talked further about what Nick taught the members on Monday and added his own ideas and theories. The session proceeded to cover a lot of basic defensive work through fun exercises.

Defensive work can be boring some times and feel a bit “useless”. Albert introduced a fun 1v1 / 2v2 drill where the players would start with their eyes closed. On the word “GO” they both would open their eyes, locate the ball and start either attacking or defending depending on who got the ball first! Many laughs and a great effort from everybody!

A 45 min 7v7 game was played to see how the players utilised the theories about defending into action. And it turned out great! Both teams and all players really exceeded expectations with how good they had become with only a few basic drills about defense! Both teams were really struggling to score and only did when the attack was PERFECT.

Look forward to next weeks sessions when we will focus on Attack!

J – 14/10/2016

5th Training Session – “Albert Baumgartner”- 06/10/2016

Nick Daly was unable to attend the session due to an emergency where he was required to travel to Palmerston North.

After a couple of hours of scrambling around, Albert Baumgartner was available and took on the coaching role head on.

Albert is from Sweden and has played football for about 15 years. He has extensive playing experience where he played for the Senior Mens team of the second biggest academic club in Sweden and won many trophies. One of the major accomplishments is winning the Gothia Cup in both Final A and Final B (Gothia Cup is the worlds biggest international youngster cup for players up to 21 years old).

The session followed Nick’s plan to go through a warm up, some light drills, and to spend most of the time playing 5 or 6 aside football.  Our members have all been working really hard in the last few weeks and it was time for them to put practice into play!

Albert’s knowledge and experience showed in his ability to provide advice on the technical aspects of the game and to adjust the drills as he saw fit. By making the the exercises dependent on pace and “explosiveness”, the members’ fitness were tested. Albert stayed involved during the 40 minute game, coaching individual members and teams on what they were doing right and wrong. The members took all of the advice on board and Albert saw immediate improvements.

Overall the members were very happy with the session and welcomed Albert and his coaching style.

Look forward to having him back in the future!

J – 7/10/2016

3rd Training Session – “Creating Space” – 29/09/2016

The weather eased for our third training session, and allowed us to train hard at Te Whaea Park from 7:00pm on Thursday, 29th September. Again, we were fortunate with the weather, even when it threatened during the day! Here’s hoping we won’t be pushing our luck when we hold two sessions a week!

A solid number of people turned out to enjoy yet another training session, with plenty of familiar faces, but hopefully more people decide to take on this awesome opportunity as we begin to move to twice a week in October.

Another intense session saw us work on our basic touches again, followed by the use of space, creating space, and movement after the pass. Players learnt the importance of creating space for themselves to receive passes, as well as finding space after the pass to increase the ability to keep possession of the ball as a team. Some great improvements were made, and the players were left feeling accomplished after a tough session which worked them mentally and physically.

I was extremely impressed at how far everyone’s skill and ability improved in just a short time. If you haven’t had the chance to experience such a fun, challenging and exciting training session yet, please don’t be afraid to join us! Our sessions are friendly with a focus to ensure that everyone enjoys themselves as well as having the opportunity to improve. You will work at your own pace and I will guide and assist you to improve on your skills.

I look forward to our sessions moving to twice weekly, as we get started again on Monday 3rd October. I can’t wait to see you all out there and putting in 100% effort again. We will continue to work on possession of the ball and attacking with and without the ball.

Nick Daly
Head Coach