Year 5 were treated to some top-class soccer coaching on Wednesday (9th October) when Rob Seale, Football Games Specialist at Epsom College, pitched his experience with The Roche School footballers in Wandsworth Park. Prior to joining the Epsom College Sports Department, Rob spent 16 years with Chelsea F.C. where he worked with the Foundation and Academy training boys and girls from age 4 to adults.
Rob’s masterclass was part of Epsom College’s outreach programme. “I try to see lots of potential Epsom College students in their prep school environment, giving them a chance to have a taster of our football ethos which is very much based on passing, playing with the ball on the floor, working hard for each other and encouraging exciting attacking football.”
Epsom College has traditionally had a strong reputation with rugby, but Rob’s appointment 5 years ago signalled a new emphasis on the beautiful game. “Historically and traditionally Epsom College is very much a rugby school but for the last 5 years we have been introducing football as a major sport which is now held in the same esteem as rugby. Part of my role is to increase the popularity of football and improve the standard across the board” says Rob.
“Today we were introducing the idea of zones to make sure that they understood their roles and responsibilities in possession and out of possession and the bigger picture is the grand scheme of team shapes. They took the information on board really well and it was a real pleasure to work with them.”
Senior Sport Coach Allana Ashmeil said that Rob’s visit shows pupils that there are career opportunities in football both on and off the pitch. “Rob shows our pupils that there are opportunities to progress with sport not just on the field but off the field as well. Rob is a very experienced coach and he has come here to demonstrate what he can do with players before they progress into the professional game. It is a good opportunity for them to learn and to develop their skills.”
Head of Sport Peter Clark said that Rob Seale’s football workshop was a great success. “The experience of having someone who has played at a professional level gives the pupils a different mindset. They focus more and benefit from this exciting opportunity to develop and learn.”
For those pupils keen to establish a career on the pitch, Rob Seale says that both effort and enjoyment are vital. “It is essential at this developmental age and up to the age of 12, to get 10,000 hours of good practice in to have the best chance of progressing in the sport. Another key thing is making sure that they enjoy it and have fun otherwise they won’t want to put in those hours and hard work to get better.”