Geelong Westpac Community Football Festival Starts Tuesday

Hyundai A-League newcomer Melbourne Heart FC is set to arrive in Geelong tomorrow as the Club kicks off the first leg of Westpac’s Community Football Festival.

Hyundai A-League newcomer Melbourne Heart FC is set to arrive in Geelong tomorrow as the Club kicks off the first leg of Westpac-s Community Football Festival.

The three-day football extravaganza will see Heart engage with the local football and business community through a series of clinics and events, courtesy of Westpac-s local network of branches.

The event will culminate in Heart-s first ever hit out when the side challenges the Wimmera South Coast Eagles on Thursday 17 June at Elcho Park, kick off 7pm. Entry is $5 for adults, and $2 for concession. All entry fees will be donated to local Geelong football clubs.

Among the highlights will be the freestyle football competition, set to be staged on Tuesday 15 June at the Geelong Waterfront from 4pm, with all interested Geelong football fanatics invited to have a go.

Judged by a panel including Qantas Socceroo Simon Colosimo and AFL star Gary Ablett, the person crowned champion will receive a double pass to Melbourne Heart FC-s marquee pre-season clash against English Premier League side Everton FC on July 14.

With the likes of Qantas Socceroo superstar Tim Cahill, Spanish sensation Mikel Arteta and French attacker Louis Saha named in Everton-s touring squad, the match will provide a stunning opportunity for Victorian sports fans to witness first hand some of the game-s leading stars in action.

Inspired by the streets, freestyle football requires tricksters to express themselves through the round ball, wielding their magic while testing the laws of gravity with awe inspiring feats of dare and deception. Participants will be given a set time period to impress markers, who will judge the competition according to style, innovation and creativity, before giving a score out of 10. Melbourne Heart FC Head Coach John van ‘t Schip revealed he is looking forward to the competition, which is open to people of all ages.

“The Club is excited to be offering locals a chance to show off their ability for a chance to win tickets to our match against Everton FC as part of the Westpac Community Football Festival,” he said.

“Freestyle football requires you to show imagination, invention and a fantastic touch, qualities which are required in all forms of the game. Hopefully we can uncover some hidden talents and witness a great spectacle on Geelong-s waterfront.”

Westpac-s ‘Coach the Coach- program is set to be another key feature of the festival, with Heart Head Coach John van ‘t Schip and Assistants Jesper Olsen and Ante Milicic holding a seminar educating local football clubs on the latest tactical and technical innovations in the game.

High Performance Managers Tom Reddin and Martin Wollin will also be present to provide insights into the latest advances in elite strength and conditioning.

Van ‘t Schip said: “The ‘Coach the Coach- conference will be one of the most important elements of the Westpac Community Football Festival, providing the Club with a real chance to help develop football at grassroots level.

“I am confident the information we will provide can help local coaches gain a clearer understanding of the mentality of coaching at the elite level, and can be incorporated at their clubs.”