Juniors blossom in Festival of Football

Jackson Lavell-LeeBusselton Dunsborough Times
Email Jackson Lavell-Lee
Jnr soccer stars LAcy Heyes and Dylan Elson with Football West Regional Development Officer Juan Propato
Camera IconJnr soccer stars LAcy Heyes and Dylan Elson with Football West Regional Development Officer Juan Propato Credit: Jackson Lavell-Lee

Close to 100 young soccer stars have participated in the Football West’s Regional Festival of Football junior development program in Busselton and Margaret River over the Easter school holidays.

The festival culminated on Saturday with round seven of the National Premier Leagues WA match between Perth Glory and Sorrento with 22 young soccer fanatics joining their idols as mascots on the pitch before the game.

A friendly junior match was also played at half time of the senior NPL match with aspiring stars getting a taste of the atmosphere on Barnard Park.

The development sessions held at local primary schools were held by Football West Regional Development Officer Juan Propato who said the kids had loved playing in the wet and rainy conditions in Margaret River but had learnt more from the dry skills sessions in Busselton.

“We’re very excited about what the Festival of Football brings to the region in the way of open training and the development squad,” he said.

Many young soccer stars from the South West have previously left the game after finishing school due to a lack of opportunities to be scouted to play in higher grades in the metro area.

“The South West could have more players that go to Perth to play in the NPL if they want to play at a high level, especially from Busselton and Margaret River,” Propato said.

“We want to show that it’s possible for young players to go further with opportunities in soccer.”

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