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Former Canadian soccer team players work with youth

Nick Dasovic, Andrea Neil help with development of Pinnacles FC youngsters
Nick Dasovic, of Dasovic-Neil coaching, watch as Pinnacles FC players Kaiden McIvor and Evan Sanders pass the ball to each other during a drill at Kings Park. Emanuel Sequeira/Western News

The future of Pinnacles FC got valuable tips from among Canada’s best former soccer players.

Andrea Neil and Nick Dasovic of Dasovic-Neil Coaching worked with the young players on movement.

“It’s a great way for us to find out technical capacity, different levels at different ages,” said Dasovic, who played 63 times for Canada in World Cup qualifiers and played professionally in Europe.

On Wednesday at Kings Park, Dasovic, Neil and Lisa White, who won a Canadian Interuniversity Sport championship with Trinity Western University, worked with kids aged seven to 10. Dasovic liked that they were able to work with younger players.

“(We) try to implement types of movement that could help them as they get older, so they don’t get into bad habits,” he said. “It’s been a joy working with these little guys.”

The trio also exchanged thoughts with the Pinnacles FC coaches on what works and doesn’t with players.

Dasovic said what they wanted to accomplish with the players is the simplicity of movement and talking to the athletes about how they move, which are development skills.

“I think we are losing a lot of the physical literacy in a lot of the athletes,” he said. “Give them that little bit of knowledge.”

During the session, the coaches had the players learn how to position themselves properly when jumping, but also side-to- side movements. The players also worked on passing the ball to each other while moving.

The final training session with players is Friday from 5:45 to 8 p.m.

On Aug. 21, the University of Northern B.C. Timberwolves will face the UBC-O Heat at 11 a.m. at Kings Park 3 in an exhibition game. UNBC will also train on Aug. 22 from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and against from 6:30 to 8 p.m. On Aug. 13, UNBC will played Lethbridge in another exhibition match at 11 a.m., also at Kings Park 3.

Former national team player Andrea Neil gives some tips to Pinnacles FC player Sienna Funk during a dribbling drill at Kings Park Wednesday. Neil and former professional player Nick Dasovic were in Penticton this week working with kids. Emanuel Sequeira/Western News

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