A FOOTBALL development centre in Oswestry is offering one-to-one training sessions to its members to ensure safety during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Dragon Academy and Development Centre (ADC) coaches have only recently started offering the sessions to its members to ensure safe social-distancing while offering players the chance to improve their game.

Coaches Simon Walker and Nick Popyk have also been putting together training sessions and activities for players to do at home, and have even opened the training up to players who do not play for the club.

Simon has been pleased with the feedback received from parents of players at the club.

“We’ve had some really good feedback on what we’ve been offering,” he said.

“From my point of view, I have two children myself, so it’s really helped with them to be honest because it’s made them get outside and exercise.

“We’ve not just set the challenges, but we’ve analysed what they’re doing and how it fits into their game and how professional players do it.

“We did it so we could keep in touch with the lads and girls who come to us, but also to develop their footballing brain.

“I have a real passion for coaching and it’s been great to know the kids have been getting something from it.”

The one-to-one sessions have now started at Morda United Football Club’s pitch, and Simon has been happy to be back on the pitch with the players.

“It’s been great,” he said. “Seeing the enthusiasm from the children when they’re back on the pitch playing with the ball is great.

“You can do so much by internet and WhatsApp etc, but doing it on a proper pitch with instant feedback is what it’s all about really.”

Diane Miller, whose son Jack plays at Dragon ADC, praised the efforts of the coaches to offer training throughout lockdown.

She said: “They had been sent packs with plans and each week the boys and girls decided what they wanted to focus on, and then the coaches would post videos for them to follow.

“There was also some coaching challenges for them to practice a certain aspect of their game like accuracy by knocking a plastic bottle off a recycling bin with a shot for example.

“Then as well as that they’d have a non-football challenge every week – so they could have geography which would be something like pinpointing football stadiums on a map of the UK for example.

“It’s just something different and it has helped to keep the kids engaged.”