KEWELL BANANAS: Kids get excited as Australian soccer superstar Harry Kewell hosts a football clinic in Bundaberg for two days called Harry Kewell Academy. Photo: Max Fleet / NewsMail
KEWELL BANANAS: Kids get excited as Australian soccer superstar Harry Kewell hosts a football clinic in Bundaberg for two days called Harry Kewell Academy. Photo: Max Fleet / NewsMail Max Fleet

Football clinics are a coaching launch pad for Kewell

FORMER Socceroo Harry Kewell has arrived in Bundaberg for a two-day masterclass with some of Bundy's most talented young footballers.

Kewell's unique academy offers one-on-one training and hands-on coaching and guidance from one of Australia's best football exports.

Yesterday afternoon's masterclass attracted a strong crowd of children and their eager parents and Kewell told the NewsMail he was excited about bringing his clinic to Bundaberg for the first time.

"It's something I'm very passionate about," he said.

"I'm hoping to become a coach and from that coaching role become a manager.

"What better way than to go out and coach kids."

Kewell has plenty of experience to offer.

At 15, he travelled to England to trial with English Premier League club Leeds United where he was offered a contract and debuted two years later.

He would go on to play for Liverpool, Galatasaray and other clubs around the world and was of course a key part of Australia's memorable 2006 World Cup squad.

Kewell said his football clinics were not about running formations but about those hard-earned skills that took years to learn and high-levels of dedication to master.

"I'm not disrupting the way their club or manager wants them to play," he said.

"Throughout my career, I've always done extra work.

"It's the way I learned to play and what I perfected in my 26-year professional career.

"So I know these methods work, whether you're playing under-10s in some suburban league or in the World Cup."

Kewell recalled how a young footballer had come to his clinic at Hervey Bay only being able to perform 19 juggles.

"I'm a big believer in juggling," he said. "Now he can do 276. They're the things I want to hear so when I return I can see the progress."

Kewell said while he was happy to pose for photos and regale the children with stories of playing on some of the biggest football stages in the world, his primary objective was to help them develop their skills.

"When I do the warm-ups, I talk to them about who their favourite player is and what their favourite club is," he said.

"But after the warm-up is finished, we go straight into training. Football has taught me a lot and I just want to pass on that information."

Kewell will visit Bundaberg Special School this afternoon before running the final session of his clinic.