KVC Westerlo Academy Head Coach Eric Reenaers will be a Wollongong Wolves special guest from 23 May through to 3 June 2018 as part of a sponsorship/partnership agreement.


A UEFA A-licenced coach, Reenaers boasts over 20 years of coaching experience – mainly with Westerlo and the Belgium Football Association – and has enjoyed considerable success in youth development, both male and female.


Reenaers, a compatriot of FFA National Technical director Eric Abrams, has been an advocate of Belgium’s child-centred approach to youth development which has seen the nation become recognised as one of the world’s most innovative and successful developers of next generation footballers.


“Football is a sport that is able to be played by all people, regardless of shape, body size, height and so on,” Reenaers said.


“As such there cannot be a one-size fits all approach when it comes to developing our kids for a future in football.


“Flexibility and adaptability are cores in the growth and development of players and this does not come through rigid, linear processes or manuals.


“Belgium has enjoyed significant success in football recently through a focus on specific, tailor made sessions for each individual, which translate to a much greater team based outcome.”


While in Australia, Reenaers will host presentations and hold training sessions with Wollongong Wolves, Illawarra Stingrays and a host of local clubs and coaches across the Illawarra at various age levels.


He will also deliver such services to Wolves’ development partner club, Belconnen United Blue Devils, based in the ACT.


Wolves CEO Chris Papakosmas said Reenaers’ visit is a chance for both players and coaches across the region to learn from a successful developmental mind.


“There is no doubt Eric will prove very popular with his thoughts and insights on football development and it’s great we have someone of his standing and caliber, eager to come here and spend quality time with our coaches and players,” Papakosmas said.


“Belgium has taken huge strides over the last few years and being able to hear first hand from Eric, on how this was achieved and what the focus and priorities are for them can only be of benefit to everyone.”


Belgium’s approach – which has seen it ranked third in the FIFA men’s international rankings – to skill, technique, mobility, adaptability, game awareness and integration is being mirrored the world over.


“I am looking forward to coming to Australia to see the football landscape here,” Reenaers added. 


“The Wollongong Wolves have a strong emphasis on youth and junior development and through specifically tailored programs, that continue to improve and evolve, the growth of the game and the future of the Wolves can only get stronger.


“These kids are the future of Australian football, so getting it right and giving them the utmost opportunities to succeed is imperative.”


CEO Papakosmas urged the football community to make the most of the approachable Reenaers’ visit.


“Eric will be making himself available to meet with as many people, teams and clubs as possible,” he said.  


“He has already scheduled his sessions with the Wolves, Stingrays and Belconnen United (ACT), and we’re now just finalising some additional appearances across some of the local schools and local junior football clubs.


“We are looking at this initial visit by Eric to expand into regular and ongoing initiatives and promotions between the Wolves and Westerlo.”

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