Bluedogs get off to a great start

The Bangalow Bluedogs season has got away to a great start, with 30 juniors travelling to Skilled Park on the Gold Coast to take part in a Gold Coast United A League match.

 Two coach-loads of children, parents and keen supporters travelled up to the stadium to watch the Gold Coast take on North Queensland Fury. The children walked out with the players and played at half-time.

 "It was a great experience for the juniors and parents alike," said new incoming president Paul Hanigan.

 Mr Hanigan said that in 2011 the Bangalow Bluedogs would be bringing a greater focus on grassroots soccer and events like these would go a long way to ensure the future of the club stayed strong for years to come.

 Senior men’s training starts on Tuesday, February 1, at 6pm, then every Thursday and Tuesday night from then on in.

Senior sign-on dates for men and women will be February 1 and 15 at 5.30pm.

Mark Shepherd will be taking on the 1st division coaching job and he welcomes all players to come and try out for his squad.

Mark has 43 years playing experience and played three years in the old NSL and also represented NSW in national titles and played several games with the Australian youth team in the early 80s. Add to this a highly decorated coaching history and it’s no wonder the Bluedogs were keen for his services.

 Jim Gelagotis, who will be assistant coach, he also has a highly decorated playing and coaching portfolio with experience in European and Australian soccer.

Damon Bell will be the junior development coach. Damon holds a current UEFA ‘B’ licence and has Premier League and representative coaching experience. He will be holding ‘coach the coaches’ sessions and working closely with the clubs up-and-coming juniors. In 2010 the Bangalow Bluedogs fielded four senior women’s and six senior men’s teams, and along with 200-odd juniors, the club has established itself as one of the biggest overall in the Byron Shire and if early numbers are anything to go by, 2011 looks to be another great year.

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