The championship-winning Byron Bay under 20s Summer Youth League Team coached by Rams Premier League player Jonathan Pierce.
The championship-winning Byron Bay under 20s Summer Youth League Team coached by Rams Premier League player Jonathan Pierce.

Rams eyeing off another big season

While it’s probably true to say all of Byron Bay Football Club’s 400 registered players participate for the fun, friendship, fitness, the challenge of competition and the love of the game, it’s always a bonus if you and your team do well.

2010 was a brilliant season for the Byron Bay Rams, with excellent results across all the age groups and grades.

In fact, the club had seven semi-finalist teams and four teams who won through to grand finals, including the prestigious Premier Division Anzac Cup.

In addition, the young Byron Bay under 20s Summer League team capped off a brilliant campaign, winning that championship in Yamba last month.

It follows on from the club’s highly successful policy of developing local emerging talented youth in the Premier League Squad. The U20 Summer League competition has been an excellent opportunity for some of the 15- and 16-year-olds to gain valuable experience playing with some of the talented young Premier League players before making the jump to men’s competition.

This year is lining up to be an even bigger season for Byron Bay football in many ways. With the soon-to-be-completed Ewingsdale regional sports complex, the club is looking forward to the opportunity for expansion later in the year, with the new facilities providing space to further develop the round-ball game in the Bay.

The new complex will also provide an indoor stadium facility and much-needed additional playing fields. The club is also hoping to develop new initiatives this season.

The indoor facility will be a great opportunity for teams to diversify their ball skills training in both winter and summer, playing small-sided Futsal games (indoor soccer). It could also provide a wet-weather training facility for some teams.

In another major initiative for 2011, the club has announced the appointment of John Sowter as the Premier League squad coach and overall club director of coaching. John is a long-time Suffolk Park resident, supporter and player at the club.

He was Football Far North Coast’s director of coaching for four years and developed highly successful FFNC representative development programs for young players competing in State League competitions.

He has 25 years of coaching experience with high-level professional, semi-pro and amateur clubs in England, the USA and Australia. He also has some very impressive credentials.

John recently returned from a France where he worked with the French Football Federation and some of the most experienced coaches in Europe on a grassroots talent identification program

He is sure to add a new dimension to the already highly-acclaimed Byron Premier Squad, and pre-season planning and recruiting is already well under way.

The development of local junior and youth players is a major priority for the club. In addition to his role as Premier League squad coach, John will be tasked with the job of supporting and developing programs for junior coaches and players. It will provide an opportunity for every Byron Bay player to realise their full football potential.

Byron Bay football team training kicks off at the Recreation Grounds with women’s team training starting on Monday, January 24, at 6pm.

Premier League men’s squad training and selections start Tuesday, January 25, at 6pm.

Senior men’s teams start training on Wednesday, February 2, at 6pm, and junior players from under six up to under 16/17s sign on Saturday, February 12, at 9am

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