NATIONAL soccer icon Harry Kewell was in Ballarat last Friday holding a clinic for 100 children. The Harry Kewell Academy junior clinic, open to children aged 8 to 14, was held at Trekardo Park, not Kewell’s preferred facility. He said he was disappointed not to have the clinic held at Morshead Park, the $5.35 million Ballarat Regional Soccer Facility. “You’ve just built it, so why not use it?” he said. “It would have been fantastic, but we are here and we will make the best of it. These are the sort of pitches I grew up on, but I hear the other facility is amazing.”
The Ballarat Soccer Club, which is based at Trekardo Park, hosted the clinic and said organisers of the Kewell Academy chose to hold the clinic at their home base.
But the bottom line was the children were there for the clinic and from where I was standing they would have been happy playing on any pitch with one of Australia’s greatest soccer players.
Kewell grew up in the western suburbs of Sydney, in a place called Smithfield. At a young age he decided that soccer would be his sport.
He spent as much time as he could kicking the ball, working hard at his ball skills and all the other skills needed to be a good player.
At age 14 Kewell went with his Marconi club to play overseas, and at the age of 15 he was awarded a Big Brother scholarship to Leeds United –8 months later he was a Leeds United player.
“Three of the most important things I’ve learned in my career are: Work hard, get the basics right and get good people around you,” Kewell said. “It’s why I’m so passionate about the Harry Kewell Academy – Powered by Jeep. Our goal is to provide a college of learning that will help young Aussie footballers, so that if they stick to our teaching over a period of time, they will become the best they can be.”