Football

Newington Football delivers an innovative and exciting football curriculum, featuring outstanding coaches with proven pedigree, the best training venues in Sydney, cutting-edge game analysis and performance tracking technology, and numerous opportunities for boys to learn, enjoy and improve their football skills

Newington Football Program

Starting from humble beginnings in 1968, football is now the most popular sport in the College, with almost 520 boys being coached twice a week, all part of our 38 individual graded teams from Year 7 to Opens.

AAGPS football officially commenced in 1988, and Newington has been a constant standard bearer, always highly competitive and with eight 1sts Premierships, 12 Seconds Premierships and seven GPS Plates. Newington College has always been one of the most competitive football schools in the GPS, and we strive daily to ensure we maintain our status as one of the ‘best in class’ football schools.

Our player development-centred approach, continuous professional development for coaches and the diversity of the program all coalesce to make Newington football the perfect place to live your football dream.

Football at Newington epitomises our clarion call: Discover what’s possible.

Training and Competition

· All football teams at Newington have two individually designed coaching sessions a week, on or off-site.

· Boys have access to excellent facilities. In addition to our on-site development centre on Buchanan Oval, the boys experience football and goalkeeping coaching at Arlington Oval, Lambert Park, Fraser Park and Sevington, and Year 8 students are able to enjoy futsal at Fraser Park. Newington has a weights room for strength and conditioning training and a 25-metre indoor pool for recovery sessions. Presentations to teams and video analysis take place in the OBLT, Function Room and the recently upgraded Team/Match Presentation Room.

· Each year group has a Co-ordinator who manages the coaches and players for each team. Saturday match day selections are based on a weekly consultation between coaches on how the boys are progressing and learning. This process ensures that boys get the opportunity to showcase their talent and weekly improvement.

· Appropriate competition is crucial to the boys’ development in football. The AAGPS competition provides this through 12 Saturday match days in the main season and trial games at the end of Term 1. All boys must attend their weekly football commitments.

· Competition at the Opens level involves home and away fixtures against all other AAGPS schools. We have almost 50 boys in our expanded Senior squad, and the 1st XI and 2nd XI play in the AAGPS Plate and Premierships. Newington were winners of the 2016 1sts Plate, while the 2nd XI have won the Plate since its inception in 2016. The 1st XI won the Premiership in 2014 and 2017. The 1sts also play in the annual IBC Cup, with Newington winning in 2017. Newington has also been one of the leading NSW schools in the annual CIS Cup for independent schools.

· Our coaches have a multinational and eclectic fusion of global experience, a number with professional football careers in Spain, Greece, Scotland, Italy, Ireland and Colombia. Our program reflects these international flavours and ensures that our content is cutting edge, drawing on international best practice, while also incorporating fun warm-up games and competitive mini-tournaments. We have incorporated elements introduced by visiting coaches and teams, as well as the wonderful experiences we enjoyed on tour in the Iberian Peninsula in 2017, Holland, Belgium and England in 2019, and two recent Year 8 football tours to Shizuoka and Osaka in Japan. Practices from Football NSW and Western Sydney Wanderers are also used in our diverse coaching curriculum.

· There are opportunities for our boys to tour both interstate and internationally.

Program Aims

The Football program aims to develop the boys’ interest in and passion for football and, in so doing, improve their technical and tactical ability through fun physical activity and social interaction.

2020 Season

We were very fortunate to salvage a seven-week Premiership and a full school football match program in 2020 following the onset of COVID-19. The global health crisis triggered a highly entrepreneurial series of creative football projects, including socially distanced football, backyard football practice sessions and Zoom meetings covering technical feedback. Our football administrators, Mr Ed Summers and Mr Christian Scardilli, were ever-present, even delivering footballs to boys at home in the height of the lockdown. New Canvas courses for each year group were hastily created and featured video content, PDFs, podcasts and a miscellany of football-centric resources for boys to practise at home.

Milestones for 2020 included:

  • Football skill video challenges were delivered by Mr Scardilli, with the boys subsequently raising the bar.
  • Zoom support was provided for all our boys from Years 7–12.
  • Zoom seminars with our former Captains of Football and our Senior Coaches.
  • Captain of Football 2020 interviews conducted via Zoom, with the seven candidates presenting via PowerPoint on their suitability for the role. We had a brilliant group of nominees in 2020 with Thomas McCoubrie selected to lead the ‘Black and Whites’.
  • Shannon Cole (former WSW ‘A’ League and AFC winner) conducted a Zoom presentation to the boys from the United States on You Strive, a mental fitness program that he has pioneered and that we adopted for the 2020 season.
  • The launch of a thrilling new Year 7 Goalkeeping development program lead by Head of Goalkeeping Mr Petr Sestak, and our new 2021 Head of Goalkeeping Mr Michael Van Walsum. 14 Year 7 boys were constant attendees at all the Tuesday sessions, and the boys had a wonderfully engaging, motivating and enjoyable introduction to the No.1 position.
  • Our senior Football strength & conditioning was delivered by former Manly United NPL1 Fitness expert Mr Matt Said.
  • Due to COVID19 our Year 8 football tour to Shizuoka had to be cancelled. We hope that 2022–23 may see international travel resume, enabling our European and Asian football study tours to take place.
  • Our 1sts and 2nds finished in second place in both Premierships. The CIS Cup, the CIS representative tournament, the IBC Cup, the St Andrew’s Cup, the Inner West Tri Series and the GPS Plate competitions 1sts and 2nds were all casualties of the global virus outbreak.
  • Newington College 1st XI broke the 33-year GPS scoring record of 32 goals in seven games by scoring 33 goals, but second place was scant reward.
  • Nicholas Atkinson equalled a Goals Scoring AA (for all schools) GPS record set in 2005. His tally of 11 goals in seven games is now a new benchmark at Newington, surpassing the previous highest scorer, Nicola Kuleski (2014 GPS winning Captain) at 10 goals.

Individual Successes

  • Nicholas Atkinson secured a soccer scholarship to the University of Charleston.
  • Malcolm Ward secured a soccer scholarship to Northern Illinois University in DeKalb.
  • Former Newington student Finn Ballard McBride (ON 2017) had a stellar season with UCSB in the United States, garnering plaudits and awards in the top Division One of the NCAA.
  • Jacob Sayle (ON 2017) achieved many successes playing for St Mary’s University in the southern United States on a soccer scholarship.

The Future Football Pathway

The Newington College Football Program has established a dynamic, consistent, challenging, progressive, modern and player-centred development pathway for all boys irrespective of their current level of football ability or previous history playing the game.

Apart from the grading process in all our year groups, we also offer boys the possibility of selection for GPS Senior and Under-16 representative levels. This in turn is a direct conduit into CIS Senior and Under-16 teams, culminating with NSW and Australian schoolboy selection.

The boys have access to high-level skill development coaches, whose technical knowledge is outstanding. The program offers a variety of content tailored to different levels, which is crucial to each boy’s enjoyment and competency building. We take a very careful, planned approach to all teams within each year group, with our Year Co-ordinators selecting bespoke content for each team in tandem with the coaches, meeting with the coaches in a presentation-style setting and monitoring the boys’ performances on a weekly basis to allocate each student to a team based on merit.

It is this meticulous, systematic methodology that has served Newington boys well in recent years and has led to an average 70 per cent win rate, with less than 20 per cent losses. We strive to improve boys individually and the team collectively, with high standards that benefit all boys.

To assist the boys on their football journey, we record a number of games via our new artificial intelligence Veo camera system and employ session design software, performance analysis software and telestration packages. Football conditioning and power training are also available.

A number of Old Boys have progressed to A League, NPL football and American Colleges, and many of our boys also transition to coach in the Football Program when they have finished school.

No stone is left unturned, at Newington, to provide each boy with the opportunity to discover football, like football, engage in football and ultimately love football. When a boy reaches that stage, their mindset for self-improvement ultimately impels them to persevere, practice and play, every day.