Brotherly love on the border
Four different sets of brothers made up the Moama Echuca representative team at the recent Regional Challenge Cup
Moama Echuca Border Raiders coach Simon Arkinstall was always going to have his hands full coaching an Under 14 representative team at the Football Federation Victoria Regional Challenge Cup.
The tournament attracted over 600 of country Victoria’s best junior players to Bendigo over the Queen’s Birthday long weekend.
What made things even more hectic was that he was coaching an astonishing four different sets of brothers in the one team.
Simon’s sons Lachlan and Cooper Arkinstall as well as James and Connor Brown, Ethan and Isaac Marshall and Nathan and Brenton Urbaniak were all in the staring eleven.
Simon said that there is plenty of good natured ribbing going on between siblings.
“It’s a challenge because sometimes they’ve got their own little fights going on. The older ones like to tell the younger ones how things are done, but it’s all in good fun,” he said.
“I’ve coached brothers before, but to have four sets in one team is something totally different. It’s more work on the parents because there’s less of them to help with travel and other team things, but they do a great job.”
The advantage of having players who know each other so well is they know where each other will be on the pitch and understand each other’s strengths and weaknesses.
The four youngest brothers all take part in the Football Federation Australia Skill Acquisition Program, which accelerates the skill development of identified talented players at the critical ages of 9 to 12.
“They all kick around the backyard with each other so they know where to run, where to be for their brother to pass it and they help each other, which is good,” said Simon.
“This group of kids all get along well; it’s a very casual team and we are just trying to have fun.”
Moama Echuca held their own against regional football powerhouses like Ballarat and Geelong, who had hundreds of players to choose from for the Regional Challenge Cup.
Football is unique in that it caters for players who aspire to win a World Cup or just have a fun kick-around with mates. Whatever your interest of skill level, the world game can cater for you.
For full FFV Regional Challenge Cup results click here.