The Weston Bears held their annual mentor program coaching session at Thomas and Coffey Park on Friday night, with club president Duncan Nisbet hailing it as a great success.
Nanjing Night Net

Players from the clubs under 14s, 15s and 16s trained with the Bears senior squads under the guidance of head coach Darren Elkin, first grade assistant coach Steve McIntosh and under 23s coach Graham Kaiser.

Nisbet believes the mentor program is an essential part of the club’s ability to build for the future.

“Our mentor program is the formalisation of a process that has been ongoing at Weston for a long, long time now,” Nisbet said.

“It’s about the senior players learning more about their own club and their club mates.

“And for the junior players, for them it’s about having the door opened I suppose to show them what it’s like and what kind of expectations and commitment the first grade players need to have to play at this level.”

Almost 50 junior players took part alongside the senior squad and although the club doesn’t expect to gain immediate results, Nisbet said there would be great rewards for Weston in the future.

“It’s not something we want to gain out of now, it’s purely for the players and the young ones coming through,” Nisbet said.

“The feedback I’ve been getting has been immense and next year we already have plans in place to take it to another level again.”

Nisbet said the community initiative was designed to develop links between youth players and the first team, showing the pathway for players to reach the next level.

Nisbet was also delighted with the way the whole club had taken to the concept.

“I am really very proud of the way the whole club has embraced the mentor program,” Nisbet said.

“From the committee to the officials and the participants, everyone has pulled together and made it what it is.”

In a further coup for Weston, the club will host an A-League pre-season friendly between the Newcastle Jets and the Wellington Phoenix at Thomas and Coffey Park on August 18.

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