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What's news at Maccabi's biggest club?

Posted: 25-May-2011 by Maccabi NSW

Running the Junior Soccer Club - Maccabi’s biggest club - in your spare time is no mean feat, but that’s what Mark Puterflam has done since taking over from Danny Hochberg at the beginning of 2010.

Puterflam, who recalls being out at Wentworth Park watching the old Hakoah sides playing as far back as when he was five-years-old with his father, has a drive and plan to see Maccabi succeed.

Maccabi News caught up with Mark to learn a little bit more about what’s happening at the junior football club and its initiatives.

“Up until four or five years ago, everything at the club was done by volunteers,” Mark said. “But the level of competition has increased and people have greater expectations of what opportunities their kids are getting.”

“My objective is for people who haven’t been playing at the club of late, or people who are about to start with young kids, is for Maccabi to have a reputation of having very good coaching.”

So, Maccabi has had to lift its game.

• The club now offers structured coaching options. Those teams that want access to professional, qualified coaches, get one.
• Fees have been reduced. “I don’t think our fees are more expensive than any club in the Eastern Suburbs.”

With the top 60 or so players now playing for Hakoah at YDL level, there is a greater onus on the Junior Soccer club not to rest on its laurels.

The Small Sided Games game program, starting at under-6s, has become a huge part of the club’s philosophy, to not only ensure kids have the skills to try out for YDL at under-13s if they want to, but to make sure the club has a bigger pool of kids who love the game so that Maccabi can still field teams capable of competing in the ESFA leagues once players start filtering to YDL.

• Kids from under-11 through to under-18s have access to the Hakoah academy as well.

“Instead of having 10 or a dozen kids capable of YDL standard, hopefully we’ll have more,” Mark adds. “We want to ensure we still have a team capable of playing A-grade (at local level). And the reality is kids develop at different speeds.

“Kids play at Maccabi at under-13s for a year and then make it into Hakoah at under-14s. We’d like to see more of that too.”

• Girls now have opportunities to play from as young as under-sixes.

"(Not starting the girls program until under-8s) was causing girls to go to Queens Park or Easts. But now we have 25 girls in this program ... I’m amazed at what they can do at that age.”

The new program should solidify girls numbers to ensure there are always teams fielded from the under-11s onwards, and with 730 players now registered across the club, the future looks bright.

As always Mark is looking for more parents and volunteers to assist, as he strives to create the best environment possible for the community’s football players.

Carnival 2020


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