Steely soccer clinic

CLINIC: Kirsty Arbuckle from Girls of Steel, Shannon Nielson from the WJSA and Cristiano Dos Santos from the FFSA with the Girls of Steel players.
CLINIC: Kirsty Arbuckle from Girls of Steel, Shannon Nielson from the WJSA and Cristiano Dos Santos from the FFSA with the Girls of Steel players.

Honing the intricate skills involved with soccer can be difficult, but fortunately Whyalla’s Girls of Steel were recently given a helping hand by former Adelaide United star Cristiano dos Santos.

Girls of Steel is a new soccer team in Whyalla organised by Steel United. They have held a number of training sessions and are preparing for their first game on March 25.

The session with Cristiano helped the girls hone basic soccer skills such as dribbling and passing, helping them to build more confidence in their game.

The clinic was also a part of celebrating International Women’s Day on March 8.

Coach Kirsty Arbuckle said Cristiano found a way to make most of his drills fun for younger players.

“Dribbling and passing are really important skills. The session also taught them how to properly kick the ball and how to deal with one on one situations,” she said.

Cristiano, who is a Coach Education Manager with Football Federation South Australia, said the Girls of Steel team has ‘huge potential’.

“There’s a lot of younger talent coming through. I’m very impressed by what I’ve seen so far,” he said.

“It’s very important that we as Football Federation South Australia support the Whyalla Soccer Association and make sure that the game grows for the girls.”

Cristiano regularly travels around South Australia to areas like Port Lincoln, Mount Gambier and the Riverland to promote the game of soccer.

He praised Steel United and the Whyalla Soccer Association for creating an opportunity for girls to play soccer in the steel city.

The Girls of Steel will be taking on Croatia in their first match, and Ms Arbuckle said the girls are very excited to get onto the pitch for a full game.

“In our first few training sessions we focused on honing basic skills and now they have enough knowledge to implement those skills in a full game,” she said.

“I have been so impressed with how much the girls have improved in such a short amount of time. This has been amazing experience for us all.”