Through 2016 and into early 2017, Nerang Soccer Club in conjunction with the Academy of Football Australia worked tirelessly to secure an official partnership with a leading international football club and franchise – the mighty Celtic Football Club of Scotland.
The partnership sees the two clubs form a sister club relationship, one of many partnerships that Celtic has formed across several continents, with clubs like Nerang being included in the scope of the Celtic International Academy.
Celtic – the current Scottish Premier Football League champions – recognised Nerang’s lengthy club history and proven youth-development ethos when inviting Nerang into their club’s portfolio of partner clubs.
Celtic FC’s International Soccer Academy Manager, Tony Massie, said at the time, “we’re delighted to add Nerang Soccer Club to our International Partnership Programme and it again emphasises our commitment to building relationships across the globe.”
The Celtic International Academy is an exciting addition to the Nerang Eagles development programs and opens up significant opportunities for the club to advance its entire football horizon, both on and off the field.
In April 2017, Nerang hosted their first Celtic International Academy coaching clinic which saw two top Celtic coaches fly out especially to spend a week coaching and mentoring a very lucky group of almost 70 players – both from Nerang and other clubs around the Gold Coast and Brisbane region.
The players were treated to a rigorous 6-hour per day regime of expert skills training, individual instruction as well and team-building skills, rapid small-sided matches and much, much more.
The significant positive impact this highly successful clinic delivered to these junior players was incredible and very noticeable by the end of the week – a credit to the cast experience and enthusiasm the visiting Scottish coaches impressed upon everyone they worked with.
Graham Diamond and Paul-John Corr (the Celtic coaches) often remarked about the similar values and work ethic the two clubs posses, and how they see Nerang as a perfect fit to the Celtic family.
Nerang will be hosting this specialist academy and coaching clinic at least once per year, although there is already much talk of expanding the program to offer even more junior players the chance to truly learn how to play the Celtic way.
During the course of this year’s academy, award-winning photographer and journalist Luke Sorensen – himself a Nerang Eagle since 1981 – set about shooting a documentary film about the Celtic FC Academy and Nerang Soccer Club partnership.
The short-film has just hit the editing stage and we look forward to seeing come to life soon!