Matansa Football Club held a get-together at the Gregorio T. Camacho Elementary School Field last Saturday in preparation for the spring season competition.
More than 70 players attended the gathering, which had a clinic as its centerpiece event with coaches and volunteers from Chelsea FC Soccer School (Hong Kong), Saipan Soccer School, and Shirley's Football Club conducting lessons for Matansa FC players in the various age groups.
Chelsea FC's Jack Wong and Kawai Yiu led the clinic with Saipan Soccer School's Jershwin Angeles and Russell Zapanta and female players of Shirley's assisting the two visiting mentors. Coaches and volunteers/players split up and were assigned to various stations, teaching Matansa FC strikers basic and advanced skills in soccer.
According to Matansa FC officials, the clinics featured players in the co-ed U6, U8, U10, U13, girls and boys U15, and boys U18. These are the same age group teams that will represent Matansa in the NMIFA spring league, which will kick off this weekend.
“We are also working so hard to recruit new players for our girls U21 team (16 to 21 years old). Our goal is to continue delivering quality coaching and development opportunities to players/parents and coaches,” Matansa FC president/treasurer Elna Curate said in an email to Saipan Tribune.
“We have around 95 registered youth players at the moment and we are hoping to recruit more. Most of our players are from Tanapag, San Roque, and As Matuis. We also have eight coaches,” general secretary Joven Cruz added.
Joining Cruz and Curate on the Matansa board and at the get-together are vice president Glenn Perez and technical director Lee Epperson and former club president and Northern Mariana Islands Football Association head Jerry Tan.
Cruz thanked the former Matansa president for his continued support and the former also acknowledged the practice shorts Justin Tan donated to the club.
Meanwhile, besides joining local leagues, Matansa is also planning on sending a team to Guam before the year ends to play against another club. The group also vows to stay involved in community service, as this has been the club's commitment since 2010.
“In March 2010, the club organized the trash can project, specifically for our home pitch GTC. Players, parents/coaches, and other volunteers gathered to paint drums and wooden stands to help GTC in maintaining the cleanliness of the school. In 2011, we donated $1K to purchase bushcutter equipment and other support materials for GTC. For 2012, we are still thinking how we can continue to help our home field, GTC,” Curate said.