Youth Development a Key Principle for Beech and Stopper

Chris Beech and Clive Stopper are a third of the way through their first season as senior level coaches, and the pair are thoroughly enjoying the time in their new role as co-coaches of the State League Division One reserves side at UWA Nedlands FC.

“I have personally been surprised by just how much I have enjoyed the change of role,” commented Stopper. “I thought I would struggle not stepping onto the pitch each week and getting stuck in, but I’m getting a lot of satisfaction from seeing the lads train hard and develop on and off the pitch.”

One of the major highlights from the duos opening campaign has been the development of youth, with 7 of the regular starting 11 all being 20 years old or younger. “Clive, Michael (Janssen) and I have already identified some players that will be the ones to watch at UWANFC in coming seasons,” explained Beech. “It creates an exciting future for the club.”

Two players who have thrived under Beech and Stopper are Mordecai Appiah (Junior) and Sam Holden, both of whom have been given a taste of First Team football in the past few weeks. “It is pleasing to see the likes of Sam and Junior getting some minutes with the First Team over the past few weeks,” expressed Beech. “Knowing that the Head Coach, Michael Janssen, has been true to his word gives our lads even greater hunger to train hard and perform on match day,” added Stopper.

The reserves are sitting mid-table in 6th after eight games of the season, a position that has them within striking distance of the top four. “Taking a glance at the league table I would say we are off the pace from where we would like to be; however, we can take a lot of belief knowing that on several occasions we have got into winning positions and it was from our own mistakes that we went on to lose the points,” commented Stopper.

Although the results haven’t come, as of yet, Beech believes that the final product is slowly emerging in their young squad. “The boys are working hard to clean up some small errors that we make each match. It’s a great issue to have when we’re the ones creating the chances but also making the mistakes. Because once we tidy up some defensive mistakes each match, there will be no stopping our run home to the end of the season.”

All three State League sides will face Canning City SC away this Sunday the 12th of June.