Introducing 'Free FC'!

Central Coast Mariners together with the International Football School (IFS) and Central Coast Football (CCF) have today joined forces to launch an exciting new program that will introduce juniors to football for free.

Central Coast Mariners together with the International Football School (IFS) and Central Coast Football (CCF) have today joined forces to launch an exciting new program that will introduce juniors to football for free.

Free FC, a new component of the Mariners- development programs and the brainchild of the Club-s majority owner, Mike Charlesworth, will provide a chance for juniors who may be new to football to try the sport at no cost.

The program will be held in a friendly, supervised environment to ensure kids are provided the best possible environment to fall in love with the globe-s favourite game.

“We have taken this step to provide as many kids on the Coast as possible with every chance to immerse themselves in Australia-s most popular participation sport,” Mr Charlesworth said. “It is also a wonderful example of how the three football organisations in the community can unite to create better opportunities for kids and assist in the growth of the sport.”

“For us, Free FC is not necessarily about discovering the next Mitchell Duke, Matt Simon or Mat Ryan. It is about ensuring every child has the chance to fall in love with the game so they can go to bed with the dream of becoming the next Duke, Simon or Ryan,” he said.

The launch of Free FC has the backing of Football Federation Australia (FFA), with Head of the Hyundai A-League, Mr Damien de Bohun, describing the program as a tremendous initiative.

“Football Federation Australia applauds the Free FC program as it allows young children to play football who may otherwise not be able to do so,” Mr de Bohun said. “It is a long term goal of the FFA to make football the most accessible game and this is a good step forward.”

The program, managed by IFS, caters for boys and girls aged eight to twelve years who can register to attend one of four locations every Tuesday night to join an hour of play free of charge.

IFS Chief Executive Officer, Mr Paul Chapman, hopes the model will one day be rolled out nationally.

“Mike Charlesworth and I both have a similar passion to create more opportunities for young people to enjoy the great game of football,” Mr Chapman said. “I believe Free FC has the potential to enhance the health and wellbeing of thousands of Australian children by providing them with an opportunity to participate in an activity that is fun and free with no barriers to entry.”

The weekly Free FC sessions will be organised by widely respected former Hyundai A-League and National Soccer League professional player, Damien Brown.

Brown, the Mariners- Youth Development Coordinator, currently organises the Club-s Newcastle Permanent MarinersACTIVE sessions, and coaches at the IFS Mariners Central Coast Campus at Mount Penang.

Since its inception in 2010 the Newcastle Permanent MarinersACTIVE program has introduced over 30,000 kids to football at primary school free of charge.

CCF Chairman, Mr Darren Sprod, is also supportive of the Free FC initiative.

‘-This program gives every child a chance to try the highest participation sport on the Central Coast for free. Local clubs will be invited to Free FC in the registration period to encourage children to further their football experience by joining a local club.--

Free FC will commence on Tuesday 15 October 2013, just three days after the Mariners- opening game of the Hyundai A-League 2013/14 season against Western Sydney Wanderers at Bluetongue Stadium, Gosford.

Updates regarding Free FC will be made available at www.MarinersDevelopment.com.au.