Box Hill United U/16 boys’ head coach Kai Maxfield has hailed his charges’ hardworking attitude, as the squad shapes up for a revamped Junior Boys NPL 2020 campaign.
Maxfield, who coached Box Hill’s U/18 boys in 2018 and 2019, is now busy preparing his players for the re-structured competition, which will see 48 clubs fielding teams-apiece across U/13, U/14, U/15 and U/16 age grades.
Following an 11-game pre-qualification run-in, each team’s position will determine their progress to one of the three subsequent Divisions for the season’s remainder.
Building up to a different type of challenge ahead, Maxfield said, “Season 2020 is already shaping up to be an exciting year. I have a new group of players that I have never coached before. The group is very technically-skilled and I believe will be an exciting team to watch during the year.
“The players are also willing to work hard on the training track and wanting to further develop their game. This positive attitude from them has me excited as to how far this squad may keep improving over the next 10 months.”
Maxfield, who played amateur football in England with Milton FC and Alma FC, explained that his players should serve up their best performances right from the first round of fixtures.
“There is a need to be ‘ready to go’ from the first game in early February 2020. It is even more essential that every player in your squad is able to adapt to different roles and that all are contributing on game day,” he said.
“With the U/16 squad, we are lucky that the skill and depth of the squad exists, which will enable player rotation and the managing of player loads as well as covering for injuries and illnesses.”
The former Whitehorse United and Ashburton United player further said about his coaching philosophy with the U/16s’ group, “We want to be a team that is exciting in attack and is able to create chances and score goals through multiple different ways. We also need to be tight in defence.
“Along the way, these players must enjoy what they are doing. I still love playing the game, as well as coaching it. I strongly believe that if the players are enjoying training while being challenged, then you get the best out of them.
“If we continue to work hard on the training pitch with the structure that is put in place, the results on the park will take care of themselves.”