Box Hill United are delighted to welcome head coach Paul Tucker and his assistant Dijana Josevski to our U/12 girls’ thinktank, and Tucker recently highlighted his aim to strengthen the players’ basics.
With coaching experiences spanning across Singapore and in Australia at Bulleen Lions and Hampton Juniors SC, Tucker previously plied his playing days in Scotland and England.
Nearer to home, he played for APIA Leichhardt and St George Budapest in Sydney’s National Youth League.
Now firmly setting his sights on improving standards with Box Hill’s U/12s, he said, “With girls that have mostly come from community football, it’s about focusing on the basics – strong first touch, getting used to working with the ball and using space.
“I am trying to get some structure. Most of us are aware that we don’t have to do all the running. So, it’s more about passing, moving and strong first touch.”
In 2019, Box Hill’s U/12s won the Macca’s City Cup and the U/12 Football Victoria Cup for Girls.
Having several players from that squad is an advantage for the new season, Tucker explained, “Having those girls makes the new girls feel welcomed, because they know how the club operates and what’s expected.
“The girls that have stayed are very good footballers. So, we are very lucky to have the team we’ve got.”
The 42-year-old further hailed the qualities of his deputy Josevski saying, “Dijana played in the NPLW and in the USA. She brings great football knowledge, [as a] student of the game.
“More importantly, she brings a female voice, so that the girls can relate to her. Sometimes, the girls need an arm around [their shoulders], and it’s better coming from Dijana.”
On the coaching philosophy the duo are trying to instil this time around, Tucker added, “If the players love the game and the team environment, they’ll develop. They’ll want to be here, to train hard, to get better; but they have to be having fun. And you can have fun and work hard at the same time.
“Girls at this age are developing at different speeds. You have to coach every child. You cannot just coach the team – you are coaching the individuals in the team. If they feel part of something, they’ll be better players.”
Tucker’s passion for the world game extends beyond the playing arena, as he co-founded charity ‘We Give a Boot’ with his three daughters in 2016.
The initiative aims to collect good quality second-hand football boots and provide these to disadvantaged playing communities through established charities.
As of 2019, they collected over 2,000 pairs of boots that were distributed to around 14 countries worldwide. To know more about ‘We Give a Boot’, please follow them on Facebook and Instagram.