“By all means, engage in positive but controlled encouragement such as ‘Well done Billy’”. This is advice from the Torrens Valley Soccer Club’s website on ‘Parents Code of Behaviour’. The site goes on to say that there should be no abusive shouting, no destructive criticism, no hysterics and no sideline coaching from parents. This might seem like it’s stating the obvious, but its all part of the professional direction that this Birdwood based soccer club is taking.
In the mid 80’s a group of people, who didn’t want to play Aussie rules, got together and formed the Torrens Valley Soccer Club. With grants from the local council and community help, they developed the pitch at Birdwood Park and became the Torrens Valley Soccer Club (The Rams). Now they have over 120 players and active parents involved in the running of the club.
The Rams have 10 teams ranging from under 7’s to seniors, with two dedicated girls teams. All of the teams work in partnership. This provides leadership experience for the older players while the younger players benefit from the mentorship and development opportunities.
The Miller family, from Mount Crawford, are soccer mad. Which is a good thing since all five of the children play for the Torrens Valley Soccer Club; Elaine, aged 6, Andrew aged 9, Alexandra aged 13, Miranda aged 14 and Felicity aged 16. Felicity also referee’s and helps coach the Under 11 girls team, while Miranda and Alexandra also play for the higher league team, the Hills Hawks Soccer Club. Alexandra has been selected for the Under 13’s South Australian Development Squad and dad, Andrew, is the Chairperson of the club. Not to be left out of the picture is mum, Sharon, who runs the club’s canteen and taxi’s players around the countryside.
The three older Miller sisters play together in the under 17’s girls team.
Being a team of teenage girls, you might expect some trouble, but 13 year old Alexandra said they are really welcoming and give you a fair go. She said that when they are on the pitch they just focus on soccer.
The seniors team play in division 5 of the South Australian Amateur Soccer League. Team Member, Jeremy Byrnes from Murray Bridge, is a central defender. He said “I like the club atmosphere … we are in it for enjoyment … but there is an element of competitiveness, while we are not playing for sheep stations, we do want to win”.
The club has been fortunate to receive additional grants for major improvements on the grounds, including a practice pitch, irrigation system, new floodlights, back nets and training equipment. Currently, the Rams are a very young side and are not only looking to boost the numbers in the junior grades, but in particular, would like to bolster the senior teams’ numbers.
If you think you’d like to keep fit in a social team atmosphere, or your son, daughter, brother or sister might be interested, please go along to the registration day at Birdwood Park on Shannon St (opposite the vets) on February the 28th from 1-4pm. Or perhaps you are a prospective sponsor or coach and would like to help out this young club? For more information about the club, please phone 8524 6030 or www.torrensvalleysoccerclub.com.
Members of the Miller family: Alexandra, Elaine and Felicity (back); Miranda and Andrew Jnr. (front).
In a match against the Adelaide team Conga African, Torrens Valley Soccer Club’s Jeremy Byrnes leaps into action with brother, Shaun Byrnes, nearby. Photos courtesy of Andrew Miller.