Blue Rovers Junior Football Club continues to make strong progress as a major footballing club in the Bay of Plenty.

The club, based at Pemberton Park in Greerton, is proud to have been accredited to run a New Zealand Football (NZF) Skill Centre.

Open to any player aged 9-12 years, not just Blue Rovers members, the NZF Skills Centre Open course is designed to develop player ability through engaging, fun sessions and high-quality coaching.

The eight sessions begin today and run through until July 6.

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"Blue Rovers sees the skill centre as an extra option for all players to get quality training," club president Theo Ursum says.

"I am sure our coaches will learn a thing or two too, watching from the sideline. The Skill Centre provides clear training guidelines, based on international best practice, for junior footballers who want to increase their skills. It doesn't matter at what level they are now."

Ursum says gaining accreditation to run the courses began with fielding under-12 and under-13 Federation teams at the club.

"The bigger picture is we want to assist our coaches in becoming really good coaches by providing training and also support. Getting Ricki Herbert Academy (RHFA) involved pre-season helped as well as they had the opportunity to talk to the Ricki Herbert coaches and learn from that as well."

Blue Rovers are offering the Open version of the two coaching courses, which Ursum says gives an opportunity for those players below the top level to improve their skills.

The club is also pleased with the merger this season with Tauranga Old Blues that now provides football from junior level right through to seniors.

"It is great to see the seniors training on our junior pitches. The younger kids can see what they can be playing later in life. It was also good to see the senior side have a home game at Pemberton quite early and there were still junior teams playing," Ursum says.

"Our juniors were ball boys for one game and it is also good that we have some coaches who are senior players and they have taken on a junior team. That is really beneficial."

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What: The New Zealand Football Skill Centre, run by the Ricki Herbert Football Academy.
When: The sessions are on Mondays, May 21- July 16
Age 9-10 grade 4.45pm-5.45pm, 11-12 grade 6pm-7pm
Where: Morland Fox Park, Greerton
Costs for 8 sessions: $80, to be paid at registration
Registrations for term 2 are now open.
To register: log in to http://www.nzfootball.co.nz, My Comet and select the skill centre under the Blue Rovers football Club