Old pals aim to set up Oz coaching partnership

Jon Shaw, pictured in his Kimberley Institute days, now lives and coaches in Australia.
Jon Shaw, pictured in his Kimberley Institute days, now lives and coaches in Australia.

A FORMER footballer from Eastwood has travelled to Australia to help create links between clubs in North East Victoria and the Broxtowe area.

Neil Smith, whose previous teams include Notts County, Sutton Town, Kimberley Miners Welfare and Moorgreen Colts, was invited to coach at Wangaratta City FC by former school friend and team mate Jon Shaw, better known for his exploits on the cricket pitch with Kimberley Institute and who is now senior coach at Wangaratta.

He is spending five weeks with the club and hopes the experience will benefit players on both sides of the globe.

He said: “I jumped at the chance to experience football in Australia and work with Jon again.

“I have been amazed by the standard. The facilities are first class, the attitude and application of the players is fantastic and I really hope this is the start of something that can benefit both the local players in Australia and in Nottingham.

“It is quite common for local cricketers to travel to Australia in the off season and gain more experience so I do not see why footballers can’t do the same.”

Shaw added: “Neil has years of experience both playing and coaching at a high level and I thought his contribution would help improve all areas of Wangaratta City FC”