Last Minute Substitutions
A group of teenagers from Norfolk got more than they bargained for when what started out as a tour of a stadium in Los Angeles turned into a football training session with none other than former England and Liverpool captain, Steven Gerrard. The 10 teenagers from Dereham Education and Soccer Academy answered a call for help by taking part in a practice session which had been set up as part of Gerrard’s coaching licence qualifications. Tom Parke, DESA’s head coach, recalled “Some of the LA Galaxy academy players that were meant to stay behind and help Gerrard went home…As we were leaving the ground, someone said ‘we need your players’. All of our lads were put in full LA Galaxy kit, we [the team’s management] watched the session.” When asked about Gerrard’s coaching skills, Coach Parke said, “I can see him being really successful. The best thing about him is his calm manner, but at the same time he knows exactly what he wants from his players,” said Parke, who has a Uefa B coaching licence. “He asked me what I thought of the session and I told him I thought his coaching positions and coaching points were great, which they would be because he knows the game better than most.” Sounds like everyone had a ball.