Season 2022 will see the Macarthur ‘SAP’ League expand to the U9 age group, following a successful pilot in 2021.
After a 2020 review of player development, the Association identified the need to provide local players access to more high-quality development opportunities. The Macarthur ‘SAP’ League, or M-SAP as it is affectionately known, was born in 2021 with eight clubs issued inaugural licenses and participating in an U8 ‘Division 1’ League.
Ten clubs are now part of the M-SAP set-up, with all clubs to nominate one team each in the U8 and U9 Leagues. The clubs include the Bradbury Bears, Camden Falcons, Camden Tigers, Campbelltown Uniting Church SC, Eschol Park FC, Harrington Hornets, Narellan Rangers, Picton Rangers, Oran Park Rovers, and St Mary’s Saints.
Players are required to trial and earn a position in an M-SAP team, to ensure the best local talent are able to play with and against each other each week, enhancing the playing experience and providing a quality youth development environment.
The M-SAP offers the same quality coaching and training environment often found at representative level. The training sessions are tailored to challenge the players at this level and are run more frequently than standard community teams.
Aydin Khan was part of the inaugural Oran Park Rovers U8’s team who competed in the M-SAP league in 2021. Aydin’s mother, Rehana, believes that her son is already reaping the rewards of a ‘more competitive’ environment.
“It challenged Aydin to try harder and towards the end it’s a shame it was cut short, but Aydin was building a lot of new skills and his confidence as well.”
Coach of the U8 Campbelltown Uniting Church M-SAP side, Dwayne Pearson, believes that there were clear signs of development from his players even though their exposure to the SAP environment was shorter than anticipated.
“From the first trial that we had at Uniting Church to where we finished halfway through you could see a massive improvement, but that came back down to structured training sessions, having plans and revising what we were doing.”
Whilst Clubs have conducted trials in the lead up to the season opener on 2 April, there are opportunities still available for interested juniors at the St Mary’s Saints. Interested players are encouraged to contact the Club via their Facebook page to arrange a trial.