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February 20, 2012

KICK IT: United's approach comes to Clark County

> SOUTHERN INDIANA — If you happen to see the young players of the Clark County Soccer Association in action this spring, don’t be surprised if their style reminds you of a certain Manchester United.

It’s all changed off the field at CCSA this year, where there is now a new president in the shape of Paul Duckworth.

The recreational youth soccer club also has a new treasurer, a field engineer, a registrar, a concession manager, a webmaster and a uniforms commissioner.

And there’s also set to be change on it.

Duckworth is in the process of introducing the coaching approach of Rene Meulensteen to CCSA.

The name may not ring too many bells with a whole lot of local people, but Dutchman Meulensteen has been the first team coach for Premier League giants United since 2008.

If you ever look at the Red Devils’ bench, he’s the one usually sitting to the left of manager Sir Alex Ferguson.

Now, CCSA is set to introduce his academy after Duckworth, a native of the west Yorkshire town of Huddersfield in England, was suitably impressed with Meulensteen’s approach when taking his coaching course two years ago.

In fact, Duckworth uses his methodology with Southern Indiana United U15 Strikers, a team he currently coaches on top of his CCSA duties.

“Meulensteen’s basic philosophy is that the player that can beat someone one-on-one can make a dynamic difference to the game,” he said. “Messi, Ronaldo and Rooney are examples of such players.”

Indiana Soccer also is planning to introduce the approach to other clubs in the state, and will be hosting a three-hour training session at its annual convention in Carmel this Saturday.

“We are encouraging all of our coaches to attend and we will then work with them to help bring this style of coaching to CCSA,” said Duckworth.

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