Kicking goals all round
Manjimup’s Tim Mitchell is trying to foster a culture of participation and fun in local soccer.
He is the president of Manjimup United Soccer Club and the Lower South West Soccer League.
Having only played one season of soccer himself, Tim first got involved with local soccer when his children started playing seven years ago and quickly become the Manjimup United Club president a year later, when a friend asked him if he would be able to fill the role.
One presidency quickly turned into two when he accepted the role of LSWSL president four years ago.
During his time at Manjimup United he has seen the number of children playing soccer more than double from 60 to 125 across all of their grades.
“We have a lot of kids that are playing 13s and 15s that started in our 7s and just keep coming back each year and have gone through to that stage now, which is good to see.”
Of particular interest to Tim is the Manjimup United under 18s team who he thinks have a good chance of troubling the other clubs in the forthcoming season.
“I think next year will be a good year for us, and we might have a few wins.”
One of the most pleasing aspects of his role as league president is to see players develop through the season.
“I like watching them progress through the season — even though it’s only eight weeks — you watch them progress and you see kids that are first season players and you’re like wow!
“There are some good players in all grades over the whole comp, not just in Manji, or Pemby, or Northcliffe or Bridgey.”
He is especially proud of the collegial atmosphere that he has developed between the clubs.
“One of the goals that I’m trying to get to is to create a more fun, family-friendly environment.
“It is more about the kids having some fun, whether they win, lose or draw, it doesn’t matter.
“All the clubs seem to have good committees and good people on their committees, so you can go and see them and say we haven’t got an AR (assistant referee), and they have a spare one.”
When quizzed about future plans for the league Tim admitted they were mooting an expanded season which would run into term one of the following school year.
Tim encouraged anyone who was interested in volunteering to contact the club, especially if they were interested in assistant refereeing or refereeing.
“Referees and assistant referees are hard to find in a small league like ours, but we seem to have people step up.”
When not roving the soccer grounds of the region, Tim is also responsible for erecting the Christmas Tree in the Manjimup CBD, a responsibility that he has undertaken for the past three years. In his spare time, he likes to indulge in the spot of pig hunting and has worked with local catchment councils, helping them control the number of feral pigs within their areas of responsibility.
His stated goal for pig hunting was to bring one pig in for each day of the year and he has collected an estimated 280 pigs this year.
Anyone wishing to get involved with the soccer club or league should contact Tim at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
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