Thursday, 21 July 2011
WA could produce the next Harry Kewell or Tim Cahill with Edith Cowan University (ECU) launching a new undergraduate course in soccer.
In the only university course of its kind in Australia – and one of only a handful in the world – ECU will offer the three-year Bachelor of Science (Sports Science & Football) degree from 2012.
The new soccer course will combine 16 general exercise and sports units with 8 soccer-specific units.
Graduates will have the skills to coach a team, design fitness programmes and manage player injuries.
School of Exercise and Health Sciences senior lecturer Dr Michael Newton said the course has been designed to take advantage of the growing demand for dedicated sports science staff within soccer clubs.
“We’re seeing a growing number of clubs in Australia, Asia and internationally appoint dedicated sports scientists to manage the health of their players and develop strength and conditioning programmes,” Dr Newton said.
“This course provides graduates with a background in sports science combined with soccer-specific knowledge. Those graduating from the course could fill roles ranging from the manager at a junior club, where they are hands-on with all aspects, to a specific sports science or coaching role in a major international club.”
The course is fully endorsed by Football West. Students will also benefit from ECU’s existing links with Perth Glory and the National Talent Centre Squad.
Dr Newton expects initial undergraduate intakes to be sourced mainly from Australia, particularly WA, but he is excited about the prospect of growth from Asia – particularly Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand, and potentially Japan, China and Korea.
“They’re all passionate about football and many of these countries are already well aware of the proximity and professionalism of tertiary institutions in Perth,” Dr Newton said.
ECU also offers the Bachelor of Sport Management.