Football masterclass launched in Muswell Hill

A new class designed to help child and parent bonding as well as create the next generation of great footballers has been launched in Muswell Hill. Three years ago Mark Carter set up the Ministry of Football after becoming frustrated at the

Rhiannon Evans

A new class designed to help child and parent bonding as well as create the next generation of great footballers has been launched in Muswell Hill.

Three years ago Mark Carter set up the Ministry of Football after becoming frustrated at the lack of originality used in local programmes.

"I was a football coach in various countries for 10 or 15 years and coming back to London where I grew up in Muswell Hill, I was looking at football programmes and it seemed to me most of them were very much adult-centred," said the 35-year-old. "There were lots of instructions and standing in queues and in my experience that doesn't work very well."


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The Ministry has been running for three successful years, running weekend classes for all ages with a twist on conventional methods from Fortismere School.

Now the group has launched a Sunday parent and child class which, after two weeks, is already proving a favourite with mums, dads and even older cousins - no-one is excluded.

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"The parent-child classes are about teaching parents how to work with their children and giving them ideas of things they can try together. It's also so children can get a good introduction to football and feel comfortable with the ball," he said.

"It's quality time together and teaching parents how to teach their child - with football the obvious thing is they will teach the children just how to kick the ball.

"But it strikes me if you want to create players of the future who can do things with the ball, you shouldn't be teaching them just to kick it away all the time. It's also about co-ordination and balance, things that can be used in other sports, but it's about a healthy lifestyle too."

The programme's unique approach has already yielded success, with five youngsters being signed up by professional academies.

One of those to benefit from the Ministry is seven-year-old Kido Taylor-Hart, from Muswell Hill, who only began playing football at the programme six months ago. He has just joined the advanced soccer school at Arsenal.

His father, Brian Taylor, himself an athletics coach, said: "He only started playing football six months ago, but luckily he started at the Ministry of Football, so he has only had good stuff. Their coaching is absolutely excellent - it's just what coaching is supposed to be.

"Kids lap it up because he makes it fun and makes it concise - kids don't stand around listening to adults talking at them."

For more information, go to www.ministry-of-football.com.

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