The ACE junior technical team has made three key Director of Coaching (DOC) appointments for 2023.
ACE Junior Vice President Jason Gilbert has announced Peter Ziu will be DOC for the Under 8s; Paddy Higgins Under 9, Under 10, Under 12s and Andy Hughes Under 11s.
“Our MiniRoos DOCs have experience and passion that will serve the coaches and players at ACE well,” Jason said.
“Peter has been a DOC before and will be a great help to those in the Under 8s as he applies years of experience as a player and coach.
“Paddy brings many years of knowledge and recently helped run our successful holiday clinics. He will continue to assist in these areas.
“Andy – and his helpful approach – have been in high demand each year by players and coaches and continues his 2022 DOC role.
“Each DOC will focus on education of coaches to ensure they have all the support they need to help foster an environment of player development and joy in the game.”
Peter Ziu – DOC Under 8s
Started playing in the Under 8s at Samford before moving to ACE. At university he played Futsal, five-a-side and church league.
Three seasons in London followed before returning and starting his ACE coaching career with the juniors in 2017. This year he also played with ACE Over 35s and the Overs five-a-side.
“As Under 8 DOC I’ll enjoy assisting coaches and teams as they transition from the Under 7 format to the larger Under 8 game, with throw-ins, corners, goalkeepers – and more players,” Peter said.
“The opportunity to help ACE strengthen the bonds between the playing divisions and help to develop players at all levels is for me, the main drawcard of the DOC role.
“My aim is to emphasise fun, team comradery and sportsmanship as I believe it’s a core component of any team sport.
“I’m a strong believer in training sessions/drills that maximise touches on the ball and at Miniroos level I like to take players out of their comfort zone by mixing up playing positions. This helps to develop skill and appreciation of all facets of the game.”
Paddy Higgins – DOC Under 9, Under 10 and Under 12
Paddy Higgins has a remarkable footballing resume which he will use to “provide support and guidance to coaches” next season.
“My initial focus will be to assist coaches with their sessions and where possible to gain coaching qualifications so their coaching development can be planned and mapped out,” he said.
Paddy started playing at 11 with Zillmere Magpies, now North Star, and then joined ACE, Caboolture, Caloundra, Sunshine Coast Rep, Redcliffe City, North Pine, Pine Rivers, Grange Thistle and Queensland Police at the International Law Enforcement Olympics.
He has coached all ages in a distinguished career with Caloundra, North Pine, Redcliffe City, North Star, Pine Rivers, Grange Thistle, Olympic (1996 first team Premiers), Wynnum, Brisbane North Rep U12/U13/U14/U15, SEQ U14s and Queensland Christian Senior Men.
Paddy was senior and junior DOC at Ridge Hills and with Baptist Football Queensland. He then retired from coaching but returned when his grandsons started playing.
Asked to coach his grandson’s ACE Under 10 side, he said: “I enjoyed it so much the following year I coached another of my grandsons in the U8s. Again, the enjoyment was well worth the effort.” He has since helped the ACE Academy and school holiday clinics and will be passing on his knowledge and experience next season.
Andy Hughes – DOC Under 11
Andy Hughes said he is “excited to return in 2023”. “It was great to get to know all the coaches and kids across the Under 10s last season and see the growth and development across the age group,” he said.
“This coming season, one of my aims is to encourage and get as many coaches and assistant coaches along to the fantastic coaching development courses run by Football Queensland.
“I’m intending to enrol and complete some of these myself (including my Class C coaching accreditation). Look forward to seeing some of you there with me!”
He said ACE is working on “great initiatives” to help support coaches and players in 2023.
“Next season, I look forward to getting along to even more training sessions with the U11s coaches and players to assist wherever I can and help pitch in will everyone’s development.
Andy has played football for 25 years, never missing a season but “jumped at the opportunity” to get involved with coaching when his children started playing.