WESTSIDE FC technical director Sean D'Arcy believes grassroots soccer sides can offer as good an early development path as National Premier Leagues clubs.
While WA’s top tier begins at under-12s, NPL clubs such as Sorrento and ECU Joondalup also field teams in earlier age groups as part of Football West’s MiniRoos competition.
D’Arcy said there was no need to join a Premier League club until a player was old enough or had the necessary skills to be playing in the NPL.
‘You do not need to join a club in the Premier Leagues until you’re a bit older,’ he said. ‘From under-12s, if a player wants to go to the NPL, then they can.’
He said soccer at an early primary school age should be grounded in enjoyment of the game, before players took it to the next level.
Westside, which is based at Prince Regent Park in Heathridge, has produced a number of professional players who have risen from the grassroots level.