At Easts FC, we ensure that our members are educated and trained by qualified, passionate and dedicated coaching staff. Our coaching staff are at the heart of our club and we feel extremely proud of the quality of coaches’ that Easts FC attracts and is able to share with our members. Across all levels, age groups and genders we aim to provide an inclusive environment which fosters learning and development for all.

Over the next few months, we will be featuring an Easts FC Coach Spotlight on one of our valuable coaching staff per week. So make sure you watch this space to learn more about our coaches’ who aim to have a positive impact on all of our members, every single day that they take the field with you.

Easts FC Coach Spotlight

Alex Abenza – Head Coach Easts FC

Coaching Qualifications: FFA/AFC B Licence* , FFA/AFC ‘C’ Combined Youth and Senior Licence, Certificate IV in Sport Development, General Principles of Community Coaching (Australian Sport Commission), Futbol-Táctico Skill Training Certificate, F.C Barcelona Theory and Practice with Eusebio Sacristan, Futbol-Táctico Tactic Periodization, Futbol-Táctico Licenciatura en Derecho.

Easts FC teams: Head Coach of several teams ranging from Little Easts (3s and 4s) up to All Ages Women

Favourite thing about Easts FC: The club culture and camaraderie, between players, coaches, parents and administrators. It is not easy to find something like that anywhere else and make you feel like you are part of a great Football Family. 

Favourite team and player: F.C Barcelona and Messi

Advice for young footballers: ENJOY, football is the most beautiful game in the world! Hard work beats talent and IT DEPENDS ON YOU, it is not on your coaches, parents or team-mates… How much do YOU want it?

Favourite memory in football:

  • As a coach, when in 2019 I saw the Easts FC U12s walking into the pitch before playing the Kanga Cup Grand Final. Teams lined up close to each other and I saw the Easts boys cheering for each other and getting together before playing. I remember the faces in the opposition. I knew the game was won since that moment. We won 3-0.  
  • As a spectator, when Iniesta scored the 1-0 in the extra time against Holland to give Spain the World Cup. 
  • As a player, I have too many to pick one. I still try to keep collecting as many as possible! 

“Being part of Easts since 2016, my aim is to engage with children and adults whatever their age, ability or individual motivation to build confidence and empower players to realise their full potential to play the beautiful game and deal better with their daily life situations. Improving and learning every day and aiming to take Australian youth football system to the next level.” Alex Abenza

Inaki Ortiz

Coaching Qualifications: FFA Skills Training Certificate (2018)

Easts FC Teams: U8s – U11s (Boys and Mixed), Girls 10s – 13s.

Favourite thing about Easts FC: A real sense of community, club identity and team pride!

Favourite team and player: Club América (MEX) & Rafael Márquez

Advice for young footballers: Create good habits, prepare yourself, embrace the challenge, grow from feedback and enjoy the ride.

Favourite memory in football: Being 8 years old, holding a Club America player’s hand while walking down the field at a bursting Azteca Stadium (110,000 spectators at the time!)

“One day you will ‘hang up the boots’ and will realize that soccer taught you lifelong skills. Discipline, teamwork, communication, rivalry, loyalty, honesty and respect travel beyond the field.” Iñaki Ortiz 

Rohan Ball

Coaching Qualifications: Grassroots coaching certificate, SAP training certificate (Skills and Acquisition Program), Diploma of community service and certificate II in public safety and aquatic rescue.   

Easts FC Teams: Coordinator of Easts FC Minis, U6/7s. Little Easts (3-5yrs), DS – U8, U9 and U10. 

Favourite thing about Easts FC: The inclusive culture and spirit of the club. The bond created between players through sport is priceless, the opportunity and environment Easts FC can offer for that is definitely an outstanding attribute of the club. 

Favourite team and player: Liverpool FC and Steven Gerard.

Advice for young footballers: Don’t forget what made you fall in love with our beautiful game.  Always compete with the purpose of fulfilment and education, on and off the field. 

Favourite memory in football: Winning the local derby during my time spent in the NPL Youth Leagues.

“I joined Easts FC as a junior player over 10 years ago and came back as a youth coach after leaving to play in the NPL youth leagues.  I have now been coaching at the club for over 5 years throughout all age groups and now specialise in the early development stages with our Little Easts program and Minis (U6/7s).  I look forward to extending my experience and knowledge as a coach with the aim to soon complete the FFA C Licence.Rohan Ball.

Aqmar Syaqir

Coaching Qualifications: FFA/AFC C Licence

Easts FC Teams: U9 & G12, G12 Wolfsburg

Favourite thing about Easts FC: Opportunity. Having the chance to be on the grass developing our players regardless of ability level, developing good relationships with everyone involved with the club and learning to become the best version of myself (as a coach and also as an individual). Being given the opportunity to be part of the beautiful game we all love by Easts FC is my most favourite thing about the club and I am truly grateful for it every day.

Favourite team and player: Liverpool FC and Steven Gerard.

Advice for young footballers:

1) Every single time you step on the field, always have a growth mindset combined with a desire to learn and improve. That’s the only way you’re going to make it to the top. Even if one day you’ve become one of the best players in the world, maintain this state of mind as this is why the best stays being the very best.

2) Always give your very best and enjoy the process towards success. Giving your absolutely everything does not guarantee we get anything but it is our best and only chance to get something.

Favourite memory in football: My hometown team, Kelantan FA ending an 89 year drought to lift the Malaysia Cup for the very first time in our history back in 2010. I remembered making a 6-7 hour journey with my family to the nation’s capital to watch the game and be a part of a sea of red supporters behind our beloved team. We come back from behind to clinch a 2-1 victory. I was there when history was made and this is definitely one of my favourite football memories.

“As a boy who grew up to love the game and start playing it, I never had a coach who would be there for me to help me develop, someone who allowed me to make mistakes and be there for me to guide through how I can do better in the situations where it happened. I was never good enough for any of them. From that day on, I made a promise to myself to become a coach who I wish I had. A coach who would be there for you, shaping your fundamental skills, giving encouragement to every effort you put in and help you develop regardless of your ability or playing level.” Aqmar Syaqir

Neto Sauer

Coaching Qualifications: Miniroos ESFACertificate (Australia), Skill training ESFA Certificate (Australia), Soccer Referee Certificate (Sydney Schools Football Referees Association), Business Administration ( Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul – Brazil) and Certificate III Fitness (Australia)

Easts FC Teams: Little Easts, Dortmund and 1 on 1 private sessions

Favourite thing about Easts FC: I really enjoy our club philosophy and how this impacts all players, parents and coaches. I believe that being fearful, respecting other players and following the rules of the game, having fun and enjoying ourselves and then trying to win the matches and competitions is the combination that makes not just nice soccer players but also great people for the future. And specifically speaking in terms of football, I believe that the most important thing that Easts FC delivers is to develop soccer players capable of making their own decisions when playing instead of having the coaches telling every single thing the players need to do. 

Favourite team and player: Gremio (Brazil) – Ronaldinho Gaúcho

Advice for young footballers: My advice to young players is that they must believe in their capability to improve their skills and knowledge of the game every day. It is important to not compare themselves to other people because everyone has their own process of development and different things to improve. Also, ability comes with a lot of practice and repetitions so if you want to get better as a soccer player or anything in life, be patient with your process and keep your focus on the skill or activity that you need or want to be better at.

Favourite memory in football: My greatest memory in football is from the day that I played a futsal competition and a man who was watching it liked me as soccer player and gave me the opportunity to play for one of the biggest Football Club in Brazil (Internacional of Porto Alegre). I remember feeling so happy and proud of myself. I was 14 years old and every single soccer session that I had done before, every effort was rewarded. In that period of time I played for the Under 15s of one of the best teams from Brazil, so I could see the professional players of the club every day, with the best kind of soccer training, coaches and material to train and play. I felt so great and thankful. From that experience I learnt that no matter how long you have been working or trying to get something in life, if you deserve it, at some point in life you will be rewarded, and sometimes it comes when you do not have high expectations or are anxious. It comes naturally. 

“I feel so happy to share everything that I learnt as a young soccer player in terms of soccer skills, passion and love for the game. There are lots of things that I learnt from soccer and the people I worked with that makes me a better and stronger person. The truth is, is that I am learning much more from the players than teaching. So I am thankful and feel great to be part of the club, sharing moments with children, parents and coaches.” Neto Sauer

* Pending