Feature Article - Andrew Perrone
As an original member of the MetroStars team, formed 13 years ago, Andrew Perrone has been a vital contributor to the growth and success of the club. A player for the reserves for two seasons, Andrew was one of the first Knights who began the journey to create a whole new standard of soccer in South Australia. On deciding to retire from playing, Perrone became secretary for the committee of Metro Knights, before taking a break for two years to focus on family commitments. Although always a part of the club, it wasn’t until Andrew’s son Mark decided he wanted to follow the family legacy at five years old, becoming a part of Metro’s first U8 team, that Andrew again joined the committee as Junior Coordinator, the same year Metro joined the Premier league. Determined to nurture the potential of upcoming players, Andrew, with the help of his wife Mirella and other members of the junior committee, formed a sub committee intent on producing players with the skill and stamina to go beyond the Super league. In line with Metro’s motto of "building soccer for the future”, Coerver coaching was introduced in 2001, an intensive coaching strategy aimed at fast tracking the development of ball skills of 5-12 year olds. With super league clubs recently under scrutiny for not investing enough in their junior teams and therefore not producing worthy players for the A-League, it is pioneering moves such as introducing Coerver to SA, which sets Metro apart from the rest. According to Andrew, Metro juniors are taught values that enable them to develop as leaders, not only on the soccer field, but also within the community. A full development package is offered including quality coaches, coaching directors and development programs, in the hope of achieving a holistic approach that develops their soccer skills as well as the players as individuals. Since the induction of the club, the aim has always been on not only promoting the talent of senior players, but also nurturing their potential in the early stages, and Metro is just now witnessing the fruits of labour as for the first time the original junior players are now progressing into the senior teams. Andrew believes that not only is it a testament to the magnetic nature of the club, but having players such as Michael Rende, and Joseph Crescitelli progress to vital members of the senior squads, when they first started kicking the ball as juniors at Metro, is testimony to the focus of quality coaching on junior players. After nine years as Junior coordinator, Andrew has stepped down from his position, now focusing on family commitments, supporting his sons in their sporting pursuits, 17 year old Daniel a successful volleyball player and youngest son Mark, 14, still pursing his soccer career. Andrew comments that it is only due to the support of his wife of 20 years that he has been able to pursue his passion for the club for so long. An integral member of the Metro team herself, Mirella has been a fundamental source of encouragement and aid, helping with organization of the Juniors, canteen duties and event co-ordination, and Andrew warrants a lot of the growth they have achieved to her contributions and commitment. He also hopes that in allowing change within the committee it will encourage others to get involved with the club, believing it is beneficial for the club to entice new and fresh additions. Andrew likens being a member of Metro to being a member of a family and has a great sense of patriotism for the club. The friendships formed and the involvement of wives and families, for Andrew, has created an unbreakable bond with the Stars. With the club having achieved fast growth in the past, their image has now been solidified, and Andrew hopes the club now continues to achieve solid growth but treads carefully in order to ensure the maintenance of the culture for new generations. Always looking towards the future, Andrew hopes the club continues to introduce new concepts and has international hopes for Metro, wanting to form relationships with other teams interstate and in different countries.