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How Melbourne Victory FC use MatchPlay Cards

In November we went to go and hang out with Melbourne Victory FC coaches, Australia's leading football club. We jumped into sessions and spent time with coaches helping them get the most out of MatchPlay Cards©️.


"MatchPlay Cards©️ are a fantastic tool, aligned to what I believe is vital to youth development, it's about play" Gareth Turnbull, Melbourne Victory FC Pathway Manager



⏱ Starting with games (Your players want to!)


"The big constraint we have is contact time, we have to maximise our bang for buck when players are with us. The best way to bring technical and tactical skill to life is through play, we know there is a lack of informal play in kids nowadays. It is normally coach lead and structured, we have set the pre-academy up to play focused."


"There are 3 main components to our sessions, we always start with a game, a more coach lead element in the middle and closing off the session with more play and games, this is element is based on the practiced skill."


"Our arrival game to start the session is where we finished the previous week, the players would have experienced the game and its format the week, all we need to do is remind players and they're straight off into play."


"Youth development is about checking and challenging players, constantly increasing players game IQ."


🙌🏻 Supporting coaches


Access to The Coaching Lab's Club Bundles continue to support Melbourne Victory FC staff in maximising MatchPlay Cards©️, with access to exclusive small sided games content, bespoke coach development and on demand support.


"I was really impressed when I first saw them and they align to what youth development is about; play, challenge and support. I got a deck for each of our pre-acdemy lead coaches. When MatchPlay Cards©️ arrived arrived I simply left them to the coaches to explore at first."


"In my mind it was about picking a few challenge cards each week and adding them into sessions, picking cards that relate to the theme and focus."


"Reflection MatchPlay Cards©️ were the real selling point for me, they are a space where we an get real value and engagement out of the kids by asking really powerful questions and a different stimulus given it is on a card"


"My reflection since having MatchPlay Cards©️ in the pre-academy centres for a few months now is that there isn't just one way to use them, there is multiple ways but building a confidence in the coach to do so is important"


"The first response we heard from the kids was "The challenge cards are out, YES!" Gareth Turnbull, Melbourne Victory FC Pathway Manager

Community and school coaches are the latest group of Melbourne Victory FC staff to gain access to MatchPlay Cards©️ as the club continue to grow their delivery. Get in touch and explore our Club Bundles for your environment. TAP HERE!





🤹🏼‍♀️ Skilful coaches


As Academy coaches continue to evolve the use of MatchPlay Cards©️ in sessions, Gareth adds; "For us, it is about learning from our experiences and just giving them a go in sessions as we move into the new year, growing a confidence in the coach to pause and add challenges in games."


"You look at it from a coaches side, MatchPlay Cards©️ are helping the coach to facilitate better questioning of players and how can I influence a players behaviour through intervention, based on what is happening in front of them."


"Kids love to play, that is why we have play as a cornerstone of our sessions."


"Our arrival activities are MatchPlay Cards©️, we lay down the challenge cards next door to the pitches, picking MatchPlay Cards©️ that relate to the theme of the session, giving players a chance to see what is coming up in the session."


"It is the skill and art of the coach to pick the right cards at the right time." Gareth Turnbull, Melbourne Victory FC Pathway Manager

Be a game changer with #MatchPlayCards©️ this year and play more games than ever before!




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