Thinking inside the box

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Box Soccer has arrived on the islands and, according to its owner, former Celtic and Hearts winger John Colquhoun; it will enable young footballers from the islands to one day play in the English Premiership.

Colquhoun and former Hearts youth coach Darren Murray were speaking to the Gazette at the new Back FC 4G pitch in Upper Coll on Tuesday where they were running sessions with local coaches on the Box Soccer programme as part of their long term partnership scheme with the Lewis and Harris Junior Football Association.

“Our aim is to for a long lasting partnership with the LHJFA,” said Colquhoun as Box Soccer head coach Murray put the likes of Magnus Johnson, Eric Strada, Ally Gillies and Graeme Millar through their paces.

“I can’t believe these islands haven’t produced a premiership player, but I am also confident that Box Soccer will bring the island players up a level to achieve this aim,” said Colquhoun.

Box Soccer was started by Ian Cathro, who was recently hailed a ‘genius’ by manager Nuno Espirito Santos after leaving Valencia to take up the role of assistant coach at Newcastle.

When injury stopped him from making the grade, Cathro came up with Box Soccer midway through a Business management course.

Box Soccer is a training environment that increases contact time with the ball and uses a category of exercises to develop technique and stimulate some of the games simple and common scenarios.

Every exercise is carried out within a quarter pitch box with three mannequins and two goals.

This never changes. All that changes is the exercise and there are over 100 of them.

“To come up with something so complex yet simple is quite remarkable.

“To take that idea and develop it into a structure at the age of 19 is genius,” said Colquhoun of Cathro, from whom he bought Box soccer nearly a year ago.

Cathro is still involved but with Colquhoun in charge Box Soccer has started to expand throughout Scotland and has made inroads into England and the United States.

According to Colquhoun, following the Box Soccer programme can bring back the type of players Scotland has been crying out for.

See this week’s Stornoway Gazette to read the rest of the report - on sale today.