Mandurah’s next generation of soccer stars are getting a leg up with personalised training from former Brazilian professional player Jose Dos Santos and his Campeao Soccer and Futsal school.
Portuguese for “champion”, Campeao Soccer is training aspiring players from the age of the five to help them hone their skills and reach new heights both on and off the field.
Growing up in Brazil, Dos Santos had a soccer ball in his hands before he could walk, and played the game religiously day in, day out.
He signed his first professional contract in his home country at 17-years-old, before moving around the globe to play for clubs in Romania, France, Spain and Asia.
Now living in Mandurah Dos Santos has developed a passion for coaching, and is looking to take the knowledge he collected over a long and prosperous career and pass it on to the region’s next wave of talent.
“Coaching is something I’m very enthusiastic about, it’s a passion, and if there’s a kid I can help reach higher levels then I want to be a part of that,” he said.
“But it’s also about building the kids as people, showing them values and helping them be more confident.
“I speak seven languages and I owe that all to soccer and where it took me, so that’s the sort of thing I want for these young people.”
Dos Santos has recently opened Mandurah’s first junior futsal (five-a-side soccer) classes, which he says played a key role in developing his skills as a player in Brazil.
“Futsal is relatively new in Australia and a lot of people aren’t exactly sure what it is, but it really helps you improve your skills and the way you approach the game,” he said.
“Honestly, it was so big for my development – it gave me a bunch of new ways to play and it helped take my game to another level, so that’s what we want for these kids.”
One junior benefiting from his sessions with former professional is 13-year-old local Scott Morrison, who is currently playing with Perth Glory’s under 14s side.
The young gun holds dreams of one day playing for his beloved Manchester City in the Premier League, and currently trains three days a week with Perth Glory along with his sessions with Dos Santos.
Campeao Soccer is currently preparing for its next term of outdoor soccer and indoor futsal classes, operating out of Mandurah Primary School and Mandurah Aquatic and Recreation Centre.