SET-PIECE specialist and NSL legend Con Boutsianis has joined Gold Coast United as the club’s Technique Coach for next season, the club confirmed today.
But it wasn’t just dead ball situations that Boutsianis mastered during his successful playing career.
The former Socceroo was widely regarded as one of the country’s leading experts when it came to striking the ball precisely in any match scenario.
And it is the art of striking the ball, as well as the biomechanical science behind it, that Boutsianis will educate United’s senior and younger players on during the upcoming campaign.
Boutsianis bagged 109 goals in 285 appearances in the National Soccer League (NSL) and during the latter stages of his career he played and coached at local Gold Coast club, Burleigh Heads.
Now a well-respected coach in his own right, 39-year-old Boutsianis said he is confident he can improve the technique of all United’s players, both young and old.
“I’m very excited about taking this role with the club and I’m positive we will see some good results," he said.
"This game is all about accuracy and one shot can mean one goal if the technique employed is the correct one.
“I want to make them aware that there are certain techniques that have to be used in certain situations during a game, and sometimes that’s not as easy as it sounds. If you teach these things properly and the players understand, with practice they will do it without thinking.
“There’s a lot involved because there are so many different ways to strike the ball. I want the players to learn the techniques properly and help them to make the right choices in the right situations.
“Everyone can get better at what they do with practice and the right education. I can spot deficiencies in technique almost straight away, so it’s going to be very interesting and I’m really looking forward to it.
“I’ve worked with the club before so it’s nice to make the role more ‘official’ and the plan is to work on the technical side of every player’s game.
“I’ve been teaching technique, and specifically how to strike the ball, for the last eight years or so and I want to pass on my knowledge to the players here.”
Head Coach Miron Bleiberg believes the appointment of specialist coaches like Boutsianis is the way forward. Honing technique and increasing each player’s repertoire of ways to strike the ball can only improve creation and conversion of goalscoring chances, he says.
“Maybe sometimes in football we generalise a bit too much with our coaching, so improving our players via specialist coaching can only help in getting the most out of attacking and defensive situations during a game,” Bleiberg said.
“Even with a skill like crossing the ball – if we can lift our accuracy by 50% then that will present far more opportunities to score a goal and Con was one of the finest crossers of the ball we have seen in this country.
“In the NSL Con was a legend and without doubt one of the most talented players we have seen in Australia. He was known for his ability to put the ball wherever he wanted it to go and if he can pass that knowledge on to our players then they will all see improvement in their game.
“Con will work as a specialist technique coach, concentrating on improving the ball skills of our players – shooting, passing, crossing, dead balls, etc.
“He worked with us on a voluntary basis last season and certainly proved himself as a very capable and knowledgeable coach.
“It’s very hard to say for sure because it’s a difficult thing to quantify, but I believe the goal Shane Smeltz scored in the finals against Adelaide last season was at least partly due to the work he had done with Con during the season.”