Players brush up fundamentals, learn new skills at Vinny Gill Soccer Camp

Published 5:05 pm Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Fifteen young soccer players spent a few hours on the field with Middle Georgia soccer coach Vinny Gill on Monday for the first of a four-day camp.

The players ran through drills that reinforced fundamentals while also teaching them new skills to improve their games.

Gill has been holding camps in Bainbridge since the late 1990s. Since then, he has seen the popularity of the sport grow as an entire generation has become more acquainted with it.

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“When the kids came here first, nobody knew anything about soccer,” said Gill. “Now we have a generation of soccer players who are coaches.”

Gill spoke highly of Bainbridge soccer coach and West Bainbridge Elementary principal Jamie Ard, who was a player of his in the 1990s. According to Gill, Ard is one of the most passionate soccer fans he knows, and is representative of an entire generation that has fallen in love with the sport and helped usher its growth in the U.S.

Gill pointed to the 1994 World Cup held in the U.S. as the big turning point. For the 2018 World Cup, he has his eyes on either France or Belgium to win the whole thing.

Head Coach Vinny Gill is entering his 11th season at Middle Georgia State College. Gill coaches both the men’s and women’s programs and has done so since arriving on campus. Coach Gill was the GCAA women’s Coach of the Year in 2007 and men’s Coach of the Year in 2010.

Originally from Ireland, Gill has spent time coaching in the NAIA and NJCAA with different schools and spent one year coaching professionally with the Jacksonville Cyclones. Gill’s women’s team won the 2009 GCAA Conference Championship and men’s team was runner-up 2010. His women’s teams have reached the GCAA semifinals six of seven seasons. His men’s team has made the semifinals five out of seven seasons.