Barnwell Soccer Club concludes camp, looks forward to fall season

  • Barnwell Soccer Club wrapped up an eight-week camp on July 20. Jack Gurr (back row, fourth from left) was the coach for the camp. He is pictured with players from the last week of camp, which was held at the club’s field in Snelling.

A native of England led an eight-week soccer camp for Barnwell Soccer Club.

The soccer performance camp was held in partnership with Coerver Coaching at Barnwell Soccer Club’s field in Snelling for youth between the ages of 8-16.

“This was a great way to learn the technical way of playing soccer, which is much more than kicking a ball around. They got a lot of soccer in this summer,” said Jerry Hodge, president of the Barnwell Soccer Club board.

It has been many years since the club has hosted a soccer camp, but this was the first time they’ve done an eight-week camp. Players had the option to choose to participate for six days, 12 days or the entire eight weeks. Each week included three 3-hour days of learning various skills. Hodge said a number of players attended all eight weeks.

The camp was coached by Jack Gurr, a native of Newcastle, England who played soccer professionally in England for Gateshead FC before moving to America. He now plays on a soccer scholarship at Georgia Gwinnet College in Atlanta, Ga. where he is pursuing a degree in international business economics.

“Each week I teach different skills and ways of thinking when playing soccer. I try to get the players understanding the game better and giving them an opportunity to express themselves,” said Jack Gurr.

Gurr worked with the players on ball control and all of the key elements that make a great soccer player.

“Each week we progressed one level and improved immensely from the beginning. I've also taught players to be confident in their decision making on the field,” he said.

He especially enjoyed watching the players’ progress throughout the camp, such as gaining a better understanding and key skills they previously did not possess. “Watching all of the young talent progress makes everything worth doing,” said Gurr.

Many campers had previous soccer experience through recreational or travel teams, but they also had several players with no experience. Hodge said he hopes the camp sparked an interest in the sport for those players.

While Gurr wanted the players to grow and develop their skills, he also had another goal in mind.

“For me it's all about the kids and making it as fun as possible for them. As long as they have a great camp, learn a lot and improve as a soccer player, these are the key elements I aim to perfect. If they can take information from the camp and come back better next time, it would be an honor to coach these players at Barnwell next summer,” he said.

Hodge said Gurr worked well with the kids and parents. He hopes Gurr will come back again next summer.

Camp is now over, but Gurr said he has many memories and new lifelong friends thanks to the experience.

“Barnwell is a very tight-knit community and everyone has been wonderful to me for anything I've needed,” said Gurr, who thanks Jerry and Andrea Hodge for being like an aunt and uncle to him. He also is grateful to Lawrence and Mandy Smith for taking him into their home for part of the summer.

“As for the players, I've met some great personalities and I can't wait to see them again next summer to continue the growth,” he said. “I've loved every second coaching these promising young players and getting to know them and their brilliant families.”

Barnwell Soccer Club is now gearing up for its fall recreation season, which begins in September for children 3 to 13 years old. Hodge encourages anyone interested to sign up since registration ends July 31. The fee is $50 for children ages 3 to 5 and $70 for those ages 6-13.

Register online at They also have a Facebook page.