Jamie Phillips

Pro and semi pro soccer clubs

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 My 9 year old daughter is  a keen swimmer and will be joining Marion swimming club when we move at the beginning of next year,  my 7 year old son is a talented footballer and has shown quite good promise and we would be interested to signing up to a pro or semi pro soccer club within 30 minutes drive of the Marion swimming centre, also we would be looking for a family friendly area to live within these clubs.

Thank you 


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Hi there.

By Marion I take it you mean the Aquatic centre there? If so, great place with a competition pool, diving pool and recreational ones. Mine swims there and has recently taking up diving too. They do squads there if your daughter is to a standard and can also swim in 3m deep water without issue (no shallow end). This is done usually after they have shown they are competent swimmers and have passed the swimming groups up to Shark.

In Shark, before they can graduate out of it they have to be able to complete freestyle for 100m, backstroke for 100m, breaststroke for 50m and introduction to butterfly for 15m. Plus survival backstroke for 50m. 

Soccer wise, you are probably looking at an out of school club and should expect season club fees in the region of $500-700 depending on where you go. I've not heard of it cheaper anywhere and the training seems to be pretty full on with 2 or even 3 training sessions a week plus games etc. 

There are plenty of clubs around and tbh I'd wait till you are here and soccer season is coming round again and have gotten to know some people and heard word of mouth and can check out clubs and facilities yourself. It could also be players (not sure of what age this might happen either) wanting to join the pro or semi pro clubs need to take part in trials, I really am not sure. I'm not a soccer fan at all and so don't really come into contact with many whose kids play it although I know a few. We are a footy family (Aus rules). 

In terms of areas, there are plenty of options within 30 minutes of the Aquatic centre. Some of them closer to the swim centre may not be so desirable, others might. Around that area its classed as a medium density zone and many houses when sold are knocked down and 3 or 4 built in its place and each sold for as much as the original house and block went for. Crazy money for pretty rubbish houses IMHO. Long thin blocks with little garden and pretty unimaginative living space (gone from these is the Aussie 'family room' usually and its often one open plan living area at the back and bedrooms at front and along the side. The result of this house building has put added pressure on school places and more and more schools in that area are becoming zoned and some are even refusing new intake outside of reception and sending them elsewhere as they are so choc full. And those other schools themselves also have plenty of kids to begin with.

We did look at a number of properties around the area when we were buying, to give us a better idea of what our money could get and I found those multi house on one block new builds pretty horrible and souless and thought they were a lot of money for what they offered. Went up the hill a little ways and we got a bigger house and block of land on a corner block, in a lovely area surrounded by trails, parks and reserves, gum trees and 100m from our door is open countryside and kangaroos hopping around happily. And I can be down at Marion for swimming lessons within 15 minutes or so :) 

Plenty of options 15 minutes or so away up the hill or along Main South Rd or the expressway too that could mean less pressure on schools as the crazy house building isn't having such an impact round there although it is starting to creep in in a few places. And heading closer to the city of course you have options but will see an increase in house prices usually. Much will depend on your budget, preferences for schools and work. I could reel of a long list of areas that people can live in but for me personally I'd rule probably 3/4 of them out based on schools, local facilities and other things. Its subjective and what works for you won't for me and vice versa. 



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thank you for your detailed feedback, very helpful thank you.

we currently live in a rural location and really like the sound of the hills, what areas and schools would you recommend?

15 mins from Marion sounds perfect!

thanks again! 


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One thing I will say about rural living here, or if you are on the edge of one of the very outer suburbs that back onto open countryside or within a certain distance from them, is be aware of the fire risk. It is real and it can happen. 

Also living in the hills, schooling may well be hit and miss and your options far fewer if looking at state schools. 

If you want a more rural feeling but without actually being rural (though still in a bushfire risk area keep in mind) you could look at the Sturt gorge side of Flagstaff Hill, the far side of Aberfoyle Park that Flaggy runs in to, Coromandel Valley, Blackwood, Eden Hills, Hawthorndene, Belair. Many of those suburbs will have lots of gum trees, wildlife and be up in the foothills somewhere but not actually rural. You'll have more options schooling wise too. Plus getting to Marion would be well within the 30 minutes, many of them its far less. 

If you want a small town then Clarendon is about 25 mins out, has a primary school too. Its small, quiet but a lovely little place. We looked around there when buying but alas nothing on the market at that time that suited us. Cherry Gardens is also an option. Mylor would be just over 30 mins and about as far out as you could get time wise for the aquatic centre at Marion. Has a primary school also. Stirling and Ironbank also sit on the cusp of your 30 minutes time wise. Stirling is a bigger town and has a lovely feel to it. Very highly rated primary school there and in demand. Again, another town we looked at but could not find anything to suit us at the time of buying though we did come close. I honestly cannot comment about the schools that serve these towns though (think more a UK village for most of them though but with far more houses down the end of dirt tracks rather than lining the streets of the village) as I don't really know them. You would do well to research them well to ensure they would suit your needs/wants/hopes. 

The other thing about rural here is its of course very different to UK rural. Unless you happen to live in the middle of the Highlands or Exmoor somewhere that is :P I'd not go too rural here for a number of reasons, many of them social. It can be hard to meet people, make friends as it is and while a small community could be nice and welcoming it can also not leave you with many options from a social POV and also for things for kids to do, plus fire risk and hot summers may be a struggle. 

I lived rural in the UK for many years and didn't mind not seeing anyone but the postman all week but here you'd not even see them as they postbox is at the end of the drive and if its a long driveway, you could be very cut off. Then the getting about with kids, being able to get to places. OK its not that much further on but its enough that it makes even a supermarket run a bit of a trek. Then there is the bush fire risk, the work needed to ensure and maintain bushfire safety etc and the heat in summer and other things. So yeah, for us we are happy to have focused more on the very outer areas of the outer suburbs over the small towns in the end. Perhaps when child is older we'll look to going up more in the hills but where we are now ticks all our boxes and provides us with a good social life for all of us, local friends via school and sports clubs and able to be places with ease. 10-15 to the beach, 30 to the CBD on train, 5 minutes to the local shops and supermarkets etc, 15 to Marion and the pool, cinema, bowling and mall. 1 minute and we are up the top of the hill and driving the country roads and can be in Mylor or Clarendon with ease. And down at McLaren Vale and its wineries in about half an hour via back roads.  I love seeing koalas, roos and more on a pretty much daily basis. It works for us but others may prefer to be elsewhere of course :) Each to their own. I have friends who'd not leave living on the flat down in the city suburbs for anything even slightly up a hill anymore than I would want to go live down there :cute:  

Feel free if you want to drop me a PM to chat a bit more. 



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