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ibolt gg217141_4017649_resizedNEW Keilor Tennis Club coach David McAllister wants to see more children pick up a racquet.

The former international player, who has coaching experience in the US, Portugal, Fawkner and Sunshine, says developing Keilor's junior program will be a priority when he takes over at the club next month.

"At the moment my immediate objective over the next year is to build up the amount of group lessons the number of junior teams (at the club)," McAllister told Leader.

He specifically wants to focus on bolstering the number of girls at the club and encouraged the Northern Suburbs Junior Tennis Association to tweak its rules, which currently stipulate teams must consist of three girls and three boys. "I say let's have five girls and one boy or five boys and a girl. Right now if you have five boys and two girls you can't get a team up, and that's a problem we've got at Keilor," McAllister said.

One of the ways to increase tennis interest among young girls, McAllister said, was to increase the publicity of players like world No. 6 women's player Sam Stosur.

He said junior players needed somebody to aspire to and he was worried by the response he had received from primary school girls at a recent coaching course.

The students were asked 'who's the best women's player in Australia?' and the overwhelming answer was Bec Hewitt," he said.

"They didn't know (Sam) Stosur, who has been the number one doubles player in the world on and off for several years, and who is currently ranked number six and probably number five in the singles after the US Open."

McAllister has contacted local primary schools to advertise in newsletters, with the hope of drawing more players between the ages of 6-9 to the club.

"They're the ones who will filter through to the junior program and into teams later on. Growing the junior ranks won't happen overnight," he said.

"It's the best part of my job (coaching the juniors), because you've got a blank canvas to work on, whereas if a player comes to you at 14 it can be more challenging because they will already have developed patterns in their play.

"If you step in early it's easier to iron out bad habits."

McAllister aims to also develop a tennis-for-mums program, to be held in the morning midweek.

For more information on joining Keilor Tennis Club contact McAllister on mobile 0421 214 205 or send an email to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

McAllister said all new junior enrolments (12 years and under) would receive a complementary tennis racquet.