Northern Rovers have become the first Auckland club to form a pre-academy partnership with the Wellington Phoenix.
The partnership provides a development programme for players aged 8-13.
In a statement, the Wellington Phoenix Academy says the programme is being rolled out to clubs and schools throughout the country.
“The partner clubs will now be able to draw on the Phoenix’s pre-academy training programme and the club’s development centre, which is an online platform to develop players, parents and coaches,” the statement says.
Northern Rovers joins a growing list of pre-academy partners including Nomads United, FC Nelson, Palmerston North Marist Football Club, Northland Football Club, Halswell United AFC, Dunedin City Royals FC, Napier City Rovers Junior Football Club, New Plymouth Rangers AFC and The Whitmarsh Academy.
“As the only professional football club in New Zealand, the Wellington Phoenix have a responsibility to ensure all young Kiwis are given the opportunity to step onto the pathway to professional football,” the Phoenix say.