More than 50 talented Auckland high school footballers have completed a three-day camp in Auckland with coaches from A-League club Melbourne Victory.
The camp was run by Victory’s Pathways Development team in partnership with Mt Albert Grammar School.
It consisted of three days training under the Pre-Academy, Academy and Elite Girls Programme content and philosophies, delivered by MVFC coaching staff and overseen by Football Pathways Manager Gareth Turnbull.
“For us to be able to widen our identification and create a pathway for talented youth players into an A-League system is highly beneficial and rewarding for both parties,” Turnbull said.
“We were able to expose a number of promising players to a different methodology and football philosophy which will help to deepen their football understanding and hopefully provide some concepts which they can apply in their own environments.”
‘Excited about future opportunities’
Beyond the football training sessions, players also participated in workshops with A-League men and women players and coaches, gained an insight into the academy with academy management, and supported a coaches workshop where Turnbull presented the MVFC Pre-Academy framework and curriculum, coupled with a practical example to a number of Auckland-based youth coaches.
Invited players also participated in an identification match, where the Mt Albert Grammar first XI took on a MVFC invitational selection.
The game was live-streamed back to the academy management, where future academy opportunities could be afforded to high-performing triallists.
Mt Albert Grammar Director of Football Peter Smith said: “It was great to once again see our partnership come to fruition with a Melbourne Victory presence in New Zealand at Mt Albert Grammar School after the disruptions caused by COVID.
“The purpose and intentions of the Future Pathways camp, the Identification game and the coaches workshop were clear to see with all involved receiving a satisfying and meaningful football experience from the Victory coaching staff.
“With the borders now open, we are very excited about the future partnership opportunities that exist for both Mt Albert Grammar School and Melbourne Victory FC.”
Melbourne Victory and Mt Albert Grammar will continue to work closely over coming months as the school aims to embed the MVFC Academy curriculum and philosophy, while aiming to take their football academy players for a series of games in Melbourne.
A future Football Pathways Camp in Auckland will be planned for late 2024.
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