Waikato teenager gets chance to experience a week with A-League club

Cambridge-based footballer Nat Young will spend a week of her July school holidays training at women’s A-League club Melbourne Victory.

Young, who turns 15 in July, will attend six training sessions during her week at the club, experiencing what it takes to develop into a professional football.

She has been with the RH3 Football Academy for seven years, developing her football skills and knowledge with the Cambridge centre, and playing club football for Cambridge and Hamilton Wanderers.

This year, she made her senior team debut for Hamilton Wanderers, playing in the Kate Sheppard Cup and the Lotto NRFL Women’s Premier League.

Main photo: Nat Young with RH3 Football Academy founder Ricki Herbert.

Nat Young … off to Melbourne.

Academy founder Ricki Herbert said the chance to visit Melbourne Victory would help Young see how professional clubs operate, and provide insights for what’s necessary to reach the top.

“Nat’s got a fantastic attitude towards her football and works hard to learn, and become the best player she can be.

“The opportunity arose for us to help arrange her visit to Melbourne and I’m sure she’ll enjoy every minute,” the former All Whites coach said.

Ricki Herbert putting Young through her drills.

Proud mother Emma Young said Nat first took up football with Cambridge FC’s First Kicks programme when she was five.

“She was fearless from the get-go,” Emma Young said. “She loved slide-tackling the boys.”

During her seven years with the academy, Nat Young has attended national camps and travelled to Melbourne in 2019 to play in a boys’ team competing at the Shepparton Cup.

Where it all started

Nat Young’s football journey started with a First Kicks programme at Cambridge FC.

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