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Stage 1 ready to kick-off

The programme is being introduced in stages to allow federations and clubs to implement the necessary structures rather than biting off more than they can chew. The logical place to begin is at the most junior levels of the game, where eager kids (and their parents) get their first taste of the sport.

As you can see from the framework diagram, the plan provides three programmes for our youngest players: First Kicks (4-5 years), Fun Football (6-8 years) and Mini Football (9-12 years). The needs of a four year old are quite different from the needs of a 12-year old, so we provide the framework and resources to give both a rewarding experience.

 Junior Framework

To ensure a smooth implementation, we’ve set out some key strategies and goals. These include the following:

  1. Establish and implement a National Junior Framework to provide clear guidance in the area of best practice for junior player development.
  2. Align ageappropriate coaching pathways with the Junior framework to improve the quality and relevance of Junior coaches and develop a culture of coaching excellence in clubs.
  3. Establish new products and services in the recreation pathways (including primary schools) to broaden the player base.
  4. Focus Regional Talent Centres on providing clear and consistent pathways for Junior and Youth players in their journey towards maximising their football potential.
  5. Develop and implement a national Junior girls’ football summer competition structure for 8-12 year olds.

Stage 2 & 3 primed for action

Our phased introduction ensures that the game as a whole can focus its resources on getting things right in one area at a time. Building from the bottom up, we will progressively introduce new programmes for Stage 2 (Youth) and Stage 3 (Senior) once the national Junior framework is up and running.

These programmes will be implemented over the next three to six years as resources become available.Youth and Senior framework

Resources to make it a reality

Sport and recreation New ZealandASBSport and Recreation New Zealand (Sparc) has recognised the value of our approach and approved the direction we’re heading in. Funding from Sparc, in addition to support from our new commercial sponsors and community partners, means that New Zealand Football can now introduce this comprehensive programme with a well-funded model.

This gives football a huge advantage at the grassroots. With base funding provided from the national level, local clubs and Federations will be able to kick start player development with a consistent approach. We’ll have the means to build on interest generated in the game, and deliver a great experience to players throughout the country.

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