The next stage of the award-winning Whole of Football Plan has now been released in the form of the Youth Framework, which aims to encourage more young New Zealanders to fall in love with the beautiful game.
Launched by New Zealand Football in 2011, the Whole of Football Plan provides a unified pathway for players, coaches, referees and administrators to deliver a consistent high-quality experience that is designed and tailored to meet their needs.
The first stage of the plan focused on the Junior Framework, the ongoing implementation of which has proved highly-successful with nearly 350 clubs across the country now offering a quality junior football experience to their members.
A steady increase has been recorded in junior playing numbers – particularly among females – with over 50,000 Kiwi kids enjoying the sport each season while futsal has experienced staggering growth to reach over 20,000 overall participants.
The Youth Framework will look to capitalise on that success by keeping young players involved and making sure they are enthusiastic about playing in the vulnerable age category of 13 to 19.
“Research tells us that the youth years are when a lot of young people drop out of playing sport,” says NZF Youth Development Manager Andy Boyens, himself a former All White and ex-professional player.
“With that in mind, it’s really important that the quality of the environment that players experience is really high to keep them engaged and motivated in the game for longer. The Youth Framework will provide clubs and schools with information on how to offer a high-quality environment, regardless of a player’s motivation or ability.”
The Youth Framework document is based on world’s best practice and provides guidance on training and match day for both football and futsal.
It will be distributed to all clubs across New Zealand and the ultimate goal is to provide youth-aged boys and girls with a quality experience tailored to meet their needs and encourage them to stay in the game.
“The Youth Framework is an essential element of the Whole of Football Plan and is based on extensive research,” NZF Technical Director Rob Sherman says.
“It caters for all players, from those who simply want to play football to those who aspire to play at the highest level. It also guides coaches on how to support players by providing a range of appropriate competition and training structure environments,” he adds.
“This next step in the Whole of Football Plan will be essential in retaining players and providing a roadmap for those with potential.”
To view the Youth Framework document please click here
To watch a video with more information about the Youth Framework please click here