It is important that players have the opportunity to develop in the best possible environment to cultivate their talent. 

Talent Development Programme

New Zealand Football’s Talent Development Programme is designed to aid player development at club level. 

The programme, for players aged 13 to 17, is run by clubs around the country, aligned with New Zealand Football, and has three core objectives:

1 – Produce better footballers in Aotearoa New Zealand by increasing the number and quality of training opportunities 

2 – Provide clear training guidelines based on international best practice for youth footballers who are showing potential to play at a higher level

3 – Create a clear aspiration pathway for youth footballers in Aotearoa New Zealand. 

Click here to read the full Talent Development Programme Manual

Regional Training Centres

New Zealand Football, with the support of our federations, have introduced Regional Training Centres (RTC’s) to increase engagement and contact time with a wider group of young players as a strategic shift away from one-off national camps. The RTC’s provide greater interaction with our prospective U-17 and U-20 national team players in camps around the country. 

Players involved in the Regional Training Centre’s are provided advice and guidance around managing their overall training load, in line with our Youth Framework, including:

- A maximum of 3 training sessions and 2 games, or
- 4 training sessions and 1 game​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

Playing across multiple environments

New Zealand Football recognise that players can participate across multiple playing environments. Both club and school environments are valued parts of the player pathway. 

New Zealand Football has not, and will not, provide a directive to players on whether they should or shouldn’t choose to play in certain competitions. Our position is that the player should decide what environment is best for their development.

However, we do encourage both female and male players capable of competing in our top domestic competitions, being the National League (both women’s and men’s) and linked regional leagues, along with the Future Ferns Domestic Programme, to prioritise this environment for training and games. 

Due to resourcing, the New Zealand Football technical staff are not in a position to attend all environments. As a result, the national teams coaching staff predominantly focus on national leagues, reserve leagues (where applicable) and youth club competitions for the identification of players across Aotearoa New Zealand for RTC’s and U-17 and U-20 national teams.