New Zealand Football believes in equipping every young player to "be the best they can be."
For some, that will mean setting their sights on a place in the All Whites or Football Ferns. Performing at this elite level is a hugely satisfying achievement and a great motivator for the next generation of stars.
Producing more Ryan Nelsens, more often, has to be a major goal of football in New Zealand. To achieve that, we need a well-structured talent development programme.
Evidence from leading football nations coupled with academic research has shown the importance of talent development systems to maximise potential.
The first step is to develop greater numbers of talented players during the key early development years. The most able and motivated players can find their way into top class football, and our national teams will have a bigger talent pool to keep them competitive on the world stage.
Federation Talent Centres provide the missing link.
As part of our Whole of Football Plan, they form a major part of the structure that will help us to develop more world-class players.
The goals of the new pathway:
1. To widen and improve the talent base through comprehensive scouting and development opportunities
2. Create an aspirational pathway for talented players to progress towards higher representative honours, starting with national age group teams at U-17 motivate players to get and stay involved
3. Implement a national approach for the development of talented young kiwi players that can prepare them for the future game at the highest levels
4. Create a pool of highly capable talent development coaches the best coaches with the best players
The talent development arm of the National Player Development Framework focuses on providing players with more and better opportunities to become the best that they can be.
For more information on the Auckland Football Federation Talent Centre contact FDO Simon Richards.