Phoenix pre-academy announces first club partnerships

The Wellington Phoenix academy has partnered with four clubs from four different corners of the country to help identify and develop the next generation of New Zealand footballers.

Northland FC, Palmerston North Marist FC, FC Nelson and Halswell United AFC have officially come on board as the Phoenix’s first pre-academy centre partner clubs.

As the only professional football club in New Zealand, the Wellington Phoenix have a responsibility to ensure all young Kiwis are given the opportunity to step on to the pathway to professional football.

The pre-academy centre programme is the first step on the Phoenix’s pathway for players aged 8-13 and is run in conjunction with partner clubs and schools across New Zealand.

The partner clubs will now be able to draw on the Phoenix’s pre-academy training programme and the club’s development centre, which is an online platform to develop players, parents and coaches.

Wellington Phoenix Head of Pre-Academy Jesse Rawlings has welcomed Northland FC, Palmerston North Marist FC, FC Nelson and Halswell United AFC on board.

“The pre-academy centre programme is an important part of the Wellington Phoenix pathway,” Rawlings said.

“It exists to identify players who may have the potential to represent the academy, as well as connecting more players, coaches, parents, clubs and schools to the Phoenix through positive engagement and exclusive development opportunities.

“We are pleased to announce our association with four clubs who share a similar mission and values around player development.

“The pre-academy centre programme is designed to be a resource for our partner clubs, to complement their existing programmes and improve their capability and reach.”

The Phoenix are hoping to make further announcements on pre-academy centre partner clubs in the near future.