Words: ACFC Media
Wednesday 23 May 2018
AUCKLAND, New Zealand - All Whites legend and Auckland City FC coach Ivan Vicelich is leading the ACFC Player Development Programme as the club leads the way on handing youngsters the opportunity to grow their game.
The ACFC PDP offers players a complete footballing experience aimed at producing better players and create a pathway from junior to senior football. In the winter months the focus is on skills for the younger player and Player Welfare for the older participants.
The Skills Programme is put in place to give young children the opportunity to work on their basic football skills and tecnique whilst at the same time having fun and enjoying the beautiful game.
It is at this early age that children develop their love for the game and the objective is to enhance that along with improving the basics.
Vicelich is excited about what's on offer for youngsters eager to learn more.
"We're putting together Auckland City FC Player Development Programme to have more contact with football training opportunities than they have had in the past.
"We've discovered that many youth and grassroots participants don't get as many regular quality sessions as they would like or need so we're teaching them important lessons we believe are going to help them develop players in the long run.
"It's a benefit for them to be doing this instead of just once per week.
"If you have contact two or three times a week then the player is getting the exposure to working on ball mastery, technique, physical coordination and conditioning.
"Part of the PDP is also the holistic development of the player as a person and athlete and we've added components to the programme that meet this objective.
"They get edcuated about what the body requires to meet the physical challenges of training playing over the course of a week, a month or a season.
"Football is not just about training harder or more frequently but about taking care of your body, looking after issues that come up, bearing in mind children and youths go through a lot of growing pains and physical issues as their bodies change.
"Players may not even be aware they're going through these changes, be they small or more significant.
"To have someone on board they can discuss these issues with and receive treatment for, or learn how to complete a recovery session after a match is great," Vicelich told www.aucklandcityfc.com
The ACFC PDP recognises the importance of managing the workload of the young athlete whilst also trying to prepare them for the different stages of their career. Onsite Physiotherapy presence weekly is provided to screen for injury and guide the preventative exercise programme.
"This is knowledge that players at the highest levels possess as they manage themselves and is the reason why we've brought it to the schedule for the week.
"During my career we learned these important ideas as we went along but today there is more expertise around that can pass on this knowledge to give players a better chance to succeed.
"Football is still a difficult career to develop because of the millions who play the game perhaps only 1 percent go on to become a professional.
"In order to have a good chance, the younger you learn the techniques the better you become as a player and the more knowledge you have about your body enables you to play the sport for much longer and more often.
"Mastery of those elements can make for an enjoyable football experience.
"We're not only targeting Premier or Metro Grade players but players anywhere who wish to improve and get more activity into their weekly football programme.
"We offer the PDP to everyone at our club and also players who are potentially looking for extra sessions per week with recovery sessions thrown in if they're interested in that."
For more information:
Sun 28 Oct 2018, kick-off 2pm NZST