Player Development Programme underway

Words: ACFC Media

Thursday 29 November 2018

Picture: Phototek

AUCKLAND, New Zealand - Auckland City FC is pleased to announce the roll out of the ACFC Player Development Programme (PDP).

The programme is designed to offer the best young players a comprehensive pathway from Junior to Senior level football and beyond.

Camilo Speranza, Auckland City FC's new Director of Methodology, joined the club a few weeks ago via FC Barcelona and heads up the project alongside PDP Technical Director Ivan Vicelich and Central United's Director of Football, Simon Richards.

The Player Development Programme, or PDP for short, offers players a complete football experience that not only covers technical skills, but injury prevention, sport science and the holistic development of players in their personal development.

This objective covers how players conduct themselves at training and the respect they show for team-mates, staff and opponents.

"Players of all abilities, all schools and clubs are welcome. Whatever the ambitions of the participant, be they personal fitness, comradeship, targeting a place at a top team at a club or school first XI, the PDPD is set up to help players become the best version of themselves," Speranza told

Central United, Auckland City FC's sister club, has already invited players to be part of the PDP with Junior members from 6th to 8th grade offered introductory skills based training. 9th to 12th grade enjoy the prescribed New Zealand Football Skills Centre training and 13th-15th grade are offered a development programme.

The PDP is split into three groups to maximise training sessions for each group.

The first includes PDP Junior Skills, the next PDP Skills Centre and the third is the PDP Pathway.

Navy Blues and All Whites legend Ivan Vicelich said the PDP is a big believer in what it has to offer.

"Our objective is to create a programme that is based on the principles of FC Barcelona. Our relationship with them has seen two of our teams visit the Camp Nou and we are about to bring out some of their junior coaches to implement the ideals that underpin this football institution.

"We are building players who can step up and one day play for Auckland City FC so working on those aspects of a player's game that can shape them into a potential first team player is vital.

"In the PDP Junior Skills it is important we focus on developing the technical gifts of a player at an early age because it is much harder to pick those skills up later on.

"PDP Pathway will ensure every player receives a well-rounded technical instruction that makes sure the player has the building blocks and technical traits that ensure they can play football the Auckland City FC way," Vicelich told

With the PDP focused very much on the player as core participant, the coaching team are also guided by a set of foundations to enable them to be the best they can be in the delivery of the courses.

Speranza and Vicelich oversee and mentor and ensure their coaching team are proficient in the Auckland City FC club philosophies and that the programme is aligned with the methodologies.

"The Auckland City FC first team players are involved in the training of our players and we will have guest speakers presenting to the PDP groups seminars on player experiences and nutrition.

"Player welfare is also important and within the PDP we recognise the importance of managing the workload of young players while preparing them physically for the different stages of their football career.

"We have onsite physiotherapy presence weekly that offers injury screening, preventative exercise programmes via our PDP Wellness Programme," Vicelich added.

The PDP is already underway and interested parties are invited to contact the club for more information.




Director of Methodology: Camilo Speranza 
PDP Technical Director: Ivan Vicelich
Director of Football, Central United: Simon Richards

Find out more about the ACFC PDP here

Fill in the PDP enrolment form online here



Payment for each PDP element can be made at the following details:
Super City Youth Academy Incorporated


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