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Christchurch United Academy teams enjoy multiple successes

Media release, August 15

Christchurch United Academy teams enjoy multiple successes

The Christchurch United FC Academy has enjoyed an unprecedented run of success as their Under 13, Under 14 and Under 15 teams all claimed the Mainland Football championships in premier divisions in their respective age-groups.

The success of the academy teams has been wonderful affirmation of the player development work the professional coaches at Christchurch United have done over the past six seasons at the state-of-the-art Christchurch Football Centre in Yaldhurst.

Academy Director Colin Williamson says that the investment in quality coaching is really starting to pay off, initially through the Christchurch Football Academy, and since the 2016 merger, as part of the Christchurch United Football Club.

“Our club president Slava Meyn started the academy programme back in 2014 to develop the best possible players for New Zealand Football, and their individual and team success at the local level is a sign that we are on the right track,” says Williamson.

The Dutch coach arrived at the start of this season after a long career as academy coach with professional clubs like PSV Eindhoven and has further improved the structures and planning of development programmes for Christchurch United’s players and coaches.

Williamson works closely with Christchurch United First Team coach Fernando Lambert, and both coaches also look after one of the Academy teams.

Williamson says that each individual player’s technical and tactical development as a footballer are the basis of each team's success.

The Under 13 and Under 10 teams recently also won the Christchurch International Cup and the success has not gone unnoticed.

“We are being approached for several tournaments, in New Zealand and abroad, so it will be good for our teams to challenge themselves against other clubs as well,” says Williamson, so will take the Under 13 side to a high-calibre Auckland tournament next month.

Two older Christchurch United players have already been exposed to an overseas experience, with 17-year-old Riley Caswell and Hamish Cooper spending time with Australian glamour club Sydney FC.

Caswell received glowing reviews from his week with the club’s first team, while Cooper is currently training with the Sydney FC Academy.

Williamson is pleased that the club can offer their players opportunities that may not have been available a few years ago.

“And then it is up to the players to take those opportunities. Our Academy can prepare the players the best we can, but it be fascinating to see how many of these youngsters will be able to push on and represent Canterbury and New Zealand in the future.”


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