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Second Edition Of OFC U-15 Development Tournament Kicks Off

The best up and coming footballers from Fiji, Cook Islands, New Caledonia, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Samoa, Tahiti and Tonga have arrived in Nadi, Fiji, for the 2024 OFC U-15 Girls Development Tournament, which kicks off today and runs until 14 May.

Now in its second edition, the OFC U-15 Development Tournament, with support from UEFA, alternates annually between boys and girls. It is designed to provide young footballers with experience of an international tournament format.

“We are very excited to be offering this tournament for young players across the region,” said Owain Prosser, OFC head of high performance and education.

Giving these young players the opportunity to travel overseas for the first time before having the pressure of World Cup qualification on the line helps to level the playing field, Prosser explained.

“For many this may be the first time they have left their country, played abroad with a team and represented their country.

“This tournament provides many opportunities for development as a person and a footballer, in a safe environment with an emphasis on enjoyment. For some it may just provide a positive life experience to remember. For others, it will also help to prepare them for future performance at the highest level,” Prosser said.

The tournament also supports OFC’s strategic goal to increase and improve OFC representation and performance in international competitions. To that end, the tournament provides delivery and reflection opportunities in an international environment for developing coaches and young referees.

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The tournament could not happen without the support of UEFA, Prosser said.

“Thank you to UEFA for their support and guidance to deliver this event. Not only will this help the development of all involved this year but it will also inspire others to reach their full potential to take part in future editions.”

The teams will also be joined by current New Zealand women’s national team players Grace Jale and Mackenzie Barry, and former player Kirsty Yallop as tournament ambassadors. Yallop, who has 104 caps for the Football Ferns and was part of FIFA’s technical advisory group for the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023, will be running a player education workshop at the tournament, drawing on insights from her extensive international and professional experience.

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