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Football academy launches partnership with English club

Football academy launches partnership with leading English club.

The Ricki Herbert Football Academy has announced a partnership with top English club Fulham.

After lengthy talks between the parties, RHFA founder Ricki Herbert and Fulham’s Football Academy director Huw Jennings have jointly announced plans to work together.

The international partnership will open the way for talented young New Zealand players to get the chance to work with the London-based club.

“Fulham coaches will be coming out to New Zealand for a RHFA National Camp and will work closely with academy staff to identify a maximum of two players suitable for travelling to England,” a statement from RHFA says.

“The players will spend 2-3 weeks with the Fulham academy, working within a full-time development environment.”

Details of the next RHFA National Camp will be announced soon.

The partnership with Fulham fits well with founder Ricki Herbert’s vision of an academy that helps young players learn the game and then get opportunities to build a career in football.

Huw Jennings is the director of Fulham’s youth academy, working with players in the U-16, U-18 and U-21 groups.

Founded in 1879, Fulham is the oldest-established London club to have played in the English Premier League.

They play at Craven Cottage, a ground where Ricki Herbert made his debut as an international team coach, leading the All Whites onto the pitch to play Australia in 2005.

Fulham currently play in the English Championship and have a strong youth academy based at the club’s Motspur Park training ground.

Players as young as nine can work with the Fulham academy and are guided to gaining educational qualifications while learning the game. Fulham’s U-18 team won last year’s National Academy Final, beating Blackburn Rovers 2-0.

The manager of Fulham’s U-16 team is former Welsh international Mark Pembridge who finished his 492-game professional career with Fulham.

All White Simon Elliott – who represented New Zealand 69 times – was a Fulham player between 2006 and 2008. He went to the 2010 FIFA World Cup Finals in South Africa with the undefeated Herbert-coached All Whites.

About Ricki Herbert Football Academy

The academy has eight centres throughout the North Island, helping develop boys and girls aged 4-17 to develop as footballers.

The RHFA holds national and regional training camps, as well as its ongoing coaching programmes, and regularly takes teams overseas to compete in youth tournaments and to play against highly-regarded club teams.

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