Melbourne Victory Football Club is continuing its quest to support the development of youth footballers across the state and beyond with the announcement of a regionalised Pre Academy Centre taking place in conjunction with Mount Albert Grammar School in Auckland, New Zealand.
The Pre Academy Centre will visiting Auckland to host an event on 22 – 24 April 2020 and will feature a number of the club’s Academy Coaches from the Hyundai A-League and Westfield W-League programs.
The Pre Academy Centres in regional areas are for boys and girls aged 9-14 and provide insight and exposure to the club’s Academy system, which has seen two first team debuts in the 2019/20 A-League season, Brandon Lauton and Benjamin Carrigan.
Mount Albert Grammar School Director of Football, Peter Smith, was instrumental in ensuring this event was possible and was excited to ensure an agreement was in place to bring Melbourne Victory to New Zealand.
“Mount Albert Grammar School is excited to be establishing this partnership with Melbourne Victory, one of the most successful clubs in Australia with a rich history in developing young talent,” Smith said.
“Melbourne Victory’s playing model is one we have looked to emulate through our football academy and this partnership allows us to provide further identification opportunities and a clear pathway for young footballers both at Mount Albert Grammar School and beyond through the Pre Academy Centre hosted at the School.”
“We have long admired the Melbourne Victory Academy Program and the quality of work delivered by the club’s General Manager Training & Academy, Drew Sherman, and his staff.”
“This partnership provides a natural progression after successful tours and exchanges with Melbourne Victory Academy sides. The partnership will also allow us to continue to develop our coaching staff through coach education exchanges with Melbourne Victory, giving this relationship real merits for both organisations moving forward.”
Sherman underlined the importance of the developing relationship between the two organisations, and said he hoped to build on the growing exchange between Melbourne Victory and one of the largest schools in New Zealand.
“We are seeing a growing relationship over recent years with a key partner of ours in New Zealand,” Sherman said.
“We have worked with the school previously to host our A-League side in preparation for games in Auckland and have also seen the school play against our Academy sides here in Melbourne, so a further establishment of this relationship is a natural progression.”
“We now have the ability to offer players the opportunity to train with us here in the Academy in coming months, as well as education exchanges with Peter and his coaching staff, and we will be welcoming the school to Melbourne in April to play further games against a variety of our Academy sides.”
“Mount Albert Grammar School has a strong reputation for developing footballers over the years and this is clearly down to some of the great work the school are doing to nurture their high potential players and providing them the appropriate level of guidance on how to develop their football careers alongside their education.”
“The next logical step for us was to ensure that both male and female players born between 2006-2011 are also given an opportunity to experience the provision of training and identification that our domestic players here in Australia receive, and our ever expanding regional Pre Academy Centres provides them the opportunity to be part of what we are building.”
The MVFC Pre Academy Centres are one of a multitude of entry points in to the MVFC Academy, with a large proportion of Pre Academy Centre players making their way through to representation of the club at JNPL level and beyond in 2020.