Melbourne Victory Football Club is continuing its vision to support the development of youth footballers across Australia and overseas with the announcement of a regionalised Pre-Academy Centre taking place in conjunction with Riverside Olympic Football Club in Tasmania.
The Pre-Academy Centre will be visiting Launceston on Wednesday 15 April – Friday 17 April, and will feature a number of the club’s Academy Coaches from the Hyundai A-League & Westfield W-League Football Departments.
The Pre-Academy Centres in regional areas are for boys and girls aged between 9-14 and provide insight and exposure to the clubs Academy system.
Victory’s General Manager of Technical and Academy, Drew Sherman, underlined the importance of the developing relationship between the two organisations, and hoped to grow the number of Tasmanian players being part of Victory’s set up.
“We are seeing a growing number of players from both Riverside Olympic FC and the broader football community in Tasmania creating genuine opportunities for themselves to be part of the club here in Melbourne.” Sherman said.
“We are really looking forward to visiting Launceston. We currently have Tasmanian export, Josh Hope, in our A-League squad and have also had a number of other talented Tasmanian players train with us here in the Academy in recent months.”
“This is clearly down to the great work the clubs are doing to nurture their high potential players and are providing them with the appropriate level of guidance and support on how to develop their football careers.”
“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 same provision of training and identification, and our ever expanding Pre Academy Centres provides them with the opportunity to be part of what we are building.”
Riverside Olympic FC Director of Football, Alex Gaetani, was instrumental in ensuring this event was possible and was excited to ensure an agreement was in place to bring Melbourne Victory to Riverside.
“This partnership between Riverside Olympic FC (ROFC) and Melbourne Victory FC (MVFC) is an exciting announcement for our club,” Gaetani said.
“Not only is Melbourne Victory arguable the most iconic and successful football club in Australia, but they are also renowned for their strong academy and elite development football programs.”
“The exciting changes that ROFC are going through in terms of NPL promotion and improvements in our own academy programs make this alignment with MVFC really valuable and timely.”
“We are a club that focuses heavily on player development that feeds into our first team’s as well as providing our youth players with the best opportunities possible in football that we can, and this partnership adds so much to our developmental values.”
“We hope that through the partnership our young players and players in the surrounding areas are able to gain football experiences that they may not get elsewhere, and we can continue to strive to be the club of choice in our region.”
“Ultimately we would love for some of our players catch the eye of the academy coaches and add to the other Tasmanian’s currently part of Melbourne Victory’s academy and youth teams.”
Victory’s Pre-Academy Centres are one of a multitude of entry points into 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.