Youth opportunities discussed at All Whites meeting

On October 9, Christchurch United hosted a delegation of the New Zealand Football coaching staff to discuss a lack of development opportunities for young footballers.

All Whites Head coach Danny Hay, NZ U20s Head coach Darren Bazeley and NZ U17s Head coach Martin Bullock were at the Christchurch Football Centre in Yaldhurst on Friday where they shared how things could be improved to give young talent a better chance of reaching national football.

For Christchurch United, this is a theme that we identified as well and we were happy to discuss the topic with the national team coaches.
During the meeting, Danny Hay cited statistics that clearly show that the South Island lacks in young football quality compared to the North Island. This was highlighted by the average age of the leading senior team’s players.

This brought them to the conclusion that young people are given less opportunities in the Mainland Premier League, contributing to a lack of overall quality throughout the league.
The next problem highlighted for the southern region at the meeting was that the football down South is slower and lower in overall quality.
At the meeting, it was concluded that to improve the quality of football, it is necessary to develop football at club level. Success here would mean more coaches would be likely to attend games and give young players a chance at national representation.

On Saturday, the New Zealand Football delegation also joined us in celebrating the club’s 50th anniversary. All Whites head coach Danny Hay made a congratulatory speech and the coaches were presented with a copy of 50 Years United — Christchurch United’s anniversary book.
It’s also not Hay’s first visit to the club this year. In March, the All Whites boss visited the Football Centre and was complimentary of the strides we have made towards developing our youth system, saying the club’s approach aligned closely with how the national teams want to play, giving him hope that Christchurch United would be a future breeding ground for young professionals. He said he was again pleased to see the club continue to move in the same direction and make good efforts to develop football in Christchurch.

It was Christchurch United’s absolute pleasure to host our distinguished New Zealand football guests, we hope they enjoyed their time and we look forward to seeing them again in the future.