Christchurch United Football Club First Team: Fostering South Island Talent

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Christchurch United Football Club First Team: Fostering South Island Talent

In the heart of New Zealand's South Island, Christchurch United Football Club is becoming the club that possesses local talent who are given the chance to play at the highest level in New Zealand. With a commitment to nurturing and promoting ambitious players throughout the south island, Christchurch United's first team has not only won the Southern League for two years in a row but also on the brink of a potential Chatham Cup win (first time since 1991) and into the final of the English Cup for the chance of a treble.

This season, the mens first team squad of 24 boasts an impressive statistic that speaks volumes about South Island homegrown talent:

An astounding 10 players are direct graduates of the Christchurch United Academy. These are young players who are beginning their football pathways and given the chance to do that through Paul Ifills squad. Players such as Nick Murphy, Jackson Cole, Frewen Watts, Sorasit Mac Prathumphithak coming through the clubs ranks.

This is backed up by 30% of the total minutes the team have played are being played by players who are under 20 years old.

The local connection doesn't end there. A remarkable 15 players in the squad are from Christchurch itself, a direct link into the club's strategy to keep the best players in the city. Players such as Benji Lapslie, Jago Godden, Haris Zeb and Joel Peterson.

Christchurch United's reach then extends beyond the city limits. Of the 24 players in the first team, an impressive 19 call the South Island home, players such as Riley Grover, Matt Todd-Smith and Luca Molnar. This geographic diversity showcasing that South Island players see the United first team as one of the best options to stay on the South Island and play their way through the Southern league, into the finals of two cups and then into the National League.

This means only 3 overseas players were used in 2023, giving the New Zealand based players extra learning opportunities from other playing experiences.