Residential Programme
Christchurch United Football Club & Tovo Academy are seeking Oceania's best and brightest high school aged footballers for an all year boarding programme.
Harry Greatholder
"One of the things I love most about the boarding programme would definitely be the culture among the boys. Being with each other all the time is really enjoyable and creates great relationships. Playing games, talking, eating together and training together are some of the things that we enjoy most."
What do we offer?
  • Our facilities are the best in the country, with more artificial turfs and courts than any other club in New Zealand.
  • We provide top level expertise in our coaching staff, who are on the ground to support you in becoming the best footballer you can be.
  • We provide some of the best links to professional setups, with access to the breadth of the English football pyramid, the US college system, Tovo Academy in Barcelona and the Wellington Phoenix among other professional teams.
  • Our full-time boarding house manager lives on-site to assist with player welfare, injury prevention, and nutrition advice.
  • Live the life of a full-time professional footballer with morning sessions, nutrition plans, expert coaches, and playing in top academy teams, alongside the Tovo Academy Barcelona methology
  • We record all trainings all the time, through an app. This means you have access to develop your game at the touch of a button.
  • Continue your academic education with Saint Thomas of Canterbury College
  • And so much more. Read our e-brochure for all the details.
Our players' stories
"The top tier facilities on offer aided me to get to where I am today"
Scott Morris
"I went from a small town to Pro in 3 years"
Jackson Brady
Chattanooga Red Wolves - USA
"If you want to to help develop your football this is the place to be"
Diego Lavin
Chamartín Vergara - Spain
Our methodology
Rethinking Talent Development Together with TOVO Academy Barcelona which is regarded the best holistic program in Europe for players aiming to excel in football and beyond.
What part of the year will I be at the Boarding House?
We want our players to be at the Boarding House from the middle of January until the middle of December. This allows for a few weeks to settle in before the school year starting, and also for any late school exams which run into mid-December. If a student has completed all of their football competitions and school exams before that time, a request to return home would be accepted, of course.
What are you looking for in student football players?
We are looking for top talents across the high school age groups in Oceania (13-18). Christchurch United is an ambitious club and we want to be seen as the best club in the South Island for developing and promoting talent - not only to our own first team, but to professional or college setups beyond CUFC.
What does the admissions process look like?
After expressing your interest, our coaches will take a look at the videos you've provided and get in touch to arrange either a face-to-face or online meeting with yourself and your parents. Our coaches will then decide to progress, or not progress, the application.

Afterwards, a site visit is optional, as is inclusion in some of our age-group Academy training sessions.

It is possible if there is enough interest that a trial game would be set up over a visiting weekend. Coaches will make the final call on admissions following that.
What happens after the admissions process?
After you have been selected to join the Boarding House, we will supply you with all the information you and your parents will need ahead of living in the Boarding House. Move in date is still TBC, but will likely be in mid-January 2024.

You will be put in touch with our Boarding House Manager if you have any further questions from that information.
What is St Thomas of Canterbury College like?
St Thomas of Canterbury College is a top high school in the area and has a strong reputation regarding its sports teams.

We encourage parents to take a look at the St Thomas of Canterbury College website to ensure they are comfortable with the school.

Players will be taken to and from school each day by the Boarding House Manager. All food and travel for the players is included in the price.

If there is an issue with St Thomas' that parents feel is insurmountable, we may be able to help find another school for the player for the duration of their stay.
What is the minimum age of acceptance?
High school age. This is usually 13-18 years old.
Does United Boarding Academy offer scholarships?
This will be assessed on a case by case basis. There will be a number of factors influencing this decision, such as the family's financial situation, the distance from the player's family, and the talent of the player. Any decision made regarding scholarships by CUFC staff is final.
What if I get injured while staying at the boarding house?
Depending on the seriousness and length of the injury, we should be able to treat and rehabilitate the injured player. This will be assessed case by case and there may be some instances where it would not make sense for the player to be rehabilitated at the Boarding House. In which case they would be allowed to return home for their rehabilitation.
Are you asking for expressions of interest from female players yet?
Not yet. We want to get this setup right before expanding the selection process to include our female players. Watch this space as we expect to have more information as the first year plays out.