NZF Skills Centre (players aged 9-12yrs)

What is the NZ Football Skills Centre?

The NZ Football Skills Centre is a development programme that has been specifically designed for the ‘future’ football player. NZ Football designed the Skills Centre programme, following a lengthy review of best practices and latest research from around the world, to accelerate the skills of the ‘serious’ Kiwi footballer and to fit our unique culture. The programme is under-pinned by NZ Football’s ‘Player-Centred’ Coaching approach, which means every player will be treated as an individual and receive the best coaching available.

Only qualified advanced level coaches who hold the NZ Football Junior Level 3 Award are used to deliver the Skill Centre programme. This will ensure that the wants and needs of players in this age group are fully met and that they receive the best coaching available to them.

Why do we need this programme?

The world’s best players are technically better than ever before and getting better all the time. This programme will take advantage of the ‘Golden Years of Learning’ (between 9 & 12yrs) by giving our young players the tools to develop their technique and skill to enjoy the game and reach their goals.

Where does it fit?

The Skills Centre programme complements ‘club’ practice and builds on the skills the players learn throughout the season. Boys and Girls that attend the programme will learn the skills required to enjoy the game and achieve their goals.

In previous years, WaiBOP Football has delivered the NZ Football Skills Centre programme where players aged 9-12yrs were selected into regional groups and provided with extra training & game opportunities to further develop their football ability.

New Skills Centre programmes

NZ Football has now created two separate Skills Centre programmes, the Skills Centre Open and the Skills Centre +, to better cater for the needs of the growing number of talented players within the 9-12year age groups.

The NZF Skills Centre Open programme is available to all junior players aged 9-12yrs who wish to play more football and further develop their ability. This programme will be delivered by registered and approved clubs across the Federation beginning in term 2, 2018.

WaiBOP Football will deliver Skills Centre Open programmes in regions where there is no club approved to deliver the programme. The Skills Centre Open programme will offer additional development opportunities within a familiar environment throughout the year with clear training guidelines, including a curriculum based on international best practice. Junior footballers displaying a higher level of potential within the Skills Centre Open will be ideally placed to be selected and invited into a Skills Centre + programme from 2019 onwards.

The new NZF Skills Centre + programme allows players who are showing potential to play together in the same environment. Accredited by New Zealand Football, selected players are invited to attend practice at a central venue, under the guidance of a Federation approved coaching team. This allows players to be challenged appropriately with and against players of a similar ability. This will help to accelerate player development as players will be required to operate at a standard that involves a higher level of performance across all four corners. NZF Skills Centre + is the pinnacle provision within junior football and aims to help identify and develop future All Whites and Football Ferns.

The NZF Skills Centre + programmes will begin in January 2019 and will be delivered by accredited clubs with the support of WaiBOP Football.

Who can deliver a Skills Centre?

Any club that can meet the requirements will be considered for the Skills Centre programme and we are currently working with several clubs across our Federation with a view to begin delivery of the Skills Centre Open programme in term 2, 2018. Further information on the location of and registration for these programmes will be available very shortly.

We are also working with these clubs to establish a NZF Skills Centre + programme that will begin in 2019. There will be no NZF Skills Centre + programme in 2018.

Any club wishing to become involved in delivering the Skills Centre programme should contact their regional FDO to find out if they meet the required criteria.

As a player, how do I get involved?

The NZF Skills Centre Open programme is available to all players, male & female, aged from 9 – 12yrs of age (born 2006-2009). If you wish to attend a NZF Skills Centre Open simply contact your nearest approved club to see if they have a space for you. You do not need to be a member of the approved club as the NZF Skills Centre Open is open to everyone (spaces are limited so be quick).

What do I get at a NZF Skills Centre Open?

1. Training
To gain the most from being in a NZF Skills Centre Open programme you must register for a minimum of 8 weeks. You will receive additional development opportunities within a familiar environment throughout the year with clear training guidelines, including a curriculum based on international best practice. Sessions will be delivered by approved NZ Football Junior Level 3 qualified coaches who understand the needs and wants of players in these age groups.

2. Games
There will also be Game Day festivals at certain times during the year where various Skills Centre groups come together to play a series of games. These games give the players an ideal opportunity to put into practice what they have learnt, as well as giving the coaches the chance to observe player progress. The dates for these festivals will be listed here shortly.     


Ken Cresswell
Mobile: 021 321 358​​​​​​​


General overview

The Fun Football Centre programme is designed to appeal to both boys and girls (6, 7 and 8 years old), from total beginners to committed young players. It’s part of the NZF junior development plan, so there is the opportunity for talented and hardworking players to start the journey to excellence.  

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