Melbourne Victory have launched the first in a series of Talent Identification Camps across metropolitan and regional Melbourne.
In excess of 30 potential stars of tomorrow received nominations from their junior clubs to train under the guidance of Melbourne Victory staff and coaches, with the inaugural camp staged at Spring Hills Football Club in Caroline Springs across January 10 and 11.
Aged between seven and eleven, those selected to progress in the Melbourne Victory Player Development Pathway will now join the foundation Melbourne Victory Pre-Academy Centre at Spring Hills, which will launch in March.
The architect of the programme is Melbourne Victory’s General Manager – Technical and Coaching, Rob Sherman, who brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the role.
Sherman says that the Club’s Player Development Programme and these camps will form a vital plank in Melbourne Victory’s long-term future.
“We were delighted that so many local clubs nominated and referred players to participate in the first Talent Identification Camp at Spring Hills,” Sherman said.
“We were really pleased with the standard of the players which is a testament to the local clubs’ fantastic work and bodes well young players across Victoria.
“We look forward to welcoming the selected players into our Player Development Pathway and working closely with them to realise their potential.
“The Pre-Academy Centres are an essential ingredient of our Player Development Pathway.
“These centres are designed to support selected players and complement both their club and school football through expert coaching from Academy Coaches and Melbourne Victory Pre-Academy Centre staff.”
One such member of the Club’s staff is Academy Under-20s coach Grant Brebner. A two-time championship winner and member of the Club’s Team of the Decade, Brebner believes that the Player Development Pathway and Pre-Academy Centres will revolutionise the way players are developed in Australia.
“The Pre-Academy Centres will be a game changer,” said Brebner.
“They will give younger players an insight into how we work and what we expect will make a big difference to their development.
“It’s an exciting time and based on the quality we are seeing, I can’t wait to work with these players in the near future.”
A second Pre-Academy Centre will be launched out of Knox Churches Soccer Club in the near future, with a further four locations operating out of Whittlesea, Point Cook, Geelong and Albury-Wodonga before year’s end.
Melbourne Victory will be seeking nominations for future Talent Identification Camps in the surrounding areas as these additional locations come online.
Local clubs will be contacted as this process begins and it is recommended that interested parents speak with their club about participating in future camps.