Melbourne Victory are on the look-out for generation next, launching the first in a series of Talent Identification Camps across metropolitan and regional Melbourne for eight to twelve year olds.
The Club’s newly established player development pathway will serve to complement the training young players receive at their junior clubs, providing specialist coaching that will help elevate their skills and plot a path between junior football and the top tiers of the professional game.
The pathway is made up of two phases
- Pre-Academy Centre; which provides a specialist program to complement a player’s participation in Club football and;
- Melbourne Victory Academy; the program for the best young boys and girls aspiring to reach their potential and forge a career in professional football.
The inaugural Talent Identification Camp was run out of Spring Hills in Caroline Springs earlier this month, with further camps to identify players for the Club’s Pre-Academy Centres to be held at Knox Churches Soccer Club, Point Cook, Geelong and Albury-Wodonga.
The architect of these programs is General Manager – Technical and Coaching, Rob Sherman, who believes the camps are an important step towards providing future generations of players with the support needed to realise their potential.
“As a Club we are committed to identifying, nurturing and then developing the very best players in the country and these programs will provide the framework to accomplish that,” Sherman said.
“Over 30 promising juniors were referred by their clubs into our camp at Spring Hills in early January and the standard was testament to the fantastic work done at junior level by their coaches and bodes well for future camps.
“A number of these players have been invited into the Pre-Academy Centre, and in combination with the training they receive at their junior clubs, will help them reach their potential.”
Grant Brebner, a member of Melbourne Victory’s Team of the Decade and current Academy under-20s coach, believes the pathway and Pre-Academy Centres will revolutionise the way players are developed in Australia.
“This will be a game-changer,” Brebner said.
“These programs will give young players an insight into how we work, exposure to excellent coaching and 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.”
Melbourne Victory will be seeking player nominations from clubs in the regions around Knox, Whittlesea, Point Cook, Geelong and Albury-Wodonga in preparation for them coming online. Future camps in these areas are scheduled for:
- West Point – 9th and 10th of February
- Bell Park – 1st and 2nd of March
- Murray United – 15th and 16th of February
- Knox – 8th, 15th and 22nd of March
- Whittlesea – 9th, 16th and 23rd of March
Local clubs will be contacted in advance of these camps and it is recommended that interested parents speak with their club about participating in future camps.