Rising stars take to football pitch
Auckland’s top young footballers will put their best feet forward when a new youth football tournament kicks off this weekend.
The Auckland City FC Under-17 Youth Tournament launches at Avondale’s Eastdale Park on March 30 for elite teams of young men and women from clubs throughout New Zealand.
Onehunga Sports, Three Kings, Waitemata and Central United will compete for the title.
Auckland City FC chairman Ivan Vuksich says the new annual tournament will give players in the under-17 category something to play for alongside the competitions running for the under-15 and under19 age categories.
‘‘It meets an obvious gap in the market.’’
Players in this age group are important in the development pipeline of New Zealand football, he says.
The club has a strong track record in elite youth development and its team are the National Youth League champions.
With backing from the the New Zealand and Oceania football federations Auckland City hopes to eventually open up the tournament to international teams.
Vuksich says the groundwork has already been laid in discussions with overseas clubs. He hopes a successful event in 2013 will signal the chance to bring teams from Australia, the Pacific Islands and elsewhere to the competition from 2014.
The tournament runs from March 30 to April 1.
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