Ole-Wests mar­riage back on

Kapi-Mana News - - SPORT - By KRIS DANDO

Ole Foot­ball Academy and Western Sub­urbs Soc­cer Club an­nounced last week that they have joined forces to pro­vide an op­por­tu­nity for lo­cal foot­ballers.

More than 100 play­ers aged 11 to 19 will train at Ole and play for Wests in Cap­i­tal Foot­ball com­pe­ti­tions.

Two or­gan­i­sa­tions are com­ing to­gether again in a part­ner­ship that has a lot of his­tory.

They were pre­vi­ously close, but went their own ways in about 2011, with Ole, based in the old Porirua Hos­pi­tal grounds, con­nect­ing with Is­land Bay.

The time was right to re­join forces, Ole di­rec­tor Nate Winkel said.

‘‘It’s a win-win for ev­ery­one, with our coach­ing and proven path­ways join­ing up with our need to have our play­ers play­ing reg­u­lar games.

‘‘We’re go­ing to be co-op­er­at­ing across the top level [pre­mier and re­serve grades for the se­niors] and through the ju­nior grades, as well.

‘‘A num­ber of clubs are linked with acad­e­mies th­ese days and the ge­o­graph­i­cal ties of Wests and Ole means this is a great fit.

‘‘We’re very ex­cited about what the fu­ture holds and hope to do some­thing that is the envy of other clubs.’’

Ole trainees would likely at­tend Porirua col­leges in­stead of be­ing ed­u­cated at Ole, Winkel said.

Academy tech­ni­cal di­rec­tor De­clan Edge will be­come a con­sul­tant to Wests’ se­nior teams and the ju­nior play­ers will get the ben­e­fit of his and five other coaches’ ex­per­tise at Ole.

The quick, pos­ses­sion-style foot­ball they en­cour­age would help Wests’ play­ers de­velop skills needed in the mod­ern game, Winkel said.

Wests will now have mul­ti­ple places to train and play – their home ground, En­deav­our Park, along with ar­ti­fi­cial turfs at Ole and As­cot Park.

The club’s deputy chair­man, Peter Gille­spie, said Wests were keen to part­ner with Ole be­cause of the ‘‘ splin­tered’’ scene in Wellington foot­ball.

They looked at other op­tions, but the feel­ing within the club was very pos­i­tive to­wards Ole.

‘‘It made sense and ticked a lot of boxes. We looked at their struc­ture and method­ol­ogy and what we want to achieve in our own five-year plan.

‘‘We’ve got a num­ber of kids knock­ing on the door of rep, fed­er­a­tion and New Zealand se­lec­tion, but they need to go even fur­ther.

‘‘ Ole’s coach­ing is great and they can give our play­ers bet­ter skills and we of­fer them some­thing at the lo­cal level.’’

Gille­spie said any talk of the Ole/ Wests union mak­ing it a closed shop was not cor­rect.

Ole play­ers would not au­to­mat­i­cally fill up Wests’ Cen­tral League team and nor would they dom­i­nate the ju­nior ranks.

There are 55 Wests teams in the 7 to 11 age group.

‘‘We com­ple­ment each other and you will see that com­ing out.

‘‘This is what the Porirua com­mu­nity needs in terms of foot­ball.

‘‘The top kids will al­ways do well, but the good thing about this part­ner­ship is the next tier of play­ers are go­ing to be well served. Our coaches will get the ben­e­fits, too.’’

Winkel said tri­als would be held in the younger age groups in the com­ing weeks, fol­lowed by the se­niors.

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