Football academy taps into local talent
A South Waikato football academy will be launched in 2018 offering a big boost to college talent.
Tokoroa AFC coaches Dean Tereu and Chris Teague have been in talks with Tokoroa High School principal William (Willie) Ford about establishing the club run academy for Year 9-13 students as a way of nurturing local talent.
Tereu, who played for the Cook Islands national football team from 1998 to 2002 and who has just seen the local men’s team he coaches promoted to WAIBOP Federation Premiership level, said now was the right time.
‘‘There is a growing core group of football-crazy kids coming through but until now it’s been a neglected area in the town,’’ he said.
‘‘We are a ‘‘league town’’ but what people don’t realise is there are probably more kids that play football than league and rugby combined and they are really talented and naturally gifted.’’
Tereu, who also works at Tokoroa High School along with Teague, said partnering with the college made sense.
‘‘Both the men’s and women’s coaches teach at Tokoroa High School so we sat down and thought well we have got the coaches here we might as well make the most of it in terms of the young kids coming through,’’ he said.
‘‘The unwritten rule has always been that you play for the school but in terms of football that is not the best pathway for the people in this town, the best pathway is to get good coaching and play for the club and look to make rep’ teams through that.’’
‘‘Willie has been really good and has said take them down to the club, train them and make them better players as he sees that as a better pathway rather than forcing them to play division five school rubbish which is never going to get them anywhere.’’
He said while the students involved will continue to take part in core school subjects, where possible football will also be incorporated into the curriculum.
‘‘People high up in education have been looking at the sports in education ethos which is basically where you tap into a kid’s passion for sport and teach all areas of the curriculum through sport. It is a way of using their passion in their learning,’’ he said.
Tereu said the goal was to have at least two playing in the premiership by the time they finished school.