Auckland Football confirmed on Monday a Football Ferns Development team will play in the U-17 Conference Youth League (AFF/NFF) in 2017.
Auckland Football CEO Bill MacGowan said the Federation Board is behind the plan and worked with Northern Football and NZ Football to approve their entry into the U-17 Conference Youth League as the important competitive outlet for the programme.
“Since being presented with the FFDP plan, Auckland Football has been supportive of the concept,” MacGowan said.
“It is a detailed plan backed by Sport NZ and it aims to directly help New Zealand Football achieve its strategic objective of our elite teams winning matches at global events, an outcome which will have a tremendously positive impact for the game at all levels in this country.”
After receiving feedback from clubs, MacGowan said the Board acknowledged the Auckland-based Lotto NRFL Women’s Premier League clubs will be affected by players opting to take part in the FFDP.
“Yes, under the programme, several AFF clubs will be impacted by regular individual player unavailability with it running in Auckland.
“New Zealand Football understand the situation and have built in the opportunity for players in their squad to turn out for clubs on a weekly basis based on player selections for the Conference side. There will also be other opportunities for the players to be released to clubs, such as during the New Zealand Women’s Knockout Cup competition.”
On the selection of the U-17 Conference Youth League as the competition the FFDP team will participate in, MacGowan said the Auckland Football Board supports the national body’s groundwork in preparing the plan.
“As part of the process, New Zealand Football has conducted international research regarding similar situations and their recommendation for this league is based on that coupled with the knowledge gained after years of experience against boys’ sides in friendly matches.
“They believe this competition gives them the best outlet to test the players individually and as a unit and further their development towards professional and international football – which is the ultimate aim of the programme.
“Alongside their research, New Zealand Football have also completed a risk analysis on the situation and we are happy the team’s inclusion poses no significant issues to anyone involved in the competition.”
At the completion of the 2017 season, the FFDP team’s involvement in the U-17 Conference Youth League will be reviewed with recommendations regarding their inclusion in future years to be made at that time.
For more information contact Auckland Football CEO Bill MacGowan – 021 967 639