National academies are filling up around the region with Member Associations such as Vanuatu and New Caledonia making the most of OFC’s national academy programme.
The programme is designed to create football career pathways for individuals, while preparing them with tools to use around social responsibility.
Vanuatu’s men’s national academy started in 2009 and was inactive from 2017 until April 23 this year.
Local coaches now reside at the academy headquarters, hosting morning and evening training sessions for youth players.
Vanuatu Football Federation’s National Academy Coordinator Kaison Maki said it’s been great to have the facilities up and running after so many years.
“My main purpose is to create a good football environment by looking after the welfare of players inside camp and by maintaining our facilities so everyone is content,” he said.
“We’ve had a good start to the programme and we look forward to seeing everything fall into place as we develop quality players for our national teams ahead of the 2026 FIFA World Cup [qualifying process].”
In New Caledonia, the Fédération Calédonienne de Football (FCF) has 21 girls aged 15 and 16 involved in their women’s national academy that kickstarted in March 2021 for its third year running.
Initiated by FIFA, the academy is located at the International Sport and Expertise Center in Koutio, an establishment governed by the Territorial Olympic and Sports Committee of New Caledonia.
FCF President Gilles Tavergeux said the academy was a good opportunity to sustain women’s football in the future.
“The women’s national academy has secured funding for the next three years,” he said.
“It will help us look towards two goals for player development in New Caledonia which is to improve football involvement in schools and add football into the school curriculum.
“We are lucky to have this initiative and the programme gives us all a chance to contribute to women’s football in a positive way.”