Introduction & Background

The NZF Talent Development Programme is an opportunity for clubs to be recognised when offering quality sessions to youth players (13 to 17 years old). Capital Football would like to provide an update on the delivery of this programme in the region.

The season is now well underway, and we have ten clubs running Talent Development Programmes, nine of which are partaking in Capital Development Leagues:

Island Bay United

Kapiti Coast United (provisional)

Lower Hutt City AFC (provisional)

Miramar Rangers

North Wellington/Onslow Junior

Petone (provisional)

Stop Out Sports Club (provisional)

Upper Hutt City (provisional)

Waterside Karori

Wellington United

Western Suburbs (provisional)

What does this mean?

Players within each of these environments receive regular training sessions, delivered by qualified coaches, with access to quality facilities. Players compete in the Capital Development Leagues which has recognised standards, and identification processes. These standards are driven nationwide to ensure a consistency of delivery meaning that the players receive a quality experience.

What next for the Talend Development Programme Clubs?

Player development is a continuous process and the Talent Development Programme is seeking to develop more better players over a longer period. Players will continue to receive consistent and quality sessions throughout the year. Capital Football is actively working with each of the clubs to ensure that this is the case by going through an appraisal process.

Where do we want to get to in 2021?

Capital Football would like to see those clubs delivering approved Talent Development Programmes continue to do so. We would also like to see the whole Capital Football region suitably covered with Talent Development Programme opportunities for local youth players.

Additionally, we would like to see all junior players (those under 12 years of age) provided with opportunities regardless of their ability. The NZF Skills Centre initiative offers clubs a route to provide all junior players between the ages of 9 to 12 years old training to recognised standards.

Capital Football will be actively helping clubs to reach these standards whilst recognising the benefits of Sport NZ’s Balance is Better initiative, focussing on maximising participation and skill development across sport.

Youth Competition Structure 2020:

Talent Development Programme clubs have access to Capital Development League competition to recognise the investment made in this area. All clubs have access to all other competitions. A basic explanation of this is as follows:

Tier 1

Capital Development Leagues




Tier 2

Capital Football League - A




Tier 3

Capital Football League - B




Tier 4

(U13 to U15)

Capital Football Wellington Combined Competitions



How can new clubs get involved?

The Talent Development Programme is not for all clubs. The standards associated are deliberately high as we strive to offer the best possible experience for youth players. Clubs are welcome to run the Talent Development Programme on their own if they meet the criteria, but we also encourage clubs to be creative in how they partner with other clubs to best meet the standards, for example Memorandums of Understanding.

By stating our desire to run dedicated Capital Development Leagues, Capital Football is clear in its vision that players will benefit from playing together, in best practice environments, with qualified coaches. This means players training together and then playing together on the game day.

We encourage clubs to speak with Capital Football prior to applying to run a Talent Development Programme for 2021 to fully understand the implications involved

How does this fit into the New Zealand Football pathway?

New Zealand Football is seeking to provide an aligned structure to meet the needs of players across all levels of the game. The talent pathway offers players who are showing potential additional football with a higher level of competition. The provision involves players being challenged appropriately in minimal environments, enhancing their opportunity of further development.

The purpose of the Capital Development Leagues is to provide a competition to develop talented domestic footballers, coaches, and referees.

The guiding principles of the competition are:

  • Minimal (ideally one) environment for the player
  • Training regularly with each other
  • Playing regularly against each other
  • Quality player development programme

The player pathway for all players is detailed at the end of this document.

What will the rest of the year look like?

In line with Sport NZ’s recommendation in response to COVID-19, representative tournaments for the remainder of the year have been postponed. Capital Football will therefore not be running the annual National Age Group Tournament nor endorsing talent-based summer competition below U15 years of age. We will instead be focussing on community development initiatives including the Summer 5’s. Clubs will still have the opportunity to nominate teams to attend Lower Hutt City AFC’s, Ivan England Tournament for U17 and U19 players.

Capital Football will continue the Girls Talent Acceleration Programme through term 4, along with the National Women’s League campaign kicking off in October. How 2021 looks in the girl’s pathway is currently being reviewed via the Women’s Advisory Group and will be communicated once confirmed.

Following the completion of Talent Development Programme club appraisals, Capital Football will highlight best practice case studies and share learnings. We are aware that the Talent

Development Programme is still a relatively new initiative and know some of the challenges which face clubs, particularly financial. We will be formally following this up with clubs but welcome any further feedback in the meantime.

Capital Football will host an end of season meeting to explain the pathway moving forward into 2021 for any interested stakeholders.

What next for my club?

Approved Talent Development Programme Clubs:

  • Continue to work with Capital Football through Appraisal process.

Clubs seeking to become Talent Development Programme providers:

  • Speak with Capital Football to understand the requirements associated with running a Talent Development Programme.
  • If your club would like to proceed with a Talent Development Programme, please submit the application form by 5pm Friday 25th September 2020.
  • Applications to be submitted to:

Steeve Sharpe, Federation Development Manager, steeve@capitalfootball.org.nz

Should you have any queries regarding this area please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

Your faithfully,

Steeve Sharpe

Federation Development Manager, Capital Football




Playing Philosophy

Must have a Playing Philosophy and Team Model

Age groups offered

Boys 13, 14, 15, U17. Girls U14, U16

No. of players per age group

Maximum 18 players

Player Eligibility

12/18 home grown* players

RAE offset

Must have no more than 10 players in each age group if duel banded

No. of training contacts

3 minimum – 4 maximum sessions per week**

No. of game contacts

1-2 games per week

Injury prevention contacts

Minimum of 2 per week

Total no. of contacts

Maximum of:

4 trainings + 1 game + 2 Injury Prevention/Strength & Conditioning sessions

3 trainings + 2 games + 2 Injury Prevention/Strength & Conditioning sessions

Programme duration

Minimum of 30 contact weeks annually

Training area

Half pitch minimum

Mandatory shut down period

6 weeks during December and January

Player to coach ratio

Maximum of 12:1

Technical Director Qualification

NZF B Licence + Emergency Aid

Team Coach Qualification

Head Coach: Youth Level 3 Coaching Licence + Emergency Aid

Assistant Coach: Youth Level 2 Coaching Award + Emergency Aid

Goalkeeper Coach: GK Level 1

Curriculum Delivered

NZF Talent Development Programme or equivalent

Maximum cost per session

$14 per session

Player feedback meetings

Minimum of 3 meetings annually

Player education workshops

Minimum of 3 meetings annually

Support/evaluation visits from Federation

Minimum of 3 visits annually

Club/School link

Must have signed MOU agreement with local clubs and schools

Players released for Federation or National Activity

Maximum of 20 days during February and October (excludes official FIFA activity)

*Home grown players are players that have been registered with the club or MOU club/school for 2 or more seasons.

**There will be an expectation that clubs have facilities available to ensure trainings are not cancelled. This could include floodlit, artificial or indoor (futsal) venues.

For enquiries please contact Steeve Sharpe, Federation Development Manager

Email: talentadmin@capitalfootball.org.nz

Phone: (04) 586 5814