The Junior Framework provides a consistent, coordinated national approach to the development of junior players.

Whether children enjoy football because it’s a fun way to make friends or they’re inspired to follow in the footsteps of their heroes and play on the world stage, the Junior Framework has been developed to kick-start their dreams.

The Junior Framework provides a consistent, coordinated national approach to the development of junior players. Its main aim is to provide all junior players with high quality football experiences that increase both skill levels and the passion for playing football.

Through the Junior Framework players will experience age appropriate football games and coaching in a programme that is specifically tailored to meet their football wants and needs.

The Junior Framework offers age appropriate games formats and training recommendations for the following age groups:

  • McDonald’s First Kicks (4-6 years old)
  • McDonald’s Fun Football (7-8 years old)
  • McDonald’s Mini Football (9-12 years old)


Underpinning the Junior Framework are the following principles which provide clear structure for programmes to be developed under.

1. Accumulation of hours and number of touches2. Early engagement3. Recognising development age of the player4. Training emphasis periods5. Four corners approach (incorporating the Physical / Mental / Social-Emotional / Technical-Tactical abilities of players)6. Age appropriate games


Street football across the world has been instrumental in the development of world-class players, and small sided games are the cornerstone of developing technically proficient and creative football players in a New Zealand context.

The benefits of small sided games extend far beyond technical and tactical development. They ensure children develop an innate love for the game and remain in our sport for longer.

For information on McDonalds Junior Football please see the uploaded resources. 


    This coaching tool has been successfully implemented in Junior Football throughout the world. It has also been used successfully by Federations in New Zealand over the past few years. The Retreating Line rule enables and encourages our young footballers to start to develop and enjoy a style of play in keeping with World's best practices and New Zealand Football’s playing philosophy.

    The game involves playing the ball out from the back with defenders learning to control and accept the ball. Midfielders check to receive and play between the lines, while strikers learn to defend from the front and use the retreating line to make angled runs. This provides realistic player movement both on and off the ball, making it a great format for the modern game.

    Be sure to check out the video and the below flyer with all the rules and regulations you need to know for the 2019 season!