Capital Football, along with New Zealand Football and the federations across New Zealand have announced that the 2020 National Age Group Tournament has been cancelled.
Capital Football Chief Executive, Richard Reid, stated that along with New Zealand Footballs and its seven Federations stance that community sport is taking priority, and given the financial toll the Covid-19 pandemic has placed on many, the sensible option was to take it off of the football calendar.
“New Zealand Football has given a clear statement that community sport will be the priority for the immediate future and with that alongside the current financial landscape, unfortunately the National Age Group Tournament will be put on hold for the year”.
“Getting community football back up and running is the priority for all federations and that is where our focus must be for 2020”.
“We are also very conscious of the heavy financial toll that has taken place across the country and adding another expense like this for our community families and funding bodies just does not seem responsible.”
Andy Boyens, New Zealand Football Technical Director, echoed the community first outlook but expressed the importance of continuing player development throughout the year even without this year’s tournament.
“During the current time we believe it’s important to prioritise community football getting back up and running and this takes away some of the pressures that have arisen due to Covid-19”.
“I’m sure players and coaches will be disappointed, however, it’s important for them to understand that their development is ongoing and whilst they won’t be able to compete with their peers from across the country at the NAGT, it’s vitally important that they keep working hard locally and drive their own development.”
Capital Football Federation Development Manager Steeve Sharpe, said the decision will be “disappointing for many players across the region let alone the country, but getting local football competitions back on the field is the most important thing for the time being”.
“NAGT (National Age Group Tournament) has always been a highlight of our football calendar, and like the players who will no doubt have been looking forward to it we are disappointed that it won’t be going ahead. However, it is important that we focus on supporting our clubs throughout this time”.
“We are looking forward to helping those clubs who have invested time and resource into the Talent Development Programme with the roll out of the Capital Development Leagues. We will also be exploring other options for players later in the year and will keep our stakeholders informed as and when more information becomes available.”
The National Age Group Tournament was set to be held in Christchurch in December for three age groups from under 16’s (boys & girls) Under 15’s (boys) and Under 14’s (boys & girls).
For more information please contact the Capital Football Team at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Article added: Friday 22 May 2020