Young Olé 1, Young Olé 2 and Young Olé 3 programmes are designed for the ambitious footballer looking to take his or her game to the next level. At the top of the Olé Player Development Model and Pathway is the Young Olé Academy. The Young Olé Academy player is busy preparing for “football world” at U.S. Universities or professional football clubs domestic and abroad. The Young Olé player excels on the pitch, in the classroom and demonstrates solid character throughout his or her time at the academy.
Young Olé and Young Olé 1, 2, and 3 curriculum are consistent with world’s “best practice” and in alignment with the 4 developmental phases (Discovery, Skill Acquisition, Game Training and Performance) in New Zealand’s Youth and Junior Frameworks.
We have a favourite saying around the academy “become comfortable with being uncomfortable.” We understand that improvement only occurs when a player is pushed to the edge of his or her current abilities. The Young Olé pathway offers players constant opportunities for growth and development from junior to senior football (ages 5 – 18). The Young Olé training structure allows trainers to continually shift players out of their comfort zones based on their stage of physical, emotional, social and psychological development.
Olé is first and foremost a football academy, not a placement agency. Having said that, we do specialise in player placement, having in the past 20 years helped send a number of New Zealand players on athletic and academic scholarships to U.S. Universities. At the end of their time at Olé, we facilitate the career of each player by placing them at a level suitable for continuing their holistic education and football development.
We choose not to believe in pre-destined or anointed natural football talents. Rather, we give our footballers the opportunity to become the best they are capable of becoming, despite where they come from, how small or big they are, or how much promise they seem to show at an early age. We believe that effort is at the foundation of all “World Class” performance and that a great attitude beats any amount of aptitude. Constantly striving to train and compete in line with “best practice” our training staff have developed an environment where a consistent message, philosophy, system and distinct style and way of play permeates through the age groups and into the larger academy culture.
We constantly challenge our players to improve on and off of the pitch. We teach our players that the potential for improvement never-ends and that a CANI (Constant And Never-ending Improvement) attitude and Growth Mindset (Carol Dweck) are the most important skill sets when it comes to overcoming challenges and the pursuit of excellence.
Football is a team sport. Our players understand this important fact. It is only within the framework of a group working together that it is possible for the individual and team to improve and flourish. We believe in football’s power to bring people together, build communities and teach young people that self interest and group interest are intertwined. Young Olé Academy players begin giving back to the next generation of grassroots footballers in the Porirua-Wellington region through a variety of volunteer and community service initiatives.
My time at Olé has shaped who I am today, as a footballer and a person. Olé provides great facilities to train and the residential experience is second to none when it comes to academies in New Zealand. Olé is set up to produce world class footballers and also help them become mature young men and women. The Olé culture really sets it apart from other academies, I haven’t seen such a distinct culture from an academy in New Zealand or Holland. There isn’t a better coaching staff in NZ to develop young players into the footballers they want to be, Olé has created the perfect environment for aspiring young players.
In my opinion going to the Olé Football Academy is the best decision I have ever made. It taught me so much, on and off the field. It’s more than just a football academy and it produces great people as well as great footballers. Olé has helped take me to a World Cup; something I had only ever dreamed about and has given me the opportunity to attend one of the best universities in the United States. Although I have a long way to go, I feel safe knowing that I’m in the hands of Olé Football Academy.
Olé Football Academy’s ability to grow and educate the athletes it’s something that really stood out for me during my time there. Yes, the football trainings are second to none. Yes, it’s a full-time program that will continue to improve the athlete and prepare them for the next level. And yes, the results of the graduates and their continued success speak for themselves. But the greatest thing about Olé Football Academy is the fact that they are creating and growing human beings, not football robots. The focus and passionate pursuit to improve both the athlete and the person behind the athlete is what makes Olé such a special place.
From a student-athlete standpoint, going full-time meant dedicating my life in every aspect to becoming the best Human, Scholar and Footballer I could possibly become. I learned that the only way to do this was to maintain a constant growth mindset. The coaches helped me grow and develop on the field, helping me become a more intelligent and technical player – I am extremely grateful for their investment in me. The quality of the training environment is unparalleled, the caliber of coaches and players cannot be found anywhere else in New Zealand. The staff are all very hard working and have played a huge role in where I am today; the academic advisors helped me excel in the classroom and the chefs provided me nutritious meals away from home. Everyone at Olé Football Academy played a huge role in making my time special, providing me the best possible chance of success and achieving my dreams.
My winter spent with the Olé Football Academy was one of the most challenging and rewarding experiences I have faced. I learned a new style of the game, a style focused on the creative, dangerous, simplicity of Olé Football. Creative because the immensely fast speed of play taught me to see the direction of the game before the ball was at my feet. Dangerous due to an increased awareness of the game around me that led to an elevated level of production. And simple because I learned to fit into a perfectly designed system of Olé Football that drove the individual skill-sets to collectively come together to form a disciplined unit. My game elevated, as there was no room for excuses, only progress. Through Olé Football Academy, I became a better teammate, player, and person.
Declan and the staff have established a world class environment at Olé Football Academy to help players develop not only as players but also as a people. I came in as a boy and left a man not only with good football skills but also vital life skills to excel in the real world. To this day I still apply the knowledge I learned at Olé Football Academy on and off the football field. My experience at Olé was pivotal in shaping who I am today; it is something I am very proud of and grateful for.
I had heard a lot and knew about the players produced through Olé Football Academy, this made my decision very easy. During my time at Olé I received an education in football on and off the pitch and learned what it would take to reach the next level. The professional environment at Olé created by the world class coaching, facilities and full-time training is better than anything I have ever seen during my time in England, New Zealand and Norway. I needed help to further my career and without a doubt I don’t believe I would be where I am today without the help of Declan, Ben and Olé football Academy.
I’ve been a part of Olé as long as Declan has and for longer than any of the other coaches there. I’m not going to lie, it wasn’t always fun, and it definitely wasn’t easy but that’s part of the reason why Olé has been so successful at developing young footballers. You will not find a group of coaches more focused on player development, and a group of players more determined to become great footballers, anywhere else in New Zealand. I have no doubt that my brother, some of my friends and I wouldn’t be in the U.S., studying and playing football if it wasn’t for everything that we learned at Olé. Everything from style of play, consistent high quality training and how to be a good student and human is impressed upon us. If you want to learn what it takes to be successful in football, and in life, you should make the trip out to Porirua to see what is going on for yourself.
As a 16 year old I chose to become a full-time student-athlete at Olé where I learnt to become more self-reliant, mature and confident. Academically I developed the necessary work-ethic and organisational skills needed to succeed at the university level whilst balancing the athletic component of being a student-athlete at a Division I football program within the United States. Athletically, there really is just no better place to develop as a player than under the guidance of the coaches at Olé and my years being coached by the Olé staff. Head coach Declan Edge exposed me to the very best New Zealand had to offer. The technical coaching offered combined with the facilities gives a unique environment that has developed players currently competing all over the world. Living at the academy with the other Olé student-athletes was an unreal experience as you were always around a great bunch of lads who were just as driven and motivated as you were. The bottom line: if I could go through the whole process again I would do it in a heartbeat. I could not speak more highly of an establishment and I would definitely recommend Olé Football Academy to anyone who is interested.
During my time at Olé, I became not just a better footballer, but was able to develop as a student and person. The set up is everything you could ask for with a great field to train on all year round, the best equipment possible and the coaches which match the best coaches all over the world. Moving away from Auckland was a big decision but I knew that Olé was the best thing for my development. Living at the academy allowed me to learn how to look after myself in a controlled environment and the coaches onsite were always willing to help the players when needed. Olé was integral in helping me secure a scholarship at San Diego State University and furthering my football career and education. I can truthfully say that I would not be the person I am, nor would I be where I am today if it weren’t for the Olé Football Academy.
Olé has had an amazing impact on my life. I left home and said goodbye to Auckland at 16. It was a big decision and it was never going to be easy living away from home, but I did it to pursue excellence. Now, looking back at who I was before I went to Olé and who I am now, I can see I have grown – a lot. Through my time living at Olé, I improved immensely as a player. Through great coaching, I was challenged daily and was extended to constantly learn new things. Furthermore, just as much as I improved as a player I grew as a person. Living away from home can present its challenges and I have had some very valuable experiences. So, accompanied with the very personal mentoring I received from coaches, my time at Olé gave me rapid growth into the person I am today. I have many good memories of Olé, met great people and formed some great friendships along the way. However, it was not easy, it was challenging but that was just what I needed. Olé’s setting provided me with the opportunity to push myself, to extend myself as much as I could and then grow to reach further. I think because of this environment I was able to grow and improve so much and it is my favourite aspect of the academy. Olé has been a massive part of my life and in shaping who I am today. I am a proud member of the Olé family and always will be.
At Olé I was surrounded by quality people that positively encouraged and motivated me in order to become a better person and footballer. My time at Olé was key in my growth as a coach and footballer. I will be forever grateful to Olé for all of the time that they invested in me and for helping me continue my football career, now in my second year in the New Zealand Stirling Sports Premiership. For me, Olé Football Academy is my home away from home.
My time at Olé was critical in helping me get to Dartmouth College and the Ivy Leagues, which is an experience I am so thankful for. Beyond that, Olé helped lay the framework for a career in professional football. The current staff and programmes have a great ethos about them and are building an unprecedented culture around football development in New Zealand.
I trained at Olé during the ‘early days’, whether for training camps, daily club trainings, or just watching football on the big screen. The academy created a superb environment for elite footballers. Olé had a set-up where we could devote our time solely to improving as footballers under quality coaching staff and no doubt it was a crucial part of my development as a footballer.
I think without the decision to move to Olé I wouldn’t fully understand what it means to be a footballer. I realised it’s not just my natural talent that will get me where I want to be, but having the ability to take onboard criticism and grow from that. Olé taught me that everything I do off the field affects how I play, that’s in the classroom, what I eat and how I carry myself as a human. Without Olé I wouldn’t be where I am today.
Olé Football Academy has shaped my development as a person, player and student. Without being a part of Olé I cannot imagine where I would be today. I attended the academy for four years and it provided me with important foundations for my life. Being immersed in an academy which lives, breaths and eats football has helped me immensely in my football development. Although I was able to have a great focus on football, I was still given the ability to develop as a student – there is a focus on all aspects. Above all, Olé moulded me as a person. The emphasis on having a growth mindset, hard work and being committed have benefitted me significantly.
Olé Football Academy was such a big step along my football journey. The ability to train everyday with some of the best players around, at an awesome facility, advanced my ability as a footballer unlike any other environment I have been involved in. Beyond the football, meeting fellow aspiring young players, and being in a professional environment on a day to day basis, prepared me for my journey as a Division I student-athlete, but also helped me develop as a person. Olé is a fantastic environment for any aspiring young footballers to really push themselves to achieve and develop as a person, player, and a student.
My time at the Olé Football Academy can be summed up by one word “professionalism”. There is no environment more professional in the country than that of the Olé Football Academy. Olé was not just another stop along the way of my footballing career, but instead it was the beginning. Before coming to Olé I hadn’t truly experienced what it was like to “play football,” the level and style of play at Olé is rivalled by no other. I will be forever grateful for the time I spent at Olé as it has shaped me into the person, player, and scholar I am today.
There are many things throughout my life that have helped me become the player, but most importantly, the person I am today. I was extremely lucky for the time I spent at Olé and to be part of a community where my friends, coaches and teachers had my best interests in mind.
Olé gave me an opportunity to continue to develop as a footballer and person. Being at Olé the expectation is to hold yourself as a professional. The coaching staff provided me with a professional environment, something you won’t find anywhere else in New Zealand. What stood out for me during my time at Olé was how everyone was challenged to better themselves and continue their never ending improvement. Looking back, I believe Olé set me up well for what I want to achieve in the future.
Joining the Olé Football Academy has been a major spark to both my athletic and academic evolution. My time at Olé helped prepare me for the challenges on the field as well as those in the classrooms. Olé has shaped me into the person I am today and I will always be grateful to the coaches, chefs and staff. Olé literally set me up for success.
Olé Football Academy prepares you not only for your future endeavours in football but teaches you lessons you can carry with you for the rest of your life. The elite coaching staff provides you with the tools you need in order to be successful from the countless hours of technical work to the mentality which is essential in making the next steps. Olé emphasises excellence and pushes you not only on the pitch but in the class room, preparing you for life as a student-athlete, which sometimes can be a lot to handle. Finally, I will be forever grateful for the elite coaching I received from Declan and the rest of the Olé staff, I definitely wouldn’t be where I am today without it.
Having attended Olé Football Academy since I was 8 years old, it has naturally been a huge part of my life. I have played football in numerous environments in New Zealand and I can confidently say that Olé is a completely unique experience, which I have never seen matched. Olé has opened many doors and provided amazing opportunities. I have had the chance to train with Bayern Munich in Germany and represent NZ secondary schools in Australia. As well as teaching me football, balancing Olé has helped manage and driven me to achieve in school.
The 750m2 academy offers an array of meeting spaces, locker rooms, full service kitchen and dormitory accommodation suitable for upwards of 20 visitors at any given time – all in a very quiet and peaceful bush setting.
Education and learning opportunities are at the forefront of every Olé Football Academy visit with the main aim being to show each visitor the unique meaning behind the Olé philosophy, “Don’t Eat The Marshmallow!”
Since the academy’s inception it has been modelled on a holistic approach to player and personal development with a focus on producing footballers capable of playing at professional and amateur (U.S. Universities) levels abroad. In recent years, the academy has established itself as one of Oceania’s (OFC) premier centres for youth player development.
Former notable players dating back to the academy’s inception include:
Academy players have gone on to attend some of the world’s most prestigious academic institutions, including Dartmouth College (Ivy League), Northwestern University and Stanford University.
In recent times Olé has developed a successful style based around attractive, entertaining, possession football. At Olé’s core is a passion for youth development and empowering young people to pursue their greatest ambitions. The Olé teaching philosophy embraces the importance of having a Growth Mindset and a life-long attitude of Constant And Never-ending Improvement (CANI).
All players and trainers operate under the mantra “I Am Because We Are” where it is recognised that individual success is best achieved within the framework of a team working together. The academy currently oversees the football development of approximately 250 players from the grassroots level to the academy’s top tier, Young Olé.
Historically, Olé has been at the forefront of player development in New Zealand with an impressive track record of producing New Zealand youth and full internationals.
Today, we can count more than 15 youth and full internationals, half a dozen professionals and over 40 players placed in football programmes at U.S. Universities.
The academy has always prided itself on developing top quality human beings both on and off the pitch. The academy philosophy is based on a holistic approach advocating the importance of lifelong learning, education, hard work, humility and the pursuit of constant and never ending improvement.
For information regarding programme costs please email firstname.lastname@example.org with the tagline “Olé Costs.” Please specify which Young Olé programme you are interested in.
Players of families in need of financial assistance must fill out a scholarship application. To request a scholarship application please email email@example.com with the tagline “Olé Scholarship Application.” Olé does not have a formal scholarship fund; however, is able to subsidise costs for players of families in need. If you wish to make a donation to the “Olé Football Academy Grassroots Scholarship Fund” please email firstname.lastname@example.org for more details.
The U.S. university pathway has traditionally proven to be an incredible option for our players and many New Zealanders to extend their football and academic careers. We are constantly striving to develop, strengthen and further domestic and international pathways for our players as potential avenues in addition to the university pathway.
Olé is first and foremost a football academy / centre. However, we do have an arm that specialises in facilitating / furthering our players careers by placing them in suitable environments after their time at Olé. In addition to placement, we train our players full-time within the framework of a year-long periodisation scheme overseen by Olé’s Technical Director.
There is no doubt that parents play a critical role in the development of the young footballer, particularly off of the pitch. However, when it comes to training, we encourage parents to refrain from observing or playing an active role. We ask that parents keep “out of eye shot” of players during sessions. Removing parents from the sidelines on training and game days helps us foster the best learning environment possible for trainers and players. Think of the football pitch as a classroom. We have designated a “parent lounge” upstairs inside the academy with wireless internet and television access where the pitch can be viewed. Most Saturdays are designated “game days” and parents are welcome to grab a spot on the hill and watch.
We prefer that our players train and play in one competitive environment with a consistent message, philosophy, style and way of play. Particularly as players enter the Young Olé and Young Olé 1 and 2 (Ages 11 – 18) training programmes it is important to begin monitoring player training loads to ensure that players are not over training.
Anywhere from 9 – 15 players and staff live in residence at any given time. A number of Olé players have also been placed with host families in the Porirua – Wellington region. If you are interested in hosting an Olé Football Academy player, please email email@example.com with the tagline “Olé Host Family.”
Yes. We prefer tutoring in the form of peer to peer mentorship. If you are interested in matching your young player with an Olé tutor please email firstname.lastname@example.org with the tagline “Young Olé Tutor.” Our apprentice staff, often recent graduates from U.S. universities, play an active mentor / tutor role for players in the Young Olé Academy,
Each Young Olé programme is structured based on what our training staff have deemed to be the “best” way forward for developing the young player. Depending on the stage of growth / development of the young player there are certainly cases in which the phrase “less is more” is applicable. It is not only our job to train the player well, but also do our best to ensure that players remain healthy, fit and fresh from both a physical and psychological perspective. We are constantly working to find the best balance between training and time off for the young player. If your young player has an appetite towards the game and a desire to play / train more, that’s a really good thing! We want to keep it that way. We are in the business of Long-Term-Athlete-Development (LTAD) and want our players to continue to the love the game from ages 6 – 18, and even longer. To avoid potential player “burn out” the summer programme intentionally under-loads the Young Olé 1, 2, and 3 footballer after a demanding 7 – 8 month club season.