The Olé Way

Our training philosophies and methodologies are built around 75+ years of practical experience playing, training and managing the beautiful game within the New Zealand landscape. Football development is a multifaceted pursuit with numerous cultural influences, societal values and undeterminable variables at play. The New Zealander is simply on a different journey than the Brasilian, Dutch or Spanish player. Therefore development of the Kiwi footballer must be approached through a specific lens. We have developed a way of training specifically for the Kiwi player from first kick to 1st team.

Pathway and Placement

Olé Football Academy offers a direct pathway from junior to senior football laying its foundation at the grassroots level with the Olé in Schools and Skill Builders programmes. A significant percentage of Young Olé Academy players begin their football careers in an Olé grassroots programme.

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.


The Olé trial process never ends. We are always on the search for ambitious footballers looking to take their game to another level. While we do hold trials and recruit formally at times, most of our players come directly to us. If you are interested in joining one the Young Olé Academy or receiving more information regarding one of our programmes please Contact Us or submit an Interested Player Form. We will be in touch within 2 business days.


OLÉ Frequently Asked Questions

What are the costs associated with Olé

Does Olé offer scholarships / financial assistance

Do all Olé players go to U.S. universities

What is the difference between Olé and New Zealand based U.S. university placement agencies?

Are parents allowed to watch training

Are the players at Olé allowed to train / play with any other clubs / schools / private providers

How many players / staff live in the residential academy

Does Olé offer tutoring for players

How often do the players train

For information regarding programme costs please email admin@ole.co.nz 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 ben@ole.co.nz 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 ben@ole.co.nz 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 admin@ole.co.nz 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 admin@ole.co.nz 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.