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.
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.
One of the first questions I got asked when I came to Olé was: What do you want to be when you grow up? This was not a conversation starter. This was a question that outlined your dreams as serious achievable goals. Thats what you get at Olé. You are allowed to have large goals, you are allowed to dream big, but they make sure to keep your feet on the ground. At Olé, I was introduced to an extremely attractive style of play and, most importantly, a different way of thinking. They give you the tools in order to become a great player, thats up to you. But they make sure that any player who wears Olé on their chest is a awesome person. Some advice for anyone who is lucky enough to be a part of Olé: listen. The coaches know what they’re talking about. Everything they tell you and all the research they gather, its for your own benefit, use it.
My time at Olé has shaped me into the footballer and person I am today. Olé has created a purposeful world class environment which creates growth both on and off the field. The full time staff at Olé are all dedicated to the never ending improvement of the players and have always pushed me to become better everyday. The facilities, which are on par with most professional clubs, sets Olé apart throughout new Zealand and allows world class training to take place every day of the year. Olé has given me many opportunities in the world of football and has best equipped me to fulfil my dreams. I can safely say that there isn’t a better place to develop footballers in New Zealand.