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Olé Football Academy Partners with Eastern Suburbs AFC 

The summer of 2018 – 2019 will see Olé Football Academy and Eastern Suburbs AFC join forces for the ISPS Handa Premiership season, including the implementation of a youth football development initiative, Olé Football Academy @ Eastern Suburbs based in Auckland.

In recent months, two of New Zealand’s top footballing organisations have been working towards a strategic plan for 2018 – 2019 based around developing the New Zealand footballer from youth academy to first team. The relationship with Eastern Suburbs will extend Olé Football Academy’s player development pathway into the top tier of domestic amateur football, alongside the likes of the Wellington Phoenix, Team Wellington and Auckland City, giving the Olé Football Academy player and staff continued opportunities for development at the highest level of football in the country.

Olé will work alongside Eastern Suburbs staff to implement player development strategies, methodologies and philosophies that have been on exhibit in Wellington over the past five years (2013 – 2018) where most notably, under the guidance of Olé Football Academy staff, the Western Suburbs Men’s First Team has compiled more points than any other Central League club during that time, including a semi final birth in this year’s 2018 Chatham Cup.

“When we began speaking with Eastern Suburbs about a potential relationship, we immediately recognised a synergy and like – mindedness between the two organisations. The project had “win, win” written all over it for both organisations. Olé and ESAFC share a passion and mission for developing the Kiwi player, giving both boys and girls the opportunity to become the best they are capable of. Both the academy and club also share a strong vision for the potential of football in New Zealand and what can be accomplished through collaborative partnerships such as this. From Western Suburbs Football Club to the Vanuatu U-20 National Team World Cup qualifying campaign, Olé demonstrates a great track record of working with organisations that are serious about player development.” Ben Sippola, Olé Football Academy CEO

Upwards of ten Olé Football Academy players will join the Eastern Suburbs ISPS Handa First Team for the 2018 Season. Accompanying them for a short period will be Olé Football Academy Director Of Football, Declan Edge, where he will act as “Technical Advisor” working alongside Eastern Suburbs Coaching staff and players to implement team training philosophies, methodologies, culture, etc.

The relationship will also allow a number of Olé Football Academy players to participate playing in the ISPS Handa National Youth League with Eastern Suburbs.

“Giving our first team and academy players access to the top level of domestic football is what attracted us most to the relationship, as well as the opportunity to work alongside an ambitious experienced football staff and board at ESAFC. We have been searching for a partner in the premiership for a long time now. We immediately got the sense from Chris Ruffell and Danny Hay that we were capable of working together to build an environment best suited for the continued development of the New Zealand player. Eastern Suburbs also recognises the success of the Olé academy in recent years and the importance of investing in the development of the youth player and trainer. We feel like the relationship will be mutually beneficial for all parties involved.” – Declan Edge, Olé Football Academy Technical Director

During Declan’s time at Eastern Suburbs, he will also begin working with the Eastern Suburbs youth training staff to implement the Olé Football Academy @ Eastern Suburbs Summer Programme, a youth development initiative aimed at developing the New Zealand player under the same training principles as Ryan Thomas (PSV Eindhoven, Dutch Eredevisie), Tyler Boyd (Vitória S.C. Portuguese Premier League), and Elliot Collier (Chicago Fire, Major League Soccer) as well as over thirty other Olé Football Academy players now playing at professional clubs abroad or on academic and athletic scholarships at U.S. Universities.
“Olé was established in 1997 in the name of giving Kiwi children the opportunity to fulfill their potential in sport. That same thread runs through the academy today, 20 years later. As an organisation, we will always look to do what is best for the young people under our guidance. Without taking our focus away from the great work being done today in Porirua, we are looking forward to partnering with Eastern Suburbs this summer and seeing our players have the opportunity to compete at the highest level of domestic amateur football.” Dave Wilson, Olé Football Academy Chairman
Read more on Olé Football Academy @ Eastern Suburbs here.
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