The National, Monday July 16th, 2012
By HENRY MORABANG
THE two leading football cities in the country, Port Moresby and Lae, will soon have an Academy of Excellence each to provide opportunities and create pathways for elite youth football players in the country.
Oceania Football Confederation technical director Patrick Jacquemet made the announcement after visiting the Lae and Port Moresby football facilities.
Accompanied by Asia Pacific Football Academy director Giovanni Fernandes, who is based in Christchurch, New Zealand, Jacquemet said his visit with Fernandes was to assess the PNG Football Association’s facilities with a view of implementing an elite programme as well setting up the Academy of Excellence.
Jacquemet said the Morobe capital had wonderful facilities at the PNGFA Football Academy at 10-Mile, Lae, while Port Moresby needed to find a venue before the confederation could implement the elite youth programme.
He said all the countries had similar problems and member countries must develop elite youth programmes to compete against New Zealand.
He said the PNGFA must start at the grassroots and youth levels as the country was already enjoying the success of the grassroots programme, Just Play.
He said the PNGFA must adhere to strict guidelines by asking all member associations to have youth competitions and a talent identification programme for elite youth to attend the Academy of Excellence.
Jacquemet said they wanted to start the programme as soon as possible, hopefully in September in Lae and later in Port Moresby.
PNGFA president Chung said all countries must have the same programme starting off in the region. The project will be piloted by PNG and Vanuatu.
The academy will benefit young children who will learn professional techniques in football.
Fernandes said he was impressed with the people involved in the game and thanked the PNGFA and OFC for allowing the Asia Pacific Football Academy to be part of the vision to create an elite programme for youths.
The academy is based in New Zealand and is a residential programme that enrols children from all over the world to train six days a week.