Oceania Football Confederation > News > OFC > APFA partnership shows early result

APFA partnership shows early result

OFC partnered with the Christchurch-based APFA earlier this year with the goal of helping develop elite youth academies across Oceania and also to provide a pathway to international opportunities for promising young players from OFC’s member associations.
Now this partnership is seeing its first success with Mickael Partodikromo, from New Caledonia, graduating from APFA to join Sheffield United’s Youth Academy in the UK in early July.
Partodikromo first trialled at APFA in 2010 and having impressed the academy’s coaches he returned in 2011 to learn English alongside a further intensive football development programme. He then moved full-time to APFA in January 2012 joining Lincoln High School, APFA’s education partner.
The 17-year-old trialled at several clubs in the UK in early 2013 before returning to join his compatriots at the OFC U-17 Championship in Vanuatu in April. Partodikromo couldn’t quite guide his country to U-17 FIFA World Cup qualification but has since gone on to secure himself a place at the academy of English League One club Sheffield United.
APFA managing director Andy Smith says this early success for the partnership with OFC is a great result.
“Mickael has worked hard and impressed coaches and scouts with his attitude, strength and determination,” Smith says.
“It is great to see a player from Oceania come through the full process at APFA – trial, learn English, succeed at high school and then secure the opportunity to continue their development overseas.”
Head of Recruitment at Sheffield United’s academy Tony Walmsley says the club is pleased to be adding Partodikromo to their academy ranks.
“Mickael is an exciting prospect with a great opportunity in front of him. I look forward to seeing him develop towards his potential,” Walmsley says.
For OFC technical director Patrick Jacquemet, Partodikromo’s move to the UK is proof that the right pathways can open up any number of opportunities for the region’s young talents.
Partodikromo leaves Christchurch for Bramall Lane in Sheffield, South Yorkshire next month to link up with an academy that has produced the likes of Kyle Naughton and Phil Jagielka, who have played for the England U-21 and senior team respectively.
Since 2010 APFA has seen nine players move to professional club academies overseas and ten players offered places in university football programmes.

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