After their success at the OFC U-20 Championship Preliminary, CIFA is investing resources into early development and preparation, holding a three-day training camp for high performing U-14 boys to prepare for the next U-17 cycle.
Twenty-nine players were selected from various clubs on Rarotonga for the comprehensive programme led by CIFA Technical Director Jess Ibrom and his assistants Tahiri Elikana, Anthony Samuela and Kimiora Samuel from 17-19 October.
“It gave us a great opportunity to identify who out of the camp has the potential to be included in the next U-17 national team going to represent us at regional competitions,” Ibrom said.
The objective of the camp was to bring the young football players together in a professional environment and participate in a number of exercises to test and improve their technical and tactical skills.
“We’ve had the boys complete a YoYo test and full one to two hour training sessions each day out on the field,” he said.
“For most of them this was a new environment they were adjusting to and it gave us an indication where everyone was at in terms of fitness and how good they carry the ball.”
Off the field, the participants took part in seminars educating them about the needs and requirements of being a national player.
“We’ve had different workshops coinciding with what it takes to become a great football player and it was topics like mental development, nutrition and role modelling that we had the boys sitting in when we weren’t out on the pitch,” Ibrom said.
Ibrom was impressed by the professionalism and respect shown by the young participants and feels confident about the continuing development of the squad.
“They’ve been great and I can honestly say we have some great talent on the island, which is something we can all be proud of.”
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