The Oceania Player Development Officers Network (OPDON) programme wrapped up this week with two online workshops reviewing the year that was.

The OPDON initiative was launched in 2021 in response to the current COVID-19 restrictions in Oceania, with an aim to lift the level of grassroots and youth football activities.

OPDON also provides support, guidance and direction for Player Development Officers in every Member Association.

The programme was rolled out online via Zoom in a series of workshops conducted by OFC Player Development Officer Phill Parker.

Session one, which was based on football environments, included interviews with Auckland City FC’s Brian Kaltack and Mohammed Awad, who spoke about their football journeys from grassroots to the professional level.

In other workshops, Grassroots/Youth Participation, Clubs and Leagues, Coaching and Education were also presented on by OFC staff.

The final two sessions were a review of the highlights and improvements of football activities in the year.

Parker said he was proud of the engagement between the different Player Development Officers.

“We were able to form a core group of 15 football Player Development Officers,” Parker said.

“There is little debate that the stronger a Member Association’s grassroots and youth infrastructure is, the stronger our youth and senior national teams will be across Oceania.

“OPDON will continue to provide a space for our officers to interact and develop the work in their respective Member Association.

“I’m impressed with the number of activities conducted in 2021 and look forward to continuing this work in 2022.”