Melville United have completed the first round of sessions for their 2018 Academy trials.

The trial sessions at Gower Park saw over 70 U11-U14 players showcase their ability in front of Academy directors Michael Mayne and Sam Wilkinson. 

The sessions are the first of five that will provide young players with an opportunity to gain a place on the Melville United Academy, which is fast gaining recognition as one of the leading player development programmes in the country.

The trial process is designed to give interested players and parents a chance to experience the Academy coaching methodology while giving the Academy coaches a chance to assess the ability level of the players.

Mayne believes this trial process is mutually beneficial.

“We didn’t want to just hold trial matches as they often don’t provide the best platform for young players to express themselves on,” he said

“By putting the players through some of our typical academy training sessions we are able to get a better feel for where the players are at and also give them a better chance to show their ability.”

The trial sessions have seen players from all over the Waikato attend and Wilkinson was impressed with the overall standard.

“Our academy programme is designed to be an elite environment that groups the best local players together to receive high level coaching on a regular basis,” he said. 

“You are never quite sure what the ability and experience level of the players is going to be at open trials but we were really impressed with what we saw. It just backs up what Michael and I have always believed, that there is huge potential in the Waikato if players are given the right environment to develop in.”

The trial sessions come off the back of a successful inaugural year for the Melville United Academy. In 2017 the programme saw 35 of the region’s best U14 players training and playing together under the guidance of Mayne and Wilkinson.  Mayne said the success of this year’s programme has resulted in further growth of the Academy.

“We want to provide this opportunity for as many players as possible.  Having seen how the U14 group from this year have developed and improved we feel the time is right to add more age groups to the Academy.”

The Academy will cater for elite players from U11-U16 in 2018, however Wilkinson stresses that maintaining the quality of the programme will always be the key focus.

“We’ve said right from the start of this process that we won`t add new age groups to the programme if it compromises the quality of the coaching.  The club has worked really hard to recruit Simon Tyndel who is another outstanding youth development coach.

“With Simon coming on board along with another coaching appointment we will announce shortly we are in a great position to open the Academy up to a larger number of players and age groups.”

On top of the trial sessions, Mayne and Wilkinson will host an Information Night on Monday November 13.  This will provide further details on how the Academy programme is run and will give interested parents a chance to ask any questions they may have.

Registrations for the trial sessions are still being accepted. If you are interested in attending please send the players name, DOB, parents email and a contact phone number to academy@melvilleunited.co.nz.


  • U11 (2007’s) – Mon Nov 6th 5:30-6:45pm / Mon Nov 13th 5:00-6:00pm / Mon Nov 20th 5:30-6:45pm / Mon Nov 27th – 5:30pm-6:45pm
  • U12 (2006’s) Wed Nov 8th – 5:00pm-6:15pm / Mon Nov 13th 6:00-7:00pm / Wed Nov 22nd – 5:00pm-6:15pm / Wed Nov 29th – 5:00pm-6:15pm.
  • U13 (2005’s) Wed Nov 8th – 5:00pm-6:15pm / Mon Nov 13th 6:00-7:00pm / Wed Nov 22nd – 5:00pm-6:15pm / Wed Nov 29th – 5:00pm-6:15pm.


  • U11 (2007’s) 5:00pm-6:00pm – Monday 13th of November.
  • U12 (2006’s) 6:00pm-7:00pm – Monday 13th of November.
  • U13 (2005’s) 6:00pm-7:00pm – Monday 13th of November.


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