Big youth call-up for Melville
Some 24 Melville United (male) players have been selected in New Zealand Football’s regional training camps scheduled for March 15-17, May 17-19, June 15-17 and August 16-18.
The monthly three day camps are aimed at players who are showing potential to become future All Whites and will be run by National team coaching staff. The camps are for male players born in 2003, 2004, 2005 & 2006.
The Cambridge-based regional camp programme features 57 players overall from as far afield as Gisborne, Napier, and New Plymouth. Melville’s call-up of 20 players was the most from any single club.
Other regional training centres are in Christchurch, Wellington and Auckland.
Melville technical director Sam Wilkinson was pleased to see some of his players gain recognition.
In a bid to counter suspicions that players outside of the main centres didn’t get enough of a look-in for international call-ups, Wilkinson went to great lengths to put Melville talent in front of Martin Bullock, head of national youth development. He arranged matches and even forwarded video footage of some players.
“We don’t run our academy programme to get in camps, but it is pleasing to show what is coming through, and also to get recognition of the ability at the club.”
Wilkinson was still disappointed a few more Melville players hadn’t made the cut, and said his most important message was to those who had NOT been selected for regional training camps.
“I have stressed to the rest of the boys that it is a marathon, not a sprint, and to stick at it,” he said. “If you look back, Melville senior captain Aaron Scott never got selected for U17s but still made the senior All Whites because he stuck at it.”
That also goes for former Melville player Ryan Thomas was another who never gained age-group recognition before gaining All White selection.
The Melville players selected for the regional camps are:
Makaha Vieira Gall
Kalani Vieira Gall