- FIFA, the New Caledonia Football Federation and New Caledonian government set up football academy for girls
- Focus on all-round talent development
- 23 participants to start their training on 22 March
When the new school year begins in New Caledonia on 22 March, 23 girls between the ages of 12 and 14 will join the FIFA academy in what will be an important step in the development of women’s football and a shining example of the all-round, long-term development of girls in the region.
The academy project was launched in 2019 as part of a FIFA Women’s Football Division pilot project, and FIFA, together with the New Caledonian Football Federation and the New Caledonian government, has set up a football centre to provide talented girls from all over the country with a safe environment, both on and off the pitch.
The pilot project was a success and will therefore be continued this year. In October 2019, a U-15 inter-province tournament was held in which six teams – two teams from each of the three provinces – took part. Players were scouted during the tournament, which also included technical and fitness exercises as well as 8v8 matches, and at the end 23 young girls were enrolled in the academy.
These girls will, as of March, attend school at the academy from Monday to Friday, while also participating in training sessions every day. They will also continue to represent their teams in league football. The professionalisation of structures will help to scout talented young players at an early age and provide them with all-round development, thereby helping to continually improve the standard of women’s football in the country.
The New Caledonian FA is working on a development plan for all participants in order to ensure the sustainability of the academy and lead women’s football in New Caledonia into a new era.
Anne Noë, the former Belgian goalkeeper who is now a FIFA expert, recently visited New Caledonia and said: “This academy will, together with the development plan for all age groups in the individual provinces, help to further develop women’s football all over the country. It is based on a concept that unites family, cultural traditions, school, education and the values of football – respect, discipline and team spirit.”