The Junior Framework provides a consistent, coordinated national approach to the development of junior players. Whether children enjoy football because it’s a fun way to make friends or they’re inspired to follow in the footsteps of their heroes and play on the world stage, the Junior Framework has been developed to kick-start their dreams.
The Junior Framework provides a consistent, coordinated national approach to the development of junior players. Its main aim is to provide all junior players with high quality football experiences that increase both skill levels and the passion for playing football.
Through the Junior Framework players will experience age appropriate football games and coaching in a programme that is specifically tailored to meet their football wants and needs.
THE JUNIOR FRAMEWORK OFFERS AGE APPROPRIATE GAMES FORMATS AND TRAINING RECOMMENDATIONS FOR THE FOLLOWING AGE GROUPS (more detail below):
Underpinning the Junior Framework are the following principles, which provide clear structure for programmes to be developed under.
Street football across the world has been instrumental in the development of world-class players, and small sided games are the cornerstone of developing technically proficient and creative football players in a New Zealand context.
The benefits of small sided games extend far beyond technical and tactical development. They ensure children develop an innate love for the game and remain in our sport for longer.
The Youth Framework provides a clear, coordinated national approach to the development of youth players aged 13-19 years. Its main aim is to provide all youth players, regardless of their ability, with high quality experiences in order to retain them in or attract them to the game.
The Youth Framework provides clear pathways for players ensuring that young footballers can access opportunities to play at an appropriate level.
During the youth years, growth and maturation, as well as interest and commitment to the sport, do not develop at the same rate for all players. It is important that football activity shapes both the player and the person in a challenging, safe and enjoyable environment.
The Youth Framework will also provide clear training and match day guidelines that are linked to the New Zealand Football Playing Philosophy. This will enable an aligned approach to helping players increase their technical proficiency, tactical understanding and love for the game.
MCDONALD'S FIRST KICKS (4-6 YEARS)
Early engagement for players as young as 4 years old into the game helps allow the children to opportunity to discover the game, provide for learning basic fundamental movement skills and create positive football experiences.
At this age, football should be primarily played in a playful environment that emphasises self-discovery. This continuity into early engagement develops crucial factors for the future of the players such as the love for the game, game intelligence and physical literacy.
Built on a common fundamental skills base, all players can be empowered to progress back and forth between the different pathways at a later stage. Players are more aware of the rules of the game and start to recognise the opportunities to play with and for each other. They are able to develop basic football techniques and during training can be exposed to games that have specific technical outcomes such as developing shooting techniques under pressure by an opponent.
It is the role of parents and game leaders to support their understanding through enabling all players the opportunity to play without restrictions and too much instruction.
These ages are the skill hungry years. Motivationally, children are geared to learn skill at this time, providing ideal opportunity for building football specific skills into fundamental movement ability.
These golden years of player development require coaches to work on cementing individual technical excellence so that well rounded and technically proficient players are ready to make the step to youth football and the 11v11 game. Pitch sizes and player numbers increase with the progression in the small sided games concept from 7v7 to 9v9 Mini Football.
Players are cognitively more capable of understanding how to play more effectively with their teammates to either score or prevent goals. At this stage basic positions within simple team structures are introduced to develop a basic tactical understanding of the game.
Pre-selection or initial talent identification of gifted and committed players is conducted as players are teamed up with others of similar ability.
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