The hard work of both the Wellington Phoenix Football Academy (WPFA) and Auckland-based Wellington Phoenix Soccer School (WPSS) staff has been rewarded with thirteen players from within the two programs being called into camp for the New Zealand Men's U-17 National Team.
The boys will be in camp in Auckland from Sunday 16 July for five days ahead of the naming of a squad to prepare for the upcoming FIFA U-17 World Cup
For WPSS Director Leigh Kenyon the call ups are a testament not just to the Wellington Phoenix Soccer School but to the whole Auckland football community.
"The boys have worked hard over a long period of time and deserve the opportunity," said Kenyon, "[WPSS] remain committed to working with and developing young players from the Auckland region and we are proud to see them represent their nation on the international stage."
"The relationship we have with [WPFA] helps accelerate the players progression with the players experiencing and being exposed to both [National Youth League] and ISPS Handa Premiership environments at the club."
"The results of [this] pathway are starting to prove highly successful and promises a bright future for football in this country".
For WPFA Head Coach Andy Hedge it's another confirmation the Academy's development strategy is on the right track, following the call up of six WPFA players for the recent Men's U-20 World Cup squad.
"A lot of work goes into developing young players, and sometimes the marginal improvements that happen week-in, week-out can go unnoticed", said Hedge, "so it's nice to see boys that we have full confidence in earning recognition at a national level."
"It's no guarantee of ultimate success, but the experience of representing your country can be a massive fillip in any young player's development. We've seen this with guys like Jimmy [McGarry], Logan [Rogerson] and now Sarpreet [Singh] earning professional contracts and appearing for the senior Phoenix side."
The full list of players called into camp is below (Note: WPSS players are listed under their affiliate club Onehunga Sports, and WPFA under Wellington United):
New Zealand Men's U-17 National Team training camp squad:
Liberato Cacace (Wellington United)
Jacob Clark (Onehunga Sports)
Matthew Conroy (Western Springs AFC)
Ben Deeley (Auckland Grammar School)
Oliver Duncan (Brisbane Roar, AUS)
Matthew Jones (FC TWENTY 11)
Zac Jones (Wellington Olympic)
Elijah Just (Western Suburbs)
Max Mata (Onehunga Sports)
Nicholas Milner (Brisbane Roar, AUS)
Liam Moore (Wellington United)
Matthew Palmer (Selwyn United Football Club)
Thomas Raimbault (Wellington United)
Jacob Richards (FC TWENTY 11)
Kieran Richards (Western Springs AFC)
Joshua Rogerson (Western Suburbs)
Kingsley Sinclair (Onehunga Sports)
Jordan Spain (Saint Kentigern)
Charles Spragg (Western Springs AFC)
Sam Sutton (Wellington United)
Oliver Valentine (Wellington United)
Leon Van Den Hoven (Onehunga Sports)
Emlyn Wellsmore (Brisbane Roar, AUS)
Oliver Whyte (Wellington United)
Jake Williams (Wellington United)
Boyd Curry (Onehunga Sports)
Willem Ebbinge (Wellington United)