Wellington Phoenix striker Roy Krishna became the first active professional footballer to participate in a club licensing seminar when he presented at the FIFA/OFC meeting in Auckland on Thursday.
The two-day FIFA/OFC Club Licensing Seminar aimed to introduce the positive impact that club licensing has on football development, and how it will link to the revamped OFC Champions League format.
Representatives from FIFA, OFC, each Member Associations in the OFC region, club football experts from the Americas, Asia and Europe met to exchange and discuss a variety of club licensing matters.
Phoenix frontman Krishna represented the club and told the seminar of the importance licensing will have for OFC's future.
"Club Licensing will help OFC talents to make their way to professional football," Krishna said.
"Being a professional player, it is great and I enjoy every moment of it – I was very fortunate! When I started we had nothing – and now I know education, good coaches and proper pitch are the most important aspects for young players
"Good Management and Infrastructure, such as proper pitches identify a club as professional. This is important for us as players to develop and to perform, therefore club licensing is the right mindset for the OFC region.
"A professional Academy would have benefitted me as a young player, I could have learned much more about the game in early years. I would like to help provide better circumstances for Fiji talents, to promote their way into a professional football career.
"If we implement club licensing , there will be a lot of professional players from OFC like me – from everywhere American Samoa, Tahiti, Vanuatu not only from Fiji.
"My advice for young players is to train hard and make sure you have educated coaches and the right people around you, and to take aspects like discipline, nutrition and extensive sleep serious as well."
FIFA's Head of Professional Football James Johnson said that Krishna was the first active player to participate in a club licensing seminar and the experience was very positive.
"Clubs and players are directly affected by decisions we as governing bodies make on professional football matters. As an active player employed by a professional club, Krishna provides valuable insight into the importance of player development pathways through clubs leading to national teams and professional playing careers. Such pathways are an integral part of the FIFA club licensing system," Johnson said.