The Ricki Herbert Football Academy has built a strong partnership with top English club Fulham.
After lengthy talks between the parties, RHFA founder Ricki Herbert and Fulham’s Football Academy director Huw Jennings jointly announced plans to work together in 2016.
The international partnership opened the way for talented young New Zealand players to get the chance to work with the London-based club.
“Fulham coaches will be coming out to New Zealand for a RHFA National Camp and will work closely with academy staff to identify a maximum of two players suitable for travelling to England,” a statement from RHFA says.
“The players will spend 2-3 weeks with the Fulham academy, working within a full-time development environment.”
The partnership with Fulham fits well with founder Ricki Herbert’s vision of an academy that helps young players learn the game and then get opportunities to build a career in football.
Huw Jennings (right) is the director of Fulham’s youth academy, working with players in the U-16, U-18 and U-21 groups.
He is looking forward to hosting the first players to visit the London club.
“The Fulham Football Club is delighted to be working with the Ricki Herbert Football Academy. We know that Ricki has an excellent reputation for delivering high quality programmes for young players and we are pleased to be associated with this initiative,” Jennings said.
About Fulham FC
Founded in 1879, Fulham is the oldest-established London club to have played in the English Premier League.
They play at Craven Cottage, a ground where Ricki Herbert made his debut as an international team coach, leading the All Whites onto the pitch to play Australia in 2005.
Fulham currently play in the English Premier League and have a strong youth academy based at the club’s Motspur Park training ground.
Players as young as nine can work with the Fulham academy and are guided to gaining educational qualifications while learning the game.
All White Simon Elliott – who represented New Zealand 69 times – was a Fulham player between 2006 and 2008. He went to the 2010 FIFA World Cup Finals in South Africa with the undefeated Herbert-coached All Whites.