Academy identifies opportunities through Portugese partnership

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The Ricki Herbert Football Academy has entered into a partnership with a Portugese company that will open opportunities for promising young New Zealanders.

Foot Draft, based in Lisbon, provides three services that will help the RHFA, namely:

  • Help with international tours.
  • Help arranging trials in Europe for promising players.
  • Organising events to connect players with scouts internationally.

Academy founder Ricki Herbert said he was thrilled to have formed a partnership with a European partner who would offer opportunities for players, teams and coaches.

“The world is getting smaller all the time in terms of football and the partnerships that extend across the planet,” Herbert said.

“Our academy has benefitted from strong relationships with clubs and academies in countries such as Australia and in the UK, and it makes sense we always look for openings in countries that provide different experiences altogether.”

Herbert said the academy had taken overseas tours to Europe before, and to countries as varied as China and Australia, in the belief that travel helped young players in their social development as well as improve them as footballers.

Foot Draft principal Bruno Sol Pinto said his company specialised in organising trials in Europe and especially, Portugal.

Bruno Sol Pinto, of Food Draft.

“We receive players from all over the world,” Sol Pinto said.

“We analyze the player’s capacities, and we connect them to the right environment and the right team.

“We create and we open the door here for the players to perform, and if they are good enough, they have the possibility to stay and to sign with a club.”

Sol Pinto said RHFA would be their exclusive partner in New Zealand “because we think it’s impossible to get a better connection than Ricki Herbert.”