Fantastic for football

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New Zealand Football is starting to feel at home in “fantastic” Oamaru.
A National Talent Centre (NTC) camp was held at Milner Park for a fifth time last week and it is not likely to be the last.
The NTC aims to give the country’s most talented young players, identified through Federation Talent Centre programmes, an opportunity to play against each other in high-quality training environments.
This year’s five-day camp featured 95 of the South Island’s most promising footballers between the ages of 13 and 16.
Of those, 30 were girls.
Mainland Football Federation development manager Alan Walker oversaw the camp, which involved technical and tactical on-pitch training sessions, including putting the pressure on at both ends of the field and switching points of attack.
Mr Walker said this year’s camp was the first based around Football New Zealand’s model for all teams, including the Football Ferns and All Whites. While he was impressed with the talent on offer, he wanted to see players from North Otago step up to that level.
No players from North Otago were at this year’s camp. He said Oamaru was the perfect place to host the camp.
“We’ve been here for five years now. Basically, Waitaki Boys’ High School do everything to support this for the week, which we do twice a year.
“It’s basically down to the facilities. It’s the perfect facility. Nobody leaves, so we have no distractions . . . it’s just about football and development. Oamaru has been fantastic for us.”
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