Footballers in town

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More than 150 up-and-coming footballers have converged on Oamaru to take part in the South Island National Talent Centre being held at Waitaki Boys’ High School until Friday.

The camp features a mixture of boys and girls aged between 12-16 who have been spotted for having the potential of playing for the national age-group sides.

For the boys, the group of footballers in the year 2000 bracket have the strongest chance of pushing their way into the national under-17 team for their tournament in 2017, while the 1999-2000 girls have their tournament next year.

South Island National Talent Centre camp director Brett Angel said there was plenty of talent on offer.

“There will be a good amount of talented footballers on display and I’m looking forward to seeing how they perform.”

The camp happens twice a year and is often held here in Oamaru.

Angel said the players in Oamaru were from all around the South Island.

“We have players from Football South, which covers from Timaru to Invercargill and includes Central Otago, and then players from Mainland Football, which is from Nelson to Ashburton.”

This year’s camp is slightly different from previous years, with drills more game-based than in the past.

“We’re aiming to make them as similar to real match situations as possible.”

Angel, who coached the Hawke’s Bay premier football side to runner-up in the ASB Championship, said it was great seeing the talent together at the camp.

“A lot of this talent we don’t get to see much, so it’s quite pleasing seeing what’s out there and what we are able to work with,” he said.

The camp was not all skill-based, with the footballers also taking part in 45 minutes of classroom work before playing.

PHOTOS: BRAYDEN LINDSAY – Football South’s Matt Milton shows off his skill as part of the National Talent Camp being held in Oamaru.