To be a soccer player is on the list of most boys and girls at some stage or another. Especially when it comes to the proverbial question on career day of “What I would like to be when I grow up?”

The fact that English soccer club Everton is implementing the Asia Pacific Football Academy (APFA) in Christchurch, is an enormous opportunity. Developing young talent in New Zealand is really something phenomenal and I hope that this will be the start of a new trend worldwide. There is talent all over but not everyone can afford to send their darling children to a soccer academy in England. Where you know that; provided they are talented, their future is secured.

Today being a professional soccer player is extremely lucrative and with the prospective that the APFA is offering this then also provides motivation for young talent to work towards getting into the academy. It provides a completely different perspective now as before, playing soccer in your local town was just a thing done socially. But with the turn of events you can now work towards gaining a scholarship to play for a professional team. Meaning the youth now ups their game by making better grades in school, being more discipline in general activities and also becomes goal driven. On the flipside it provides the clubs to source the raw talent from the ground up and get the first pick of the world’s best. Allowing them to groom these young stars into world class players right from the essentially early stages. It is a win-win situation for all parties involved.

We hope that this will be the first of many initiative worldwide from not only the English but all major soccer clubs in Europe. Aspirations of wanting to be a professional soccer player needs not be a dream anymore, clubs need only to follow the lead of Everton promoting a common platform for all.