Scholarship scheme put in place

It is a big wide world out there and if you have got some talent then the world is your oyster.

But Southern United has set up a scholarship scheme which it hopes will keep the best young footballing talent in the South and also attract some to head south of the Waitaki River.

Football South has set up scholarships with both the University of Otago and Otago Polytechnic to assist some of the best young footballing talent to stay in or come to Otago.

Football South chief executive Chris Wright said the reality was if talented players could stay in the South while they studied then that would have benefits for the sport in the years to come.

The Polytechnic scholarships, of which there are half a dozen, will pay fees for the duration of the course while the university scholarships are for $16,000 over three years.

Wright said four young female players had picked up scholarships, all of whom had ties with the New Zealand under-19 training squad.

New scholarships would be given each year and Wright said it was hoped players on the scholarships would come through into the senior side and raise standards.

Many talented football players have gained scholarships to United States colleges, draining the football talent in the South.

Comments

Great idea setting up the scholarships - but seems ridiculous that the governing body can 'strongly suggest' the recipients of the scholarships play for a particular club.
Providing assistance for the best players to play down here is one thing, but to funnel them into one club, based on a scholarship provided by a third party is another.
You want to build the game in the region, don't play favourites

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