FC Nelson Academy




FC Nelson Academy program is established to provide aspiring young footballers with an opportunity to participate in training additional to their team’s football training. 

FC Nelson Academy program coaches have many years of experience in talent development. These experiences extend from coaching at regional level right through Federation level and onto the National level.

All our Coaches are NZF/OFC qualified, and we are proud to have coaches with an A, B, and C licences involved in our program. This ensures that we are well equipped to align our club playing philosophy with NZ Football philosophy and playing model. 

With the quality and experiences of our coaches we can guaranty the latest training methods for all age groups within the program.

FC Nelson Academy program has two phases of player development.

The first phase is Skill Centre for 9-12 years old, and the second phase is a Talent Development Program that focuses on 13-18 years old. Talent Development Program is then divided into ‘Game Training’ phase for 13-16 years old, and ‘Performance’ phase for 17-18 years old players.

Our Development Coaching team works across all the age groups in the program. This approach enables all the coaches and the players to get to know each other and establish necessary bond and trust needed to create positive teaching/learning environment. It also helps to remove any subjectivity and potential conflict when it comes to player assessment because more than one coach is involved in development of any one player.

The training philosophy and methods are the same for all age groups, it is just the focus that shifts from one aspect of the game onto the next as development progresses. FC Nelson has a player centered training philosophy that encourages all the players to be open, inquisitive and creative. 

At FC Nelson we are committed to having a comprehensive program that covers not just all aspects of a football game, but also player’s personal development. 

Training days are: 

12th (Tuesday, Thursday) 

13/14th (Monday, Tuesday, Thursday)

15/16th (Monday, Tuesday, Thursday)


FC Nelson Football Academy will be respected and recognized for providing high quality coaching and developing players capable of playing the game at the highest level.



Our mission is to equip all our academy players with skills and knowledge necessary to be confident in themselves as players and people. We will invest all the time and effort needed to help them achieve their professional and personal goals, and grow into people that they, and their Club, will be proud of.   



Humility- we are humble because there’s much we need to learn, achieve, we can always be better

Respect- we respect our club, our community, our game, each other, ourselves 

Pride- we are proud of who we are, our history, our future

Passion- we are passionate about our game, the club and the community we represent

Commitment- we are committed to never stop trying to be better in everything we do  

Unity- We work for each other, we grow together 



A positive, fast, attacking style of play that encourages individual and group creativity in decision making and play execution. This is backed by committed and aggressive defence the moment possession is lost.



The focus at all our training sessions is to create positive learning environment. This takes away player’s fear of making a mistake, and instead invites proactivity and willingness to try new skills. Our training sessions are player centred where questions are welcomed and opinions respected. The training is based around for main areas of player development, Technical, Tactical, Physical, and Mental. The areas of development are prioritised according to player’s development stage, e.g... Technical aspects are prioritised over Tactical in the early stages of development. The coaching philosophy at FC Academy is to give a player in possession of the ball responsibility to make a decision based on what he/she sees rather than what he/she hears. This philosophy encourages continuous work on vision and awareness, gives players freedom to make a decision without instructions, and enhances cognitive learning. Our coaches pay great attention to details and do not move on from one technical aspect to another until very high level of competence is achieved.



‘Skill Centre Open’ is available to all players age 9-12. All players wishing to improve their football core skills are welcome to participate in training. FC Nelson recognises the need to provide qualified coaching not just for the most talented, but for every young player that wants to learn and get better. It is often the case that some young players develop later than their peers, and therefore get overlooked at time of selection for talent development programs. At FC Nelson, we want to make sure that no young player missis out on participating in quality training environment. At “Skill Centre Open” the players get to be coached and their progress monitored by FC Academy coaches, and an improvement in ability can result in an invitation to join training with more advanced players of the same age.

The ‘Skill Centre Open’ training group has one training session per week in addition to their team training.


SKILL CENTRE PLUS (Pre-Academy Program)

‘SKILL Centre Plus’ is invitation only training program for young players who are showing potential. In this environment they train with players of similar ability, and training is more advanced and challenging. The development program covers all four corners of Player Development, Technical, Tactical, Physical, and Mental (Social/Emotional). Although all four corners are covered, the greatest emphasis is put on Technical aspect of the game and coaching ‘Core’ skills is the priority in this skill acquisition phase.


The ‘Core’ Skills are:


The players in the ‘Skill Centre Plus’ get their progress assessment four times a year, and an opportunity to give their feedback at the same time. In addition to their skill acquisition progress assessment, the players will be given an assessment of their attitude at training, and general behavior around and towards others. 

As the players from the ‘Skill Centre Open’ can be invited into the ‘Skill Centre Plus’, so can any player from the ‘Skill Centre Plus’ be advised to go to the ‘Skill Centre Open’. The move between the two training groups depends on player’s ability and attitude periodic assessment.  

The ‘Skill Centre Plus’ training group has two training sessions per week in addition to their team training. 


In this phase of player development, the coaching focus shifts from teaching the ‘Core Skills’, to teaching the four ‘Main moments’ in Football game. After going through skill acquisition phase, the players are introduced to specifics of different moments within a course of the game.

The four ‘Main Moments’ are:


These four ‘Main Moments’ and the Key Principles are couched in line with NZ Football philosophy and playing model. FC TDP training is structured so it covers one of the key principles in every training session. FC Nelson is committed to developing young footballers that can play a proactive, effective, controlled and incisive possession-based style of football (NZ Football playing philosophy). This commitment will be reflected in our training methodology which focuses on achieving high level of technical and physical ability that would allow our players to be confident in and out of possession. 

As well as introducing four ‘Moments’, the Talent Development Program expands on strength and conditioning training, mental strength training, social-emotional development, and tactical (FC Nelson playing style) knowledge.

The TDP training group has three training sessions per week in addition to their team training. All the players get four progress assessments every year. The assessment covers technical, physical, tactical ability, and general attitude and behavior before/during/after training or game.

The TDP players also have to provide proof of their academic achievement. Any Academy player that is achieving below expectations will be offered additional help, or time away from training to address academic issues.