Students of game hit Canberra

By, Gary Hamilton-Irvine

Five talented footballers from Rotorua will spend part of the new year in Canberra vying for a spot in an Anzac team to play internationally.

Ngongotaha Football Club signed a contract with Coerver Coaching at the start of the year, picking up young footballers in the city for professional coaching.

Five top students of the game - Daniel Marsden, 10, Taelor Parker, 14, Halle Smith, 16, Helen Talbot, 17 and Mianna Laing, 17 - will attend a week-long Coerver training school in Canberra at the end of January.

About 450 players will attend, mainly from Australia, with top players selected for a New Zealand or Anzac team at each age level.

The youngest of the group Daniel, who represents Ngongotaha, was asked to attend the camp by his Coerver coach Phil Parker after he showed great promise during the year.

"Daniel has been here since the beginning of the year. In April, we held a tournament where Daniel was a stand-out performer in the championship-winning side," coach Parker said.

The central midfielder said he was looking forward to growing his skills during the trip.

The four girls, representing Rotorua United, are also looking forward to their opportunity to sharpen their talents and perhaps play for the Anzac team overseas.

"I actually went to Canberra two years ago. It was pretty challenging. I was really young and I was up against senior women," Taelor Parker said.

She hoped to get even more out of the tournament this year.

Rotorua Girls' High School student Halle Smith said she was just looking forward to the experience and wanted to develop new skills for next year's season.

Following the training camp, Coerver Coaching will hold their world tournaments for top players in April and July.

The under-8s to under-11s tournaments will be held in Rotorua during April.

The older age group tournaments will be spread across other countries.

Ngongotaha Football Club have decided to renew their contract with Coerver Coaching for 2013, keeping the academy in Rotorua for at least one more year.

- Rotorua Daily Post

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