An English soccer premier league academy coach is coming to Melville United this summer to help develop New Zealand talent.
Ash Malcolm, academy coach at English Premier League club West Bromwich Albion will be spending three days in January working with players from the Melville Academy from January 18 to 20.
He will also lead a coaching seminar to provide further insight into the West Bromwich Albion Academy philosophy.
Malcolm's visit comes through Melville United's co-head coach Sam Wilkinson, who started the academy in late 2016 with his colleague Michael Mayne.
Wilkinson, a former academy coach at West Bromwich Albion, believes it is a significant move from a Premier League Academy sending a representative to Melville United.
"To be able to provide an opportunity for our players to be coached and assessed by one of the leading academies in the UK is really exciting," Wilkinson said.
"Giving our lads an insight into how players their own age at a top English academy are being developed has tremendous value."
Malcolm has played in the same Under-18 team as All Whites and Burnley striker Chris Wood.
The West Bromwich Albion coach will not be an exclusive to Melville United, as Wilkinson and Mayne have opened up the course to players outside of the academy as well.
"We feel it's such a good opportunity that we want all players in the region to have access to Ash Malcolm."
Wilkinson believes that bringing an academy coach over from England is more beneficial than having parents spend a large amount of money to go overseas.
"It can be worrying to see parents fork out upwards of $5000 for a trip where they are promised a trial at a professional European club.
"Bringing Ash over to the club is a far more practical way to provide this experience."
While Mayne stresses the purpose of the course is not just to be a "trial" with West Bromwich Albion, it could potentially lead to trial opportunities for players that meet the criteria," Mayne said.
"We will always be honest with our Academy players in terms of the playing opportunities we can potentially provide for them but that said, there may be an option for some of them with a UK passport to go over to West Bromwich Albion."
Wilkinson said that Melville is looking to strengthen their ties with the English Premier league side to provide more for their players.
"We are looking to further strengthen the link with WBA in order to provide future opportunities for our players and coaches," Wilkinson said.
The courses are open to players and coaches from any clubs but are free for any existing Melville United Academy players or coaches.