Growing football at grass roots in Taranaki is a goal for Troy Savage.
The local coach was one of only 30 people in New Zealand to attend a FIFA Grass Roots course in Auckland. Troy, a life long football fan, holds an Oceania Football Confederation level 2 goal keeping coaching certificate and a New Zealand Football Advanced Education B license, and was invited on the course to help develop FIFA's new education programme.
"There are so many opportunities to grow, but we need to start at the grass roots level so that players will filter through."
Troy works with students at Eltham, Midhirst, Rawhitiroa and Ngaere schools delivering programmes on the game as well as ball skills.
"Working with the students is great. I get to see their confidence grow as their skills develop." Troy also takes a girls' football programme in Eltham once a week.
"The programme is a great way to give the kids an introduction before they move into club football." While Troy says his football career was short, he has been introduced to many opportunities through coaching.
"I would love to build a really strong foundation of grass roots players here. There are definitely some talented kids who could go far."