FC Nelson's football development officer Davor Tavich and coach TJ Hansen will be key figures in the FC Nelson football academy. Photo: Sara Hollyman

FC Nelson launches new academy


Young Nelson footballers are set to have greater pathways available with the introduction of the FC Nelson academy.

The new academy will launch in time for the 2021 season and will be located at Neale and Guppy Parks.

The academy will offer a pathway in line with New Zealand Football’s ‘Whole of Football’ programme.

Club president Philip Thompson says the objective of the academy is to provide a clear pathway through the ages, from under 10’s all the way to the first team.

“For motivated and talented elite footballers we will provide foundation and direction to help them fulfill their aspirations, whether it be on a local level, regional or national.”

The programme is designed to cover all aspects of player development, from technical to physical, social-emotional, and tactical.

It will focus on providing a fulfilling and safe environment for footballers to enjoy the sport and create fine young people.

Phillip says their aim is to make FC Nelson a financially sustainable, community- focussed football club playing at the highest level possible in the New Zealand game.

“We were delighted with the agreement reached by the club and Nelson College last year, and the FC Nelson Academy was always our next step. The academy will propel our club to a level beyond that of clubs of similar status to ours and will allow us to compete favourably with the majority of New Zealand football league clubs.”

The academy will also boast what Phillip describes as the most qualified coaching team in the South Island.

Davor Tavich is well known in local football circles and is set to assume the role of Football Development Officer.

TJ Hansen will be returning to the club to continue his work as Junior Community Liaison Officer and will also form part of the academy coaching team with Mark Johnston, Diarmuid Brazendale, and George Campbell.

Club vice president and Junior Portfolio holder Craig Smith says they are delighted to have the commitment of these coaches.

“Great football knowledge as well as great people for the Tasman United Youth League Squad. Mark, Diarmuid, and TJ are top coaches in our region and well known to a lot of people and the youth in our region. I believe, under Davors’ guidance, they will work very well together for the Academy.”

The FC Nelson Academy will trial from February 2nd-4th for 9-12-year-olds, 3rd-5th for 13- 16 years old, and on the 9th- 11th of Feb for 17-18 years old.

Trials will be held at Neale Park from 4-5.30pm.