The best U-14 players on Rarotonga have been involved in a three-day training camp hosted by the Cook Islands Football Association in Matavera.
The camp started on Monday bringing together 29 identified players from various clubs on Rarotonga for the comprehensive programme, set up by CIFA’s technical department.
Coached by CIFA technical director, Jess Ibrom, and his assistants, Tahiri Elikana, Anthony Samuela and Kimiora Samuel, the squad have been in hard-working fashion participating in a number of exercises to improve their technical and tactical skills.
Ibrom said the camp was an idea to bring the players into one environment and be able to prepare them for the next under 17-cycle.
“It give us a great opportunity to identify out of the camp who would be our next potential U17 national team going to represent us at regional competitions,” he said.
In achieving this process the players have been put through a number of tests over the last three days to recognise where their fitness and skill levels lie.
“We’ve had the boys complete a YoYo test and full one- two hour training sessions each day out on the field,” Ibrom said.
“For most of them this was a new environment they were adjusting to and it gave us an indication where everyone was at in terms of fitness and how good they carry the ball.
“They’ve been great and I can honestly say we have some great talent on the island, which is something we can all be proud of.”
As well as meeting their technical and tactical needs, the players have also been involved with in-class seminars educating them on other needs relating to being a national player.
“We’ve had different workshops coinciding with what it takes to become a great football player and it was topics like mental development, nutrition and role modelling that we had the boys sitting in when we weren’t out on the pitch,” Ibrom said.
The camp came to an end on Wednesday with the players participating in one last training session before they headed home.