Inside the National Training Centre
A brief overview of the National Training Centre, what it involves and why it’s important.
The National Training Centre (NTC) is a talented player program which aims to maximise the development of identified talented boys aged 14-15 and prepare them for a football career at the highest possible level.
Squad members are identified during the Victorian Champions League, the state’s elite junior summer competition where the best players from around Victoria face each other week-in week-out.
In 2012 the NTC squad will be coached by Boris Seroshtan who holds an AFC/FFA ‘A’ Coaching Licence and has coached numerous state representative squads in the past.
The program trains 4-5 times per week and plays in the U18 Boys Purple League; which is the best Under 18 league in Victoria. Currently the NTC sit at the top of the league, but the focus is very clearly about developing each individual to potentially play at the highest level.
FFV Technical Director Sean Douglas said that the overall aim of the NTC is to produce the best possible players in line with the FFA National Coaching Curriculum, which encourages a possession based game with plenty of passing and skill on the ball.
“International football at the highest level is played in two ways, a possession based style, or a more cautious counter attack style,” said Douglas.
“Our goal is to create players who can play an effective possession based style, and be proactive in the way that they play. This requires not only technical excellence, but a thorough understanding of their roles in a team system. That is the focus of this program.”
The NTC is just one step in the talented player pathway which begins with Skilleroos before progressing to Senior Skilleroos, NTC and then Senior NTC with the aim for players to be identified for the Australian Institute of Sport Scholarship Program and National Youth League squad.
Previous participants in the Victorian talented player pathway include Leigh Broxham (Melbourne Victory), Bailey Wright (Preston North End), and more recently Matt Spiranovic (Urawa Red Diamonds), Curtis Good (Melbourne Heart) and James Jeggo (Melbourne Victory).
The NTC program is free for players, with FFV and FFA jointly funding the venture. The only cost passed onto players is the costs incurred to players selected to participate at the State Institute Challenge in Canberra.
Keep and eye on the FFV website for an overview of the girls NTC program which has helped develop players like Steph Catley, Ashley Brown and Bri Davey.