WUFA 2017

We have had numerous enquiries to what exactly WUFA is about, below is brief description outlining what we do here at WUFA. There is also a little video montage if you scroll down a little (in our “news” tab if you are not here already) and that will to give you insight into what the players do (the video was made in 2014).

In 2013, the Waikato University Football Academy (WUFA) in conjunction with Waikato University started the first and only fulltime university training academy in NZ. WUFA is a full time football academy designed to give players an opportunity to train in a full time environment with professional level coaching, at the same time allowing them to study towards a world class degree at Waikato University. This offers the student / athlete a balance, providing them with the necessary tools in preparation for professional sport and life beyond sport.

In 2016 we had our first International tour to the United States, where we played against various US universities and the players showcased their talents to US coaches and scouts. The primary objectives of the tour were to give players scholarship opportunities and give them an incredible international footballing experience similar to that of an All White tour.

The focus of WUFA is to give players the opportunity to follow their academic and footballing dreams either here in the Waikato or abroad.

All Players on our academy will be kitted out in the latest and greatest football gear and equipment from Nike and are the same quality as those used a professional club. WUFA also utilises the expertise of the exercise physiologist department based on campus, with the latest technologies and highly qualified expertise utilised to develop personalised strength and conditioning programmes.

The dedicated coaching staff includes coaches with international playing and coaching experience, and a sports analyst with access to the most up-to-date performance analysis technologies. WUFA has also been fortunate to have the services of some NZ’s finest coaching talent and even some with international credentials, including; Paul Nevin, Alan Jones, Neil Emblen, Chris Millicich, Roger Wilkinson, Mike Groom and Jeremy Christie.

The programme may lead into scholarship awards and there may be further opportunities available for those who exhibit potential at the end of the programme because of our numerous international links and networks. Players have been successful in their endeavours after WUFA due to their efforts on our academy. This year we had 3 graduates from our academy playing in the ASB premiership for Waibop United, and one player (Alfie Rogers) feature with Auckland City at the world Club Champs in Japan. We also had 3 players with successful stints in the United States due to our links there.

Also included in the programme, we offer a weekend experience down to Wellington to visit the Phoenix and watch them play and train. We also play a game which gives players a chance to showcase their talents to the coaching staff from the “Nix”.

Applications are now open and available to anyone nationwide, however, spaces are limited. For more information visit facebook.com/universityofwaikatofootballacademy or email directly, wufa.info@gmail.com

How do I get a Scholarship at a US University?

We’ve had numerous people email to ask us about our opinion on recruitment agencies.  We believe that an agency is one way of getting an offer of a scholarship if you don’t want to do the work yourself.  Often they are not cheap and a lot of the services offered are fairly inconsequential. Ultimately if you’re good enough and prepared to do the work yourself and have half decent grades then you can obtain a scholarship on your own.
However, if you don’t want to do the work your self and you have the financial backing (some agencies up to $8k), then an agency may be a good option for you.  You could factor in the money you gain from say a $40k scholarship and you still get $33k benefits.  But you would need to factor how much is it going to cost you, as even full scholarships come at a cost and the $8k you can save by doing it yourself, is a big saving. Be cautious of guarantees of scholarships, as scholarships vary from as high as $70k but as low as $500.
An agency is one way to obtain “a scholarship” but at WUFA we believe that you should find the very best university you can and there are literally thousands of universities of vastly different quality.  Some universities in the States are out of this world and some are comparable to small NZ high schools in terms of their resources and facilities. So be careful to pick the right university or be careful what university picks YOU.
What do we do?
In the oast we have taken a tour to the United States, we take the players to the universities and show-case their talents. We also offer a pre-tour package including fitness testing, a gym programme, several training sessions, HD highlights package and advice seminars.  Keep an eye out on our FB page as we will be taking a team to teh US again in 2018.
We will be playing games against Hawaii Pacific University- div 2 (lower div but a fantastic place to study and actually better than some div 1 teams I’ve seen),  Fairleigh Dickenson div 1, New Jersey Institute of Technology div 1 and Manhattan div 1, University in Washington DC is yet to be confirmed but we hope to play 2 games against div 1 and 2 schools.  We also have coaches and close contacts at Loyola (Chicago) Buffalo and Wilmington (Nth Carolina), 3 very good sides outside of NJ who are looking for players.  On top of that there will about 50 schools within the NY state vicinity who will have a presence at our matches.
We think by getting yourself in the shop window where universities can actually see you in the flesh is the great way to go.  Coaches get to view you play and players also get to see the Universities/cities where they may potentially be living for 3 years or more. So its important in respect of getting the right player/school fit.
We provide similar services to that of a recruitment agency as part of the pre-tour package, for example before we leave, we offer a workshop on how to build CVs and a seminar advising on other requirements of the NCCA system.  We also train together and play warm-up games where we will put a HD highlights reel together for all the players.  Plus they get an experience of a lifetime touring like an All white or a NZ age group team.  My assistant coach studied and played at Monmouth University in NJ so knows the US system inside out and I played in Europe as a professional and toured the world with the All whites, so together we have the expertise, knowledge and provide a very professional touring environment.
For more details on the upcoming tour and eligibility, contact us now to register your interest.
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USA Tour 2016

This year, for the first time WUFA embarked on a tour to the United States and Canada. The touring team was an invitational team comprising of past and present WUFA members and also included a selection of players from within the North Island.  We toured for 14 days (April 1-14) and played 5 games in the state of Hawaii and New York and also visited pro MLS team Toronto FC (Canada) which was kindly organised by Duncan Oughton, former All White and assistant coach at TFC along-side Ryan Nelson.

The Tour took in sightseeing activities which included New York City, Niagara Falls and the beaches of Hawaii. The primary objective was to get the touring players in the shop window with a view to obtaining scholarships at Universities in the United States, not to mention giving the players an international football experience similar to what any NZ representative would partake in. The players lived and breathed football for the entirety of the tour and had a taste of what it would be like to be an All White on an international tour.

Day-1

Setting off from Auckland Airport, the lads prepared with 3 training sessions, that included fitness testing and some prep work on what to expect while playing and travelling in the States, along with help to prepare CV’s for perspective Universities. A final 3 day training camp in Hamilton with a friendly game against Northern premier league outfit Hamilton Wanderers gave us decent preparation for the impending games. The trip started with the fairly arduous journey with the friendly Qantas team to Honolulu via Sydney. The boys looked sharp thanks to the Soccershop and Nike teamwear NZ.

Day-2

ALOHA! arrival at Honolulu International Airport. What a fantastic place, 30 degree temps, white sands, aqua coloured water and all a couple of hundred metres (sorry yards, we are in USA now) away from our Hotel, the boys quickly remember that we are here to play football! The evening included a light set play/technical/stretch session to get the cob webs out of their system, all on the shores of Waikiki. 12938155_10153603044852677_7483788994688873401_nDay 3

Game Time. This was our 1st fixture of the tour against Hawaii Pacific University, a NCAA div 2 team littered with a lot of European talent, with some players having experience in top flight Spanish and French clubs. The match being played on a very picturesque pitch, nestled in-between mountainous terrain covered in lush tropical gardens. The boys had to adjust very quickly to the climate and also the pace and athleticism of the opposition. The team went down 4-2, with no shame in that score-line given the fact that HPU fielded a strong, and on balance, a much older and experienced side than us.

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Followed by a bit of R n R….

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Day-4

New York City bound- We leave Hawaii and set off to NYC for an overnight stay before we head to our base in Buffalo, New York State. After our long leg via LAX and onto JFK in New York, a quick drive across Manhattan to our Hotel in New Jersey, the boys had an authentic Italian meal at the famous Coachman Inn, New Jersey and then put their feet up for a couple hours before we went into the City of Dreams to see the sights of Times Square, ground zero and the Brooklyn bridge (amongst others).

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Day-5

Buffalo City here we come, our new home for the next 8 days where we play the remainder 4 games of the tour. A 6 hour bus journey ending with a light session at Buffalo University Football stadium, a 32,000 seater stadium and the home of our next match. Not a bad venue for a training session. Slight change in weather from Hawaii, minus 7 and snow anticipated. We thought it was meant to be Spring!

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Day-6

Game day number 2 against a Div 1 side Niagara University (USA side of the border). This was our first real look at a division 1 side and a chance to see how well the boys would acquit themselves against this level of team. Again, going down 4-2 the boys played very well. The score line didn’t really give a fair indication of our team’s performance on the day. Our boys probably created 8 chances and only scored 2 whereas Niagara created 4 and scored all 4. A disappointing result yes, but the performance was very pleasing and a number of our boys catching the eye of the visiting coaches present at the match.

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Day 7

Recovery session early morning, then we ventured across the border to Canada to check out Toronto FC and their world class training facilities and saw the very impressive first team train in the full sized turf indoor training pitch.  The latest synthetic pitch used cork and coconut rather than the usual black rubber. The boys getting a a tour of an out of this world set-up and a real taste of what life is like for a pro footballer. That afternoon on the way home included a visit to Niagara falls, the pictures say it all…

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Day-8

Game day against our toughest opponent and the highly anticipated match seeing as it was streamed live with commentary so friends and family could watch back home. Pre-match entertainment on the 32,000 stadium included fireworks (and a hint of unseasonal snow) music and national anthems of both NZ and USA. It was quite an occasion and an event put on. Unfortunately our boys were slow out the blocks on this occasion, conceding 2 goals in the first 6 minutes. To be fair to University of Buffalo, they were a very classy and well drilled team with real quality across the entire side. The boys were a little shell-shocked and went in at half-time down 4-0. However, true to kiwi form, they showed real grit and battled til the very last second, and although they were well out-played the scoreline of 6-0 slightly flattering to UoB. And to put this into perspective, UoB is likely to be a top 20 national side and their players have virtually trained like full-time professional for the past 3 years. Again, there were a couple of good performances that caught the eye of visiting coaches.

 

 

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Day-9

Licking of wounds, recovery day and a bit of retail therapy for the lads. The boys went slightly nuts with the bargains to be had at the Outlet stores. First real day where the lads could get there feet up enjoy the sights of Buffalo.

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Day-10

The boys had to get back up for two games in one day, a tough ask for a side that had travelled thousands of miles across numerous time zones (welcome to the life of an international footballer).  First match was against the host of the triangle tournament, Div 3 side Buffalo State University. Again, there were great facilities, albeit with Lacrose markings on the artificial pitch confusing some at times. The boys dissppointed in this game to concede what some may call a “dodgy” penalty early in the game to go down by the lone goal at the final whistle. Despite our best efforts and the several chances we created, we just couldn’t convert. Buff State were another good side and gave us a good run.

Second match of the day, this was tough for the lads as we were down to the bare bones with injuries and fatigue setting in. This game was against a Div 1 side Canacius University and again we went down to an early goal. However, this was the performance of the tour with our boys dominating the 2nd half despite battling the fatigue and playing against older and more experienced opposition. Jordyn McKay cam within a finger nail of getting a late equaliser, with an outstanding save from their keeper.

12967544_988728837877035_8748199012459270418_oDay-11

First and only sole rest day, this day was free for the lads, a bit of shopping, R n R, recovery and a visit to Buffalo wouldn’t be complete without a visit to the world famous Duffs, home of the original Buffalo wings! Dinner, complete with a dusting of Snow to send us off on our adventure.

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Home bound…

So, What is WUFA all about?

We have had numerous enquiries to what exactly WUFA is about, below is brief description outlining what we do here at WUFA. There is also a little video montage if you scroll down a little (in our “news” tab if you are not here already) and that will to give you insight into what the players do (the video was made in 2014).

In 2013, the Waikato University Football Academy (WUFA) in conjunction with Waikato University started the first and only fulltime university training academy in NZ. WUFA is a full time football academy designed to give players an opportunity to train in a full time environment with professional level coaching, at the same time allowing them to study towards a world class degree at Waikato University. This offers the student / athlete a balance, providing them with the necessary tools in preparation for professional sport and life beyond sport.

In 2016 we had our first International tour to the United States, where we played against various US universities and the players showcased their talents to US coaches and scouts. The primary objectives of the tour were to give players scholarship opportunities and give them an incredible international footballing experience similar to that of an All White tour.

The focus of WUFA is to give players the opportunity to follow their academic and footballing dreams either here in the Waikato or abroad.

All Players on our academy will be kitted out in the latest and greatest football gear and equipment from Nike and are the same quality as those used a professional club. WUFA also utilises the expertise of the exercise physiologist department based on campus, with the latest technologies and highly qualified expertise utilised to develop personalised strength and conditioning programmes.

The dedicated coaching staff includes coaches with international playing and coaching experience, and a sports analyst with access to the most up-to-date performance analysis technologies. WUFA has also been fortunate to have the services of some NZ’s finest coaching talent and even some with international credentials, including; Paul Nevin, Alan Jones, Neil Emblen, Chris Millicich, Roger Wilkinson, Mike Groom and Jeremy Christie.

The programme may lead into scholarship awards and there may be further opportunities available for those who exhibit potential at the end of the programme because of our numerous international links and networks. Players have been successful in their endeavours after WUFA due to their efforts on our academy. This year we had 3 graduates from our academy playing in the ASB premiership for Waibop United, and one player (Alfie Rogers) feature with Auckland City at the world Club Champs in Japan. We also had 3 players with successful stints in the United States due to our links there.

Also included in the programme, we offer a weekend experience down to Wellington to visit the Phoenix and watch them play and train. We also play a game which gives players a chance to showcase their talents to the coaching staff from the “Nix”.

Applications are now open and available to anyone nationwide, however, spaces are limited. For more information visit facebook.com/universityofwaikatofootballacademy or email directly, wufa.info@gmail.com

 

 

Applications for 2016 are Open NOW!!

Applications for next year’s WUFA are now open. If you think you have what it takes to be a part of New Zealand’s only full time university football academy apply now. Applications are open to anyone studying at least one paper at the University of Waikato in 2016. Click the link below for more information.

 

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Alfie Heads to Japan

alfieWell done to WUFA member Alfie Rogers on his rapid rise in the game. After spending two years on the academy and after a couple of solid appearances at the tail end of last years ASB premiership season for WaiBOP United, Alfie attracted the attention of several clubs. Alfie put pen to paper only a few weeks ago with Auckland City and has made a good impression in a short period of time, earning a call-up with the first team squad heading to the world club champs in Yokohama, Japan. We watch with interest and hope that Auckland City repeat their terrific performance form last year and no doubt Alfie will play a big part.

 

Applications are Open for 2016 US Tour

WUFA_ Tour Poster 2016 ImageThose who are interested in a once in a life-time opportunity to tour the United States, applications are now open. The tour takes in 5 different universities, including one in Hawaii and the others on the East coast of America. It will be  fabulous opportunity to showcase your talents to University coaches and scouts, and with  our help, will increase your chance of obtaining a scholarship. Applicants need to be year 13 and above in 2016. For more information email us at wufa.info@gmail.com

JP joins No 1 ranked prep college in USA

John PA big congratulations goes to WUFA member John Penyas who left us last week to take up a scholarship opportunity in USA. JP joined the WUFA programme this year from St Pauls Collegiate, where he had significant influence from Mike Groom and his futsal development programme. JP joins the prestigious Berkshire School (the No 1 ranked Pre-school in the US the last 3 years running) Good luck JP, we’re sure you’ll be a success there. For more information visit the website http://www.berkshireschool.org/page.cfm?p=558&teamID=28

Well Done Alfie

Well done to Alfie Rogers, Alf was the most consistent player this semester in training winning the “points” competition by one of the biggest margins ever. Alfie pictured below sporting his award for his efforts, the new training top for Liverpool FC.

 


WUFA celebrates 2 years

WUFA ends its 2nd year next week, its been another successful year with some great accomplishments and achievements from this years players and from some of our Alumni. WUFA is focused on providing a balanced programme that fits with our players different needs and aspirations. We have catered for our players at the elite end and also assisted others in their differing roles, whether it be coaching, development or futsal. In just two years we have assisted players into varying areas such as; a professional environment, NZ age group squads, and others in fulltime coaching roles, and one in a marketing role with our governing body FIFA. What is also pleasing is these players have also worked towards or gained degrees too. We have also formed an alliance with a top Div 1 US college side, that we hope to announce shortly.

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2013 WUFA members

Shaun Kipara-Shaun now works as a development coach with Waibop Football

Dominic O’Sullivan– Dominic is in the current NZ Futsal Whites squad.

2014 WUFA members

Paul Ruddell– Waibop Coach and FIFA U20 World Cup marketing team

Xavier Pratt– Wellington Phoenix, ASB premiership squad

Jacob Robb– Worchester Academy, New England, USA.

Reid Drake, Alfie Rogers, Xavier Pratt– Wider training squad for NZ U20s.

Scott Hilliar- Sir Edmond Hillary Scholar and Waibop United senior squad member.