Talent Development

FC Nelson has a number of opportunites for players to enjoy great coaching hone and their skills.

Be sure to have a look at the different activites currently on offer at the club.

FC Nelson Academy

The FC Nelson Academy delivers a 36 weeks football development programme that plays a crucial part in the player development structure of the club.

Led by our qualified FCN Academy coaches we set out to create a highly competitive and challenging environment for our players to grow, develop and learn.  

Our curriculum is aligned not only with NZ football but also incorporates specific key aspects of our very own FC NELSON WAY of playing football.  

The playing philosophy, which sits at the core of our FCNA programme, has been developed under the NZ football TDP* guidelines in conjunction with core values and principles of the club and our high performance environment led by 1st team head coach Paul Brydon and Director of Football Tj Hansen. 

Our academy teams are on an aligned pathway, which ensures continuity throughout the development of the players. Coaches use similar terminology and speak with the same voice. Players are able to move between training squads seemingly without any problems. 

The aim is to continue and accelerate the development of our young footballers and to prepare them for the performance phase of their development when they will be required to perform in a competitive environment.  

The programme is aligned with our two pinnacle teams Men/Women 1st XI as well as the respective reserve teams and allows players (U17) to slide into the Senior environment when prepared and ready.

Academy teams will be given several opportunities to represent the club on different occasions, i.e. Lotto Cup, Christchurch International Cup (or similar), tours to Wellington, Christchurch or Auckland.

*TDP - talent development programme

Wellington Phoenix Pre-Academy

We are so excited to officially partner with the Wellington Phoenix Football Academy, becoming the only club in the top of the south to offer a clear development pathway towards New Zealand's only professional club for the talented boys and girls in the Nelson Tasman and Marlborough region.

There are a range of options available through the Wellington Phoenix Partnership starting from U9's upto U14's. Open sessions are available to all on a Monday afternoon, where players can participate from 4:30pm-5:30pm in our Wellington Phoenix Pre-Academy.

Following coaching observations, exceptional players, aged U11 to U14, will be given the opportunity to particpate in our Wellington Phoenix Pre-Academy Development Centre. This will provide a step up in quality and players that demonstrate the requisite work ethic as well as mental, physical and emotional maturity will be given opportunities where appropriate to trial at the Wellington Phoenix via a Discovery Camp.

Players within the system will have an inherent advantage given the consistent communications between FC Nelson coaches and those in the Wellington Phoenix Academy, ensuring that the players are known upon their arrival.

As outlined by Wellington Phoenix Head of Pre-Academy & Foundation Phase, Jesse Rawlings:

“It's exciting to have ... FC Nelson ... onboard as our first ever PAC Partner Club! The PAC Program is an important part of the Wellington Phoenix pathway. It exists to identify players who may have the potential to represent the Academy, as well as connecting more players, coaches, parents, clubs & schools to the Phoenix through positive engagement and exclusive development opportunities. We are pleased to announce our association with clubs who share a similar mission and values around player development. The PAC Program is designed to be a resource for our PAC Partner Clubs, to complement their existing programs and improve their capability and reach.”

Players are welcome from any club and can register at https://fcnelson.co.nz/register under the WPX Pre-Academy tab.

WPX Pre-Academy Groups will beheld at Neale Park Junior/Intermediate pitches.

FC Nelson Fun Football Skills Centre

Our Fun Football Skills are an all year round fun based football and skill programme for our youngest footballers. We welcome everyone from 5 years old (some capable 4yrs old ok) who are wanting to take their first steps into the beautiful world of football in a fun and safe environment. 

We introduce some light skill training but focus predominantly on playing small sided games, which allows for a lot of touches on the ball for everyone. 

This is such a crucial age for us and we want to ensure we provide an awesome first football experience for everyone - to grow their love for the game. 


We provide year round (term 1 - term 4) training opportunities for boys and girls of this young age, to play and learn with their peers all while under the guidance of our qualified FC Nelson football coaches.

Sign up to... FC Nelson