In just seven days, hundreds of budding young footballers from all over the country will descend on Seddon Fields for the 2018 U-17 Youth Football Tournament delivered by the Youth Football Development Trust.
Preparations will continue throughout the week for the Trust and Co Tournament Director Mark Greene.
Equally as important, is the preparation of the teams in attendance with former All White David Mulligan highlighting the importance of being match ready.
“The players will be playing a lot of games over the course of three days so it is important to have a plan; Plan what the players are eating and drinking before and after their games,” Mulligan said.
“It is important the players look after their bodies in order to maintain a high standard both on and off the field, all of these things add up if you want to play football and be at your best.”
During the tournament, New Zealand Football’s Player Welfare team will be on hand educating and activating the many stakeholders of the game.
As one of the Player Welfare Regional Officers, Mulligan can’t stress enough how crucial it is that players utilise the Fit4Football warm up and activation zones at the tournament.
“It’s hugely important that players utlise what is on offer for them from the Fit4Football team.
“When you play in tournaments like this, recovery plays a massive part with teams playing three times a day.
“It’s important that all teams go through the 11+ warm up before their game and then after the game make use of the ice baths available.
“If you don’t recover correctly it could be the factor of either winning or losing,” he added.
Results aside, the 28 cap All White has one final message.
“Enjoy the tournament,” he said.
“It’s a chance for players to test themselves against potentially the best in the country in their age group.
“Don’t worry if you give the ball away or miss place a pass, it happens to the best players in the world, but what they do is work very hard to win the ball back and keep possession.”
The Youth Football Development Trust U-17 Youth Football Tournament kicks off on Friday 16 March with the first round of games at 9am.
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