Message from Club President regarding TDP

Some of you may have heard that KCU yesterday advised us that they were withdrawing their support and pulling out of the MoU with Waikanae FC for the Kotahitanga TDP Programme.

The Waikanae FC Committee have spent many hours over the summer attempting to work with both KCU and Capital football in the interests of forming a cohesive youth development program that would benefit the talented players we have here on the Kapiti Coast. Our vision was a truly coastal development team, eventually feeding into a combined first and reserve team in 3–5 years’ time, allowing us to build a unique and real regional culture that supported our talented players – regardless of what club they hailed from – without the need to move out of our region.

We met with KCU in August last year to open discussions with a clear position from the outset of leaving our colours at the door and jointly focussing on the development of these talented players. The intention of our Committee was never to run a ‘Waikanae’ TDP, rather a coastal one with a new combined identity and kit combining all the clubs on the coast.

In September we sent an email to the KCU Committee proposing the first stage of the coastal TDP, combining all players from 13th through to 17th grades. We wanted to use resources from all clubs to build teams in the interests of delivering a quality programme with talent development at its heart. By starting with a combined TDP programme we believed this would make huge progress towards ensuring the top talent across all clubs had the best possible opportunity to develop and play at the highest level. Unfortunately no response to that email was received.

In November, I again reiterated the need for a combined TDP program when the combined Capital Football Men’s Advisory Group met regarding the enforced relegation of both KCU and Waikanae First teams. In this email I reiterated the our view that the best way to start a roadmap for a strong Coastal senior First team by 2027 was by starting and concentrating on a combined coastal youth development program. KCU responded that their plan was to retain their own (in-house) youth development program called Infinity. We note today with disappointment that KCU have invited trials for their own CDL-based squads.

As a passionate believer of youth development and the outstanding pool of talent that we have across this whole region, I continue to hope that we can work with KCU to change opinions and with that we can address this issue in the interests of those who matter the most – the players.

Until that time, we at Waikanae and our supporting partners from Ōtaki, Paekākāriki & Pukerua Bay will continue to work in the interests of providing the best programs on the coast at developing our youth footballers.

For those TDP players who joined us last year from KCU, we would love to welcome you back to our Kotahitanga TDP for 2022 to build on the momentum we created last year. Any KCU players who were not registered with our program last year are welcome to trial and if selected would take one of the ‘non-homegrown’ slots.

We welcome open and frank discussion on our TDP program and you are welcome to contact either myself at wfa.president@gmail.com or Vice President, Adam Price at wfavicepresident@gmail.com

Many Thanks for your ongoing support.

Yours, in football

Charlie Sturman