Manly United have announced an agreement that will give grassroots clubs in the Manly Warringah Football Association a portion of any training compensation the NPL club receives for players who started their career in their local area.
The current FIFA rules state training compensation is allocated to clubs that play a role in a player’s development from the age of twelve onwards.
However, acknowledging the important role grassroots clubs have in the formative years of development, Manly United will reward all clubs that help develop young players.
“Manly United recognises the part grassroots clubs play in the Australian football pyramid and believes it is only fair that local clubs, who play a critical first part in helping football players to fall in love with the game, should be recognised,” said Manly United CEO David Mason.
“There has been a lot of talk lately about uniting football and bringing the entire football ecosystem together and if we are serious about that it has to include the grassroots football community, which is home to 96% of Australia’s football players.”
Wakehurst Football Club will be the first club to benefit from the agreement, with former Manly United and Sydney FC youngster Cameron Peupion recently signing for Brighton and Hove Albion in the EPL.
“Cameron started his football playing with Wakehurst and then joined Manly United as a 9-year-old, moved onto Sydney FC and is now about to live out a dream that started at Hews Parade and Lionel Watts Oval on the biggest stage of all,” Mason said.
“We would like to thank Danny Townsend and Sydney FC for the way we worked together on a fair Training Compensation arrangement with Brighton but we believe that cooperation should go all the way back to his junior club.
“The grassroots is always forgotten when Australian football thinks of the player pathway and just before he departed Australia Cameron came down to Cromer Park to spend some time with the SAP players and watched his mates play for Wakehurst before jetting off to England.”
17-year-old Peupion said: “This is fantastic that Wakehurst has been recognised. It is my first club, it’s where I started to play my football and along with Manly and Sydney FC have helped me get to the point that I’m about to chase my dream in the Premier League. It’s great that all the people who have helped me have been recognised.”
Wakehurst Football Club President Greg Dick was delighted with the news.
“This is a fantastic surprise and a great reward for Wakehurst Football Club. Cameron started his football with Wakehurst before moving onto Manly United and we think this new agreement is a tremendous recognition and reward for local clubs in the MWFA,” he said.
“Whilst training compensation applies from the age of 12 this agreement clearly demonstrates the MWFA’s leadership and commitment to the development of grassroots U6-U11 football.”