Western Pride has become the latest Australian club to sign up to the Everton International Academy Affiliate Programme (EIAAP).
The EIAAP will provide Western Pride’s coaching staff and players of all ages with year-round assistance and guidance from coaches from the world-renowned Everton Academy, which has produced a host of Premier League stars including England’s all-time record goalscorer Wayne Rooney.
Everton coaches will travel to Queensland-based Western Pride, when international travel guidelines allow, to assist in implementing the Everton Academy curriculum. Western Pride players and coaches will make annual visits to train at Everton’s state-of-the-art USM Finch Farm complex.
The EIAAP also has structures in place to deliver its programme remotely during the coronavirus pandemic, via its digital platform which allows affiliates to access resources and maintain regular contact with Everton coaches.
The new affiliation also gives Western Pride access to sporting and business best practice to improve sustainability and aid growth – a level of support that sets the EIAAP apart from more traditional models.
To take advantage of this new opportunity, players are being advised to register now for Western Pride Talent Identification Sessions which will take place during November.
David Unsworth, Director of the Everton Academy, said: “Western Pride’s new status as an Everton International Academy Affiliate Programme member marks the next phase in their ambition and growth, and will see them gain the best in sporting knowledge and insight from our Academy coaches.
“At Everton, we have a passion for developing quality footballers but also helping them grow as people. This is something that we share with Western Pride, a great academy club with teams of all ages. I’m confident this new partnership can help Western Pride achieve the goals they have set for the advancement of their club as a whole and, more specifically, around player development. We look forward to working closely together over the coming years.”
Patrick Boyle, Western Pride Chairman, said: “Western Pride are always striving to increase the standard of club, player and product offered to the wider football community. The partnership with Everton will enhance our strategic and commercial direction to ensure Western Pride continues to build and have a positive impact on our members. Western Pride will leverage off the experience of some of the football leaders at Everton. Our partnership will motivate and inspire our team, right across the organisation, to enable Western Pride to deliver on our mission.”
Pye Augustine, Football Operations Manager at Western Pride, added: “Western Pride look forward to a long-term collaborative partnership with a leading internationally-renowned football club such as Everton. The partnership will deliver high-quality football opportunities and resources for our players and coaches that will expand the professionalism that Western Pride currently espouses.”
Everton has a strong Australian fan base with official Everton supporters’ clubs based across the country, while Australia’s all-time leading goalscorer Tim Cahill netted 68 goals in 278 appearances for the Blues during an eight-year spell at Goodison Park.
Australia forward Hayley Raso joined Everton Women in January from Brisbane Roar and is a regular star for The Matildas, while Sydney-born Con Ouzounidis has represented Australia at youth level and is part of Unsworth’s Everton Under-23s side.
The Everton International Academy Affiliate Programme (EIAAP) is available to grassroots teams, professional sides, youth academies, girls’ and women’s teams, as well as colleges and universities.
To find out more or enquire about joining the EIAAP, click here.