WPFA "committed to the development of young people"

About Us

We are the Academy for the Wellington Phoenix FC who play in the Australian Hyundai A-League.

We are based at the Ricoh Centre, Fraser Park in the beautiful capital city of Wellington, New Zealand.  To be part of the Academy players need to reside in Wellington full time.  We run a full time comprehensive and holistic youth development programme for our Academy players.

The Academy teams represent the Wellington Phoenix during the NZ summer competition, our U20 team in the ISPS Handa Premiership and U17 team in the National Youth League.  We also have an alliance partner club Lower Hutt City AFC which enables our teams (U20, U17 & U15) to play in domestic winter competitions.

The Academy has been in existence since 2013 but only in its current full time form since 2016.  In the first five years of existence we have helped develop 13 players who have earned professional contracts and 7 players who received full scholarships at US Universities. In addition to this we have seen 7 of our graduates progress and earn full International All Whites caps as well as healthy representative in the NZ national age group sides. These are listed on our graduates and national reps page.

We are passionate about creating elite footballers who are good people with a strong charcaters and education.  Our programme aims to progress players into the club's 1st team in the Hyundai A-League and earn a professional contract. We understand the percentages of earning a pro contract are low in football (research shows 2-5%) so we ensure we have multiple pathways for players and have a focus on the student athlete to ensure a strong education that can back up plans to be a professional footballer and lead to further opportunities with scholarships to university in the USA or here in NZ.

The fulltime academy model includes the following:

Football Programme

  • 172+ Training sessions with our coaching team.
  • 36+ Competition games (Winter & Summer).
  • Additional training games when out of competition cycles.
  • Access to Hudl Performance Analysis Software

Sports Science

  • 86+ Gym Sessions with our sports science team.
  • Gym membership to ‘Exodus Wellington’ for our U20 players.
  • GPS Tracking at every training for U20 & U17 Teams.
  • GPS Tracking at every game for U20 & U17 Teams.
  • Access to ‘Smartabase’ our specifically designed wellness app.
  • An array of regular testing measures at trainings to aid with injury prevention and performance.


  • Physio cover at every training and game.
  • Physio treatments with our medical team when injured.
  • Individualised return to training rehab programmes.
  • Access to club doctor (GP) & sports doctor.
  • Club managed injury diagnosis including all necessary medical scans and x-rays.

 Personal Development

  • 50+ Yoga recovery sessions with our qualified instructors.
  • Individual pathway meetings (x2 per year) plus a personalised development folder online to track achievements.
  • 360 Review meetings (x2 per year).
  • Personal development workshops.
  • Nutritional advice & education.

We currently have four squads in the Academy encompassing players from 14-19 years old.  In the summer season (October to March) the teams represent the Wellington Phoenix in competitions. In the winter season (April to August) the teams represent our partner club Lower Hutt City AFC in Wellington competitions.

  • U21 Squad plays in the ISPS Handa Premiership as the Wellington Phoenix Reserve Team and also in the Central League with Lower Hutt City 1st Team.
  • U17 Squad plays in the National Youth league as Wellington Phoenix Youth and also in the Capital 1 Mens Competition with Lower Hutt City Reserve Team.
  • U16 Squad plays in the Capital 3 Mens Competition with Lower Hutt City and plays a pre-designed elite youth competition in the summer months.
  • U15 Squad plays in the 17th Grade Premier League with Lower Hutt City and plays a pre-designed elite youth competition in the summer months.

The Academy is based at the Ricoh Centre, Lower Hutt City AFC, Fraser Park, Lower Hutt.  We also have additional training bases at Boyd Wilson Field, Victoria Univeristy and Martin Luckie Park in Berhampore.