Brouwer has his feet planted

ON TO IT: Jarom Brouwer in Central Federation League action for Gisborne Thistle last year. Brouwer moved to Wellington in January and has been named in the Team Wellington squad for the National Youth League, and the Miramar Rangers under-19 team for a national tournament in Napier at Labour Weekend. Picture by Paul Rickard

FORMER Gisborne Boys’ High School and Thistle midfielder Jarom Brouwer has been named in Team Wellington’s youth squad and the Miramar Rangers under-19 team.

But this apprentice electrician, who has yet to turn 18, has his feet firmly on the ground.

“There’s still a long way to go before I achieve my ultimate goal, to play for the All Whites,” said Brouwer, who moved to Wellington in January,

“My football has been going great and I’m really enjoying it in Wellington.

“I’ve had a few games with the Central League boys at Miramar, and been given the opportunity to train with the Team Wellington first team.”

The 10-team National Youth League starts on October 14 with Team Wellington — coached by former Gisborne City National League midfielder and All White Declan Edge — at home to Eastern Surburbs.

The Miramar u19 side will compete in a national tournament in Napier at Labour Weekend.

“I’m looking forward to that to strengthen my place in Team Wellington’s youth squad,” Brouwer said.

“But it’s going to be hard to break into the starting 11.

“I’ve played with some of the youth team lads who are New Zealand u17 representatives, and I know a lot of them from my days at the national talent centres a few years ago.”

Wellington clubs and colleges were invited to nominate potential players for the youth team.

Over 70 nominations were received, and three trial games were held over three days.

Following the trials, selectors named a squad of 25 training players — 22 outfielders and three goalkeepers.

Brouwer said his employers were “very supportive” of his football.

His partner, Kirra, had been “amazing and very supportive” of his work and football.

“I’m not home often as I’m either at work or training, and when I am home I’m exhausted,” Brouwer said.

“Kirra helps big-time. She prepares good nutritional meals, and she also pushes me hard as she wants me to reach my goal just as much as I do.

“I’m fortunate to have Kirra by my side.

“It’s also awesome to have such a lot of support from my family in Gisborne — my mum (Jenny), brother (Mitchell), dad (Carl), grandad (Graham Moore) and gran (Lorraine Moore). They call me almost every night to see how I’m getting on and give me that little bit more motivation.

“But I know it’s up to me whether I make it in football.”

Brouwer was a standout performer for Thistle in last year’s Central Federation League, but said the switch to Wellington was the right move.

“The standard of football is much higher than it is in Gisborne. The competition for starting places is fierce and the game is faster and more physical, but I’m loving the challenge.”

Should the soon-to-be-18-year-old achieve his goal, it will be a reward for overcoming a potentially career-ending knee injury he suffered in a scrape with a bus in Gisborne.

“The knee’s good now, no problems,” he said.

The teams competing in the nine-round National Youth League are Auckland City, Eastern Suburbs, Waitakere United, Hamilton Wanderers, Hawke’s Bay United, Wellington Phoenix, Team Wellington, Tasman United, Canterbury United and Southern United.

Hamilton Wanderers are the defending champions.

Daniel Farrow, competitions and events director for New Zealand Football, said the National Youth League was an important stepping stone in the talent performance pathway set down by the Whole of Football programme.

“The National Youth League is our pinnacle youth competition and a key part of our youth development pathway.”

FORMER Gisborne Boys’ High School and Thistle midfielder Jarom Brouwer has been named in Team Wellington’s youth squad and the Miramar Rangers under-19 team.

But this apprentice electrician, who has yet to turn 18, has his feet firmly on the ground.

“There’s still a long way to go before I achieve my ultimate goal, to play for the All Whites,” said Brouwer, who moved to Wellington in January,

“My football has been going great and I’m really enjoying it in Wellington.

“I’ve had a few games with the Central League boys at Miramar, and been given the opportunity to train with the Team Wellington first team.”

The 10-team National Youth League starts on October 14 with Team Wellington — coached by former Gisborne City National League midfielder and All White Declan Edge — at home to Eastern Surburbs.

The Miramar u19 side will compete in a national tournament in Napier at Labour Weekend.

“I’m looking forward to that to strengthen my place in Team Wellington’s youth squad,” Brouwer said.

“But it’s going to be hard to break into the starting 11.

“I’ve played with some of the youth team lads who are New Zealand u17 representatives, and I know a lot of them from my days at the national talent centres a few years ago.”

Wellington clubs and colleges were invited to nominate potential players for the youth team.

Over 70 nominations were received, and three trial games were held over three days.

Following the trials, selectors named a squad of 25 training players — 22 outfielders and three goalkeepers.

Brouwer said his employers were “very supportive” of his football.

His partner, Kirra, had been “amazing and very supportive” of his work and football.

“I’m not home often as I’m either at work or training, and when I am home I’m exhausted,” Brouwer said.

“Kirra helps big-time. She prepares good nutritional meals, and she also pushes me hard as she wants me to reach my goal just as much as I do.

“I’m fortunate to have Kirra by my side.

“It’s also awesome to have such a lot of support from my family in Gisborne — my mum (Jenny), brother (Mitchell), dad (Carl), grandad (Graham Moore) and gran (Lorraine Moore). They call me almost every night to see how I’m getting on and give me that little bit more motivation.

“But I know it’s up to me whether I make it in football.”

Brouwer was a standout performer for Thistle in last year’s Central Federation League, but said the switch to Wellington was the right move.

“The standard of football is much higher than it is in Gisborne. The competition for starting places is fierce and the game is faster and more physical, but I’m loving the challenge.”

Should the soon-to-be-18-year-old achieve his goal, it will be a reward for overcoming a potentially career-ending knee injury he suffered in a scrape with a bus in Gisborne.

“The knee’s good now, no problems,” he said.

The teams competing in the nine-round National Youth League are Auckland City, Eastern Suburbs, Waitakere United, Hamilton Wanderers, Hawke’s Bay United, Wellington Phoenix, Team Wellington, Tasman United, Canterbury United and Southern United.

Hamilton Wanderers are the defending champions.

Daniel Farrow, competitions and events director for New Zealand Football, said the National Youth League was an important stepping stone in the talent performance pathway set down by the Whole of Football programme.

“The National Youth League is our pinnacle youth competition and a key part of our youth development pathway.”

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