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CIFA appoints national academy director

Monday 14 August 2023 | Written by Supplied | Published in Soccer, Sports


CIFA appoints national academy director
Jess Ibrom has been appointed the new National Academy Director. CIFA MEDIA/23081420

The Cook Islands Football Association (CIFA) has recently appointed elite player and coach developer Jess Ibrom as the new National Academy Director.

This position is part of CIFA's broader vision for the development of future national team players from the Cook Islands, showcasing their commitment to continually raising the standards of football across the country, CIFA said in a statement.

Ibrom boasts an impressive resume, holding UEFA “A”, USSF “A” and OFC “A” licenses, along with 23 years of experience in football. His work spans six countries across three continents and includes prestigious roles within national member associations and renowned professional football clubs such as Chelsea FC, Wellington Phoenix, Houston Dynamo, and the New Zealand National League.

“With a wealth of experience in elite player development throughout Oceania, Ibrom’s appointment will undoubtedly provide valuable insights into driving the strategic direction of a national academy based on Rarotonga, as well as establishing a talent identification strategy in the outer islands,” CIFA said.

Ibrom acknowledges the unique opportunities this role presents, stating “I’m knowledgeable in the challenges of working in the Oceania region having been active in the region since 2011 and working with two national member associations as a national technical director.”

Drawing from experiences establishing successful academies such as the Wellington Phoenix Academy in 2015 – one of the first in the Hyundai A League at the time – Ibrom plans to implement strong player and coach development programmes to enhance local talent.

“Having worked in countries such as Mexico, the UK, USA, and most recently Samoa, it’s enabled me to establish strong player and coach development programmes. I’m looking forward to enhancing the standard of the best domestic-based players who can represent the Cook Islands for generations to come.”

National academy teams have already been introduced in Rarotonga, including the U16 girls and U15 boys, with younger age groups such as the U13s planned to commence shortly. Talent identification efforts have already begun on the main island of Rarotonga, with Ibrom visiting Aitutaki next week to continue scouting rising stars.

“This latest venture by CIFA promises a bright future for Cook Islands football, as they invest in expert leadership and guidance under Jess Ibrom’s direction, striving toward improving the standard players representing the Cook Islands on a national stage.”