Kiwi football great, Wynton Rufer will run coaching sessions at Apii Te Uki Ou, Apii Takitumu School, Rutaki and Immanuela Akatemia, for children aged six to 12. - 22110850
New Zealand’s greatest footballer is on his way to Rarotonga to run grassroots coaching sessions at local schools.
New Zealand’s best footballer Wynton Rufer will run coaching sessions at Apii Te Uki Ou, Apii Takitumu , Rutaki and Immanuela Akatemia, for children aged six to 12.
Rufer said he looked forward to seeing his Rarotonga
“It’s been a tough two years with repeated lock downs
so hopefully we can now move forward to develop more of the Cook Island
football talent,” the former professional striker said in a statement.
Apii Te Uki Ou Principal Carly Ave said she was very
excited to have someone of Rufer’s caliber and reputation share his passion
with the students.
Tupapa, Matavera, Ngatangiia children love football and can always be found on
the Takitumu field,” Ave said.
is a great opportunity for us to get some football upskilling from an amazing
said due to Covid-19 restrictions the school missed out on football training in
the first term.
Rufer fan, Tim Meyer, organised for the ex-pro to
run the coaching sessions. Meyer said it had been in the works for one and a
He said Rufer wanted to create a career pathway for young players.
“Leading up to the women’s world cup in New Zealand, he really wants to
focus on young female talent and try to inspire them to work in football and
potentially get a career going in football,” Meyer said.
He said Rufer wanted to work with New Zealand football academies and schools to help local players.
“That is the long term vision, to really
create a career pathway for young Cook Islanders to go out and do best in their
sports, and if it doesn't work out they come back with a good education.
“He's really excited about being here and
sharing his passion, after all this time he's still so much on fire when it
comes to football, he just lives and breathes it.
“Football has been so good to him, he just
wants to pass that on. He made that his mission.”
Meyer said he was a huge fan of Rufer growing up.
“He was the main striker for my home club and with him my team won the
Bundesliga Championship and the European Cup Winner Finals. To date the biggest
victory for the club.
“I used to save my pocket money to be able to go watch Rufer play.
“I'm just really excited that me, as a fan,
and as a father can be part of this.
“I'll be nervous at the airport, for me he's a
“Rufer in his sport, in Oceania there is no one that has achieved more than him, he's the Oceania football player of the century.”
Meyer said Rufer’s visit would also be an
opportunity for coaches to meet him.
Rufer spent 16 years playing professional football
in Switzerland, Germany, Japan and New Zealand. He won four major titles
playing for German club Werder Bremen and also played for the 1982 All Whites
that made it the FIFA World Cup in Spain.