Junior Framework

The Junior Framework provides a consistent, coordinated national approach to the development of junior players.

Whether children enjoy football because it’s a fun way to make friends or they’re inspired to follow in the footsteps of their heroes and play on the world stage, the Junior Framework has been developed to kick-start their dreams.

The Junior Framework provides a consistent, coordinated national approach to the development of junior players. Its main aim is to provide all junior players with high quality football experiences that increase both skill levels and the passion for playing football.

Through the Junior Framework players will experience age appropriate football games and coaching in a programme that is specifically tailored to meet their football wants and needs.

The Junior Framework offers age appropriate games formats and training recommendations for the following age groups:

  • McDonald’s First Kicks (4-6 years old)
  • McDonald’s Fun Football (7-8 years old)
  • McDonald’s Mini Football (9-12 years old)

For information on McDonalds Junior Football please see the resources below:



Underpinning the Junior Framework are the following principles which provide clear structure for programmes to be developed under.

  1. Accumulation of hours and number of touches
  2. Early engagement
  3. Recognising development age of the player
  4. Training emphasis periods
  5. Four corners approach (incorporating the Physical / Mental / Social-Emotional / Technical-Tactical abilities of players)
  6. Age appropriate games

Small sided games – the key ingredient

Street football across the world has been instrumental in the development of world-class players, and small sided games are the cornerstone of developing technically proficient and creative football players in a New Zealand context.

The benefits of small sided games extend far beyond technical and tactical development. They ensure children develop an innate love for the game and remain in our sport for longer.