Rising stars chosen for top programme

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Top talent . . . Footballers Corey Reid (left) and Hwi Seong Chang practise at Logan Park on Tuesday. PHOTO: JESSICA WILSON

Two Dunedin footballers have scored an opportunity.

Corey Reid (15) and Hwi Seong Chang (14) have been selected for New Zealand Football’s new regional training centre programme.

Starting next month, the boys will travel to Christchurch for three days each month to train with other top South Island players and coaches.

They were picked based on their “standout” performances at a tournament last year.

Corey, who plays centre-back, said he thought it would be a good experience. He hoped to play professionally one day.

Hwi, a mid-fielder, said he hoped there would be good competition and coaching.

Both play for Southern United, Roslyn-Wakari AFC and their school team, Otago Boys’ High School.

Their under-16 Southern United coach Danny Ledwith said the programme included the best players in their age group in the country.

The programme was on a two-year cycle, so players could be invited and released at any point.

“You can imagine how competitive it will be, but the boys should be fine,” Ledwith said.

“The two boys have been a standout in their age group for a long time.

“Even going back to last year’s national group, they were two of the best players, not just in the team but the whole competition.

“We’re expecting them to do really well,” Ledwith said.