During the summer of 2011, Rush Soccer announced a unique partnership with the Olé Football Academy based out of Wellington, New Zealand. Now doing business as New Zealand Rush, the club serves over 100 players at the 6-10 year old levels and is close to launching a full-time residency program for the top 16 players in New Zealand. This goal of this academy is to provide these players a world class training environment and to help them achieve their goals of attending American Universities and playing professional soccer.
New Zealand Rush Technical Director, Nate Winkel, recently made a visit to Colorado for the purpose of learning more about the day to day operations of the club and to discuss ways in which the two clubs can work closer together. Nate enjoyed the opportunity to meet with staff and observe the Rush academy training environment. "What Rush Soccer is doing is incredibly unique, the coaches and staff have learned so much as a result of facing new challenges every-day. They have coaches from all over the world - Italy, Brazil, US, France - who all bring their own philosophy and ideas to the table. The best part was definitely watching the u16 and u18 academy teams, as it gave me a chance to see how our New Zealand players stack up, and what we need to improve on," commented Winkel.
“Similar goals philosophies exist between the clubs making this a good fit,” says Tim Schulz, President & CEO of Rush Soccer. The club is focused on the individual and has a proven track record of developing and placing elite New Zealand players at US universities and professional clubs. Through passion, commitment, and science, New Zealand Rush creates an environment that empowers players with the skills and character to succeed in both football and life.
Nate began his football career at Marquette University and graduated with a Bachelors Degree in Business Administration before embarking on an 8-year professional footballing career with Minnesota Thunder (USA), Virginia Beach Mariners (USA), Höllvikens GIF (Sweden), Carolina Dynamo (USA) and Högaborgs BK (Sweden). Nate has been leading Olé Football Academy since 2009 where he has played a key role in developing players in New Zealand and ensuring that they have opportunities to play internationally.