The Oceanian Club of the Century are trying to attract both business and government support privately and through a GoFundMe page to provide discounted places to youth from African backgrounds.

South Melbourne recently selected six players in a trial, but none of them could afford the fees involved in joining the club's academy.

Home to a large African refugee population, Melbourne and its outer suburbs have multiple programs to help youth adjust to Australian life, however the most effective method is often through football.

South Melbourne argue that the funding would help disadvantaged youth find their feet in Australia, but will also help develop the next generation of Australian-African football stars, with the notable recent success of Awer Mabil and Thomas Deng.

"We have a GoFundMe page, which we are getting out there to people. Every little bit helps to try and get some kids, give them the opportunity to change their lives," The club's youth director, Peter Kokotis, told ABC.

"I realised these boys are not able to take the opportunity because of the fees involved at the club registration."

South coach, Emanuel Saakai, said the program would be key to nurturing a connection between Melbourne's multiple ethnic communities.

"South Melbourne is a great place where African aspiring footballers can call home, a place where they can feel respected, valued and given full attention for their talents to be developed and nurtured," he said.

"Every day I'm realising that we are very familiar and similar when it comes to our cultures, whether Tanzanian, African, and the Greek culture. It is all about family, community, being expressive, giving your all, competing and being one."


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