The financial and human resources in amateur clubs are tight and sometimes need to use youth players in the main team. Football academy model is essential in developing players that can persist in top teams. But how can they define it?
It depends on many aspects, such as the financial resources, the mentality and goals of the team, and the know-how they have in their staff teams. If you’re in a team which has some financial resources in facilities and equipment, you have freedom to implement an overall idea of how the youth academy should run.
The football academy model should function as one, allowing players to development within the same ideas as the Main Team, reaching the goal of entering the first team more quickly and with more success percentage.
First, it’s necessary to take an open position on the strategy to be adopted in the club. The conversation between several elements of the football club is an exercise in acquiring knowledge greater than the observation of a game or even an hour of training that we may have.
Sometimes the player acts in the way the coach thinks he can do more, forgetting the general aspect and the strategy, and we end up following ideas or ways of playing that are based or principle the team or coach that we like or even a game idea that we think is the best for a given player and what happens sometimes is to restrict the player to that idea of the game, not being able to integrate it into other aspects of the game tactically and technically.
Seeing things in the long run, athletes with a specialized training strategy and specifically indicated for their club, are able to find a multiplicity of solutions to the same situation and solve the various problems they encounter during each game. We should sometimes reflect and think that when we were their age and playing street soccer, we found multiple solutions to a problem and it was with these problems and with the consequent solution that we were learning.
We have two different examples on how important is to have a football academy model: Chelsea FC and Southampton FC are two EPL clubs with different strategies, that highlight the contrasting approaches to player development in the league. Chelsea is a “stockpiling” club, “stocking” potential talent in case they emerge elsewhere and can make an immediate impact. In addition to its 25-man squad, Chelsea FC had 38 players out on loan in the 2016-17 season. In contrast, is Southampton FC, where five England internationals have originated from their academy in the last ten years. These five players generated a reported £89m in direct transfer income (Soccerbase, 2016)
So in conclusion, it’s essential for youth academy’s directors to develop a strategy that identifies with the club, and most importantly, with the first team, so the youth players can reach the first team more often.
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