Mooted proposal to move a FFA COE to Europe


Mooted proposal to move a FFA COE to Europe

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Decentric
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Establishing a permanent training base in Europe is the solution to Australia's "broken" player development system, a former youth coach and Premier League scout believes.
By Dave Lewis
7 APR 2017 - 2:03 PM UPDATED YESTERDAY 2:03 PM

UK-based David Magrone, who scouted players for Tottenham Hotspur and Queens Park Rangers, discovered and nurtured a young Massimo Luongo in Sydney and helped the Socceroos midfielder land his first professional contract with Spurs.

He is convinced there is an untapped well of Luongos just waiting to be identified should FFA take a leap of faith and "throw some coin" at an increasingly vexing issue.

Once a hotbed of talent production which produced U-17, U-20 and U-23 teams who gave as good as they got in major tournaments, Australia have dropped off a cliff in recent years.

Magrone feels the answer could be a full time training base in Europe for players aged 16 to 19.

"Something has to change because the system is broken... the best way forward would be to have a central base for youth development in Europe, where players are housed and coached on a full time basis," said Magrone, who spent a total of five seasons scouring Europe for talent with Spurs and then QPR.

"This could be a talent factory for our young international teams. The players of the future don't need to belong to a club or play in a league.


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Renowned youth development coach, Tom Byer, has predicted a grim future for Australian football, slamming the current state of the sport and calling the standard of the A-League "pathetic".
"It should be backed by the FFA and based somewhere like southern Portugal where within a few hours’ drive you have 20-plus top professional clubs you could play against in England and mainland Europe.

"We'd be on the doorstep of high level competition, and you'd be mimicking a professional environment.

"I've worked on this model; Australia needs a central development base for a group of 25-30 top quality players. You’d have to invest in that group.”

Australia’s litany of failure at youth level of late makes for grim reading.

The Olyroos have failed to reach an Olympics since 2008, the Joeys were recently bundled out early in the AFC U-16 Championships and last October the Young Socceroos' hopes of qualifying for next year's U-20 World Cup were crushed.

The prevailing mood of pessimism has been further stoked by FFA's seeming desire to close the Centre of Excellence in Canberra, and put the onus on the clubs instead.

“Right now in Australia, we're simply not going to produce top bracket players,” added Magrone.

“The best you'll get is those good enough for the A-League, and only by default - and that's not a great level."

Magrone insists he could aid in conceiving an ambitious Euro project through connections across the continent, fostered while at Spurs and QPR.

"You could have a year-round schedule,” he added. “Australia has moved away from that. The AIS used to play games in South America a lot and also Europe.

“But that was pretty much scrapped when our qualifying path took us through Asia.

“Our young players need to be playing against high calibre opponents... different teams with different systems and different cultures."

Luongo, who benefited from joining Spurs at 16, concurs that Europe might be the best place for the next generation to learn their craft.

"David has been talking about this for years, I think it's a great model and there is no one better than him to find and then produce top level players,” said the Australia midfielder.


Closing Centre of Excellence will kill youth development, warns Vidmar
Closing the Centre of Excellence would kill youth development, national under-17s coach Tony Vidmar warns, amid plans by Football Federation Australia to shelve the program.
Magrone, whose coaching credits include St George, Apia Leichhardt and Sydney Olympic, has no doubt he could play a part in polishing a new batch of uncut diamonds.

"If I can produce one of Australia's best players (Luongo) on a hockey field with no funding, then give me the resources and I'll produce 50 more of them,” he declared.

“If the FFA are not interested, I might do it myself. It's not necessarily about winning international youth tournaments... that's not the pinnacle.

“It's having the Socceroos squad full of players like Mass, Aaron Mooy, Tom Rogic and Mile Jedinak playing at the top level, which they aren't.

"Back in the day we had 10 players in the EPL and the rest were playing in Serie A and even La Liga.


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I think Magrone is keen on cash.

At the same time I like the notion of establishing an offshore,  hypothetical FFA COE and relocating it to Southern Portugal.

It should be easier to attract experienced Portuguese and Spanish coaches in youth development to an overseas bases FFA COE in Southern Portugal. They  have been trained in similar methodology to the FFA NC. Unlike many of our FFA staff coaches, they have been doing it for a long time.

Most of our FFA coaches in Oz have been given the job to develop them as coaches. Not many experienced youth  coaches in Oz have worked with our elite young players.

The other idea of Magrone's is playing against 20 professional clubs' underage teams on a regular basis. Magrone does not need to be involved at all, but playing clubs like Sporting, Benfica, Faro, and Spanish clubs Malaga and Seville, would be  a good criterion to determine success.  

This is a useful  criterion to measure success. If for instance FFA had 40 odd - players from 12 upwards in a base like this, every three months some could go back to Oz HAL youth academies, whilst a new intake goes over to Southern Portugal to replace them.

Some find  full time professional football is not for them. They find full time football,  devoid of interesting  school or tertiary studies, lacks intellectual stimulation.

Portugal is one of the cheapest countries in Europe, but has quite good quality of life. I love it! A FFA COE based around Lisbon, Faro or Porto, could be good for Oz football.
Edited
5 Months Ago by Decentric
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Decentric - 8 Apr 2017 4:58 PM


"Back in the day we had 10 players in the EPL and the rest were playing in Serie A and even La Liga.


This is exaggerated.

Many were sitting on benches.

1 sometimes played in La Liga, and was sometimes benched. 2 others were quite regularly playing Serie A, but still benched at times. Many in the EPL were on benches.
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Interesting idea, taking away the motivation of player agents.

Would rather this concept implemented in Argentina not only cheaper but better development.

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I think it has quite a bit of merit - nothing ventured nothing gained.
I feel anything worth trying than what we have had to date.
Times change, times have changed.
Decentric, you may play down x were on the bench and x didn't do this or that BUT they were playing in EU clubs who have much more experience as you know and training with xyz talent everyday. All this helps developing as you know.
So, what do you prefer, sitting on ELP or Serie A - Championship La Liga benchs or HAL benchs to NPL ?
I know where I'd prefer our Roos to be and young prospects being nurtured.
Far more than what we can offer here even with whats available today compared to back in the ol days..........
Arthur, I wouldn't care if Portugal, Argie or anywhere else as long as its viable and suitable for our future needs.
Something out of the square needs to be done, its obvious changing the curriculum and change this or that is not showing any highlights to date.....

Edited
5 Months Ago by LFC.
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Arthur - 25 Apr 2017 12:45 PM
Interesting idea, taking away the motivation of player agents.

Would rather this concept implemented in Argentina not only cheaper but better development.

I think Portugal is closer in lifestyle to Oz than Argentina. I've been to Portugal, but not Argentina.

Portugal is close to the cheapest country in Europe.

In Southern Portugal, they have  Cadiz, Seville and Malaga as La Liga clubs just over the Spanish border, not to mention Sporting, Benfica, Feirenze and Porto in Portugal. There are many good youth teams to play on a regular basis. These can be used as a useful evaluation criterion for how our players are travelling.
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LFC. - 25 Apr 2017 6:00 PM

Times change, times have changed.
Decentric, you may play down x were on the bench and x didn't do this or that BUT they were playing in EU clubs who have much more experience as you know and training with xyz talent everyday. All this helps developing as you know.



I've done a lot of coaching courses where English football is used as an example for a paradigm of failure. 

Which English clubs have a production line of quality youth players?

I'd surmise the Portuguese and Spanish clubs produce more quality home grown players who succeed in UEFA Champ League football than English clubs. They also use the same type of development system as us, except they've been doing it a lot longer and better.
Edited
5 Months Ago by Decentric
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LFC. - 25 Apr 2017 6:00 PM

Arthur, I wouldn't care if Portugal, Argie or anywhere else as long as its viable and suitable for our future needs.
Something out of the square needs to be done, its obvious changing the curriculum and change this or that is not showing any highlights to date.....

Our players are improving through the curriculum, which is similar to European powerhouses, but our Asian rivals are improving more quickly.

Constant matches against quality European option will soon show up our weaknesses.

A distant football mate of mine who is a top FFA staff coach took a  SAP team to Korea for a tournament. He was absolutely  blown out with how good Sporting Lisbon youth teams were at that tournament. They just blew everybody else away in Asia for technical quality.

 If we play Sporting Lisbon on a regular basis, plus Benfica, Porto, Seville, et al, we'll soon learn where we have to improve. Plus we can visit these powerhouse clubs' academies to learn better coaching practices. 

Another distant mate of mine is a product of Sporting Lisbon youth academy.  We had no idea until he once juggled a ball and made it talk!  He is the most skilful player I've seen in the flesh up close. He said he played youth football in Portugal, but failed to mention who he played for and how good he is!
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Decentric - 25 Apr 2017 11:09 PM
LFC. - 25 Apr 2017 6:00 PM

I've done a lot of coaching courses where English football is used as an example for a paradigm of failure. 

Which English clubs have a production line of quality youth players?

I'd surmise the Portuguese and Spanish clubs produce more quality home grown players who succeed in UEFA Champ League football than English clubs. They also use the same type of development system as us, except they've been doing it a lot longer and better.

D, my point was I'd far prefer seeing any of our prospective talent and Roos being abroad, doesn't matter which OS league for anything is better than staying here imo due to being around more skilful hungrier fellow players..
As for the English Youth - you could say its pretty similar to ours, pretty slim in todays world but have some clubs who have developed some brilliant players.
West Ham, Academy of Football.
They have produced some pretty damn good players maybe check it out.
Liverpool haven't done too bad either.
United had a top run of local youth start of the EPL era.
I don't think the poms should be dis credited entirely I'm saying but i get your Port/Spanish point.



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Decentric - 25 Apr 2017 11:24 PM
LFC. - 25 Apr 2017 6:00 PM

Our players are improving through the curriculum, which is similar to European powerhouses, but our Asian rivals are improving more quickly.

Constant matches against quality European option will soon show up our weaknesses.

A distant football mate of mine who is a top FFA staff coach took a  SAP team to Korea for a tournament. He was absolutely  blown out with how good Sporting Lisbon youth teams were at that tournament. They just blew everybody else away in Asia for technical quality.

 If we play Sporting Lisbon on a regular basis, plus Benfica, Porto, Seville, et al, we'll soon learn where we have to improve. Plus we can visit these powerhouse clubs' academies to learn better coaching practices. 

Another distant mate of mine is a product of Sporting Lisbon youth academy.  We had no idea until he once juggled a ball and made it talk!  He is the most skilful player I've seen in the flesh up close. He said he played youth football in Portugal, but failed to mention who he played for and how good he is!

The Asians work harder therefore the improvement signs are not surprising.
Even back in the Golden Gen heyday no game was ever easy - be it Japan/Korea especially, fit fit fit for starters, always looked half a yard quicker now their skill level has improved.
Next as you mention the Portugese/Spanish and I'd like to throw in nowadays Chileans.
All another cut above.
I also was in Portugal/Lisbon/Faro/Madeira/Seville/Madrid through January.
We watched Youth training across the road from a relos place in Madeira - I'd say U13's they were ripping it.
I really like the idea of having a Socceroos or Academy base in Portugal - yes it is relatively cheap living there but why not already employ or entice some good Youth coachs from there to here for starters ?

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Decentric - 25 Apr 2017 11:24 PM
LFC. - 25 Apr 2017 6:00 PM

Our players are improving through the curriculum, which is similar to European powerhouses, but our Asian rivals are improving more quickly.

Constant matches against quality European option will soon show up our weaknesses.

A distant football mate of mine who is a top FFA staff coach took a  SAP team to Korea for a tournament. He was absolutely  blown out with how good Sporting Lisbon youth teams were at that tournament. They just blew everybody else away in Asia for technical quality.

 If we play Sporting Lisbon on a regular basis, plus Benfica, Porto, Seville, et al, we'll soon learn where we have to improve. Plus we can visit these powerhouse clubs' academies to learn better coaching practices. 

Another distant mate of mine is a product of Sporting Lisbon youth academy.  We had no idea until he once juggled a ball and made it talk!  He is the most skilful player I've seen in the flesh up close. He said he played youth football in Portugal, but failed to mention who he played for and how good he is!

The Asians work harder therefore the improvement signs are not surprising.
Even back in the Golden Gen heyday no game was ever easy - be it Japan/Korea especially, fit fit fit for starters, always looked half a yard quicker now their skill level has improved.
Next as you mention the Portugese/Spanish and I'd like to throw in nowadays Chileans.
All another cut above.
I also was in Portugal/Lisbon/Faro/Madeira/Seville/Madrid through January.
We watched Youth training across the road from a relos place in Madeira - I'd say U13's they were ripping it.
I really like the idea of having a Socceroos or Academy base in Portugal - yes it is relatively cheap living there but why not already employ or entice some good Youth coachs from there to here for starters ?

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LFC. - 26 Apr 2017 12:00 PM
Decentric - 25 Apr 2017 11:24 PM

The Asians work harder therefore the improvement signs are not surprising.
Even back in the Golden Gen heyday no game was ever easy - be it Japan/Korea especially, fit fit fit for starters, always looked half a yard quicker now their skill level has improved.
Next as you mention the Portugese/Spanish and I'd like to throw in nowadays Chileans.
All another cut above.
I also was in Portugal/Lisbon/Faro/Madeira/Seville/Madrid through January.
We watched Youth training across the road from a relos place in Madeira - I'd say U13's they were ripping it.
I really like the idea of having a Socceroos or Academy base in Portugal - yes it is relatively cheap living there but why not already employ or entice some good Youth coachs from there to here for starters ?

Chile are currently good.

What the FFA NC is based on is football powerhouses that have supposedly had sustained success using three criteria. These include Germany, Spain, Holland, France, Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay and Italy. Apart from Italy the other seven supposedly play in a similar way. I think Portugal also sneak into the criteria of powerhouse.

Croatia, Belgium and Chile may also be included if they sustain their current success.
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3 criteria's ?
Skill Mentality Physicality ? or am I way off ? 

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Decentric - 25 Apr 2017 11:24 PM
LFC. - 25 Apr 2017 6:00 PM

Our players are improving through the curriculum, which is similar to European powerhouses, but our Asian rivals are improving more quickly.

Constant matches against quality European option will soon show up our weaknesses.

A distant football mate of mine who is a top FFA staff coach took a  SAP team to Korea for a tournament. He was absolutely  blown out with how good Sporting Lisbon youth teams were at that tournament. They just blew everybody else away in Asia for technical quality.

 If we play Sporting Lisbon on a regular basis, plus Benfica, Porto, Seville, et al, we'll soon learn where we have to improve. Plus we can visit these powerhouse clubs' academies to learn better coaching practices. 

Another distant mate of mine is a product of Sporting Lisbon youth academy.  We had no idea until he once juggled a ball and made it talk!  He is the most skilful player I've seen in the flesh up close. He said he played youth football in Portugal, but failed to mention who he played for and how good he is!

Im a bit late to the convo but would it be better off with the FFA sending its national youth teams over there instead? Apparently Eric Abrams wanted to created some extra youth teams such u18 and u15 along with the current teams and get these teams playing against high quality opposition all around the world year round, but it seems like the FFA have put it in the back burner though...

I know that the USA have been doing that in the last few years, and at the start they didn't get great results but over time they learned their lessons with its Development Academy initative and eventually they recently have started to get some fantastic results beating some big nations such as Brazil, France etc.
So would it better off doing this instead as playing other national teams would be a fair indicator rather having a COE with the same players for a certain period? At least it gives many opportunities to play against top class opposition.

Eg. Here is my idea
5-8 games in Asia( mostly AFC qualies, AFF Cup and other friendly games against Japan)
THIS ALREADY HAPPENS
5-10 games in Europe against nations and club sides
3-5  games against South American opponents, different style of football maybe do a tour for a week also great experience in the heartbeat of football!

Throw in a few training sessions and game In total around 10 to 20 games per year, a lot of this depends on FFA budget constraints but they would be better off spending that 1.6 Million on that than a COE in Europe where there you can only have a few players, here many players get exposed to top class opposition.

The problem is not our talent, its our teams where they never get exposed to different teams and styles, thoughts? Decentric? LFC? 
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Barca4Life - 1 May 2017 4:14 PM
Decentric - 25 Apr 2017 11:24 PM

Im a bit late to the convo but would it be better off with the FFA sending its national youth teams over there instead? Apparently Eric Abrams wanted to created some extra youth teams such u18 and u15 along with the current teams and get these teams playing against high quality opposition all around the world year round, but it seems like the FFA have put it in the back burner though...

I'm glad  FFA has been keen on this.

By having a squad based there, they could play regular, weekly games against the likes of Benfica, Sporting Lisbon, Porto, etc, in Portugal.  Travel into Spain and they could have games against Seville and Cadiz too, which are just over the border.

I'm assuming they could  have an under 13, under 15, under 17 etc, based in Southern Portugal. The squads could be rotated with some players,  homesick, going back to HAL club academies and being replaced by others training at them every three months or so. Some may stay there in Portugal for most of the year. 
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Barca4Life - 1 May 2017 4:14 PM
Decentric - 25 Apr 2017 11:24 PM


Eg. Here is my idea
5-8 games in Asia( mostly AFC qualies, AFF Cup and other friendly games against Japan)
THIS ALREADY HAPPENS
5-10 games in Europe against nations and club sides
3-5  games against South American opponents, different style of football maybe do a tour for a week also great experience in the heartbeat of football!


I'm not so worried about South American games.

I'd like to see the teams involved in some sort of 35-40 game home and away roster in Portugal over the year. I know from junior and youth rep coaching, nothing motivates players as much as having imminent and continuous matches.

If teams train a lot, without playing significant games, which must be the case with isolated COE players in Canberra, training can have less intrinsic value without constant  meaningful competitive games.
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Barca4Life - 1 May 2017 4:14 PM
Decentric - 25 Apr 2017 11:24 PM

Im a bit late to the convo but would it be better off with the FFA sending its national youth teams over there instead? Apparently Eric Abrams wanted to created some extra youth teams such u18 and u15 along with the current teams and get these teams playing against high quality opposition all around the world year round, but it seems like the FFA have put it in the back burner though...

I know that the USA have been doing that in the last few years, and at the start they didn't get great results but over time they learned their lessons with its Development Academy initative and eventually they recently have started to get some fantastic results beating some big nations such as Brazil, France etc.
So would it better off doing this instead as playing other national teams would be a fair indicator rather having a COE with the same players for a certain period? At least it gives many opportunities to play against top class opposition.

Eg. Here is my idea
5-8 games in Asia( mostly AFC qualies, AFF Cup and other friendly games against Japan)
THIS ALREADY HAPPENS
5-10 games in Europe against nations and club sides
3-5  games against South American opponents, different style of football maybe do a tour for a week also great experience in the heartbeat of football!

Throw in a few training sessions and game In total around 10 to 20 games per year, a lot of this depends on FFA budget constraints but they would be better off spending that 1.6 Million on that than a COE in Europe where there you can only have a few players, here many players get exposed to top class opposition.

The problem is not our talent, its our teams where they never get exposed to different teams and styles, thoughts? Decentric? LFC? 

Glad you came in Barca.
I'm pretty much on Decentric's page.
Our top youth players need "games" against fellow opponents be it top youth club teams or nationals if possible, as you say they need this exposure/challenge and obviously great for the coaching staff to asses.....
The Portugal base as mentioned covers a good variety of challenges incl Spain being next door.
If no "base" set up 2week tours at the very least.
The Asian side of it is currently in schedule as you mention.
The COE has been too insular........

Our top Youth players based in the COE are as "ghosts" - you never see them until a tournament is on.
Talking having competitive games on the local front.
For eg PL pre season trial games, have games ever been staged against our top youth squads vsing Sydney United, Olympics, Souths youth sqauds etcetc ?....
Had this been done in the past or not to be considered ?
 

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Hilarious.

Not much thought put into the above comments and also showcases the lack of knowledge of Strayan Sockah development history.

Then again, I'm hardly surprised, lol.
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So, the floor is open for your input.

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LFC. - 2 May 2017 9:48 AM
Barca4Life - 1 May 2017 4:14 PM

The COE has been too insular........

Our top Youth players based in the COE are as "ghosts" - you never see them until a tournament is on.



There should be constant feedback to Oz from coaches supervising a Portuguese based COE when evaluating performances against local teams.

Agree with you that the National COE is too isolated, LFC.
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LFC. - 2 May 2017 9:48 AM
Barca4Life - 1 May 2017 4:14 PM

Talking having competitive games on the local front.
For eg PL pre season trial games, have games ever been staged against our top youth squads vsing Sydney United, Olympics, Souths youth sqauds etcetc ?....
Had this been done in the past or not to be considered ?
 


Two posters on 442 have kids in HAL youth programs. One said his son played 40 competitive games a season playing for Melb City. I'm not sure who they were against?

Melb City Youth lost to a Tasmanian senior team, but played them off the park with eye catching, slick football a few months ago. Tasmania could hardly get the ball.

I'd like to think in an expanded HAL, that these  MC youth players on the pitch were capable of senior HAL football, as they had decent technical qualities. Whether their  physical capacity is sufficient for HAL senior football, I'm not sure?




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