Articles Links Research & Papers on player development


Articles Links Research & Papers on player development

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Decentric
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Judy Free wrote:
[
As for the USA scholarship system; I've known many many kids (men, not girls) in Sydney who went down this route. They all had one thing in common. That is, a shortfall of genuine talent to make it at state league level. Their enthusiasm to go the USA path was fueled mostly by their parents, to keep the 'dream' alive. None of them returned as better players, and to the best of my knowledge, none ever did make into the top tier of state league football. In summary, a bit of two bob path that may appeal to dreamers.


i]


Congratulations on posting something useful, Chips.

My close relative had made it at state league level, having won a state championship at senior club level, before going to the US.

The relative has been doing five days a week pretty heavy weight training - which seems ridiculous to me. There has been great emphasis on extreme physical fitness. The style is extremely physical in a body on body contact sense.

It seems like an embryonic version of the English Championship - a direct style, with a lot of physical clashes and the winning of second balls due to frequent turnovers.
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Judy Free wrote:
[
And, there would be some doubt about the validity of the education received and the value and recognition of any 'degree'.

i]



Reports from the relative in the US is that the initial English course is similar in standard to grade 9 in Tasmania!!!!

A mate, a professor, scrutinised the college. About 90% of the US uni subjects supposedly extrapolate to here.
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Developing Thinking Players By Rene Maulensteen




What should be the coaches aims for the session?

· Create drills/games which revolve around technical challenges

· Cover all learning methods during the session

· The final aim of the session should be shaped and achieved by the technical challenges

· Structure the drills as much as possible but remove the structured coaching

· Avoid complexity

· Each challenges should be built on as template for the full game scenario

· Perform the same skill on both feet

· The aim is mastery of technique in a problem solving setting- the more techniques a player is able to do and the more intelligently they can be applied the more effective they will be during performance

· Give the players time with the ball whenever possible



Deliberate practice within the context of the game 1

· Deliberate practice should not be focused on just one movement but should make use of variable practice to maximise results

· Drills/games should flow easily to keep high interest

· Use game realistic circuits which involve all of the following 1-Moving off the ball revolving around switching positions 2-Movement of the ball with patterns based on non switching positions 3- Continuous movement 4-Contact on the ball using a variety of parts of the foot/other body parts. Preferably ending with a shot at goal each should have a few basic progressions.



Deliberate practice within the context of the game 2
Build on the pattern play above to create problems within the specific context of the game during a small sided games using 2v2 and then 4v4 games.

2v2

· Start from 2v2 coach the first player to the ball and the supporting player combined with the player on the ball and support player

· Use variations of end zones, goals and neutral players or wing/target players

4v4

· These should be built on the technique challenges of the previous 2v2

· Use 4 main formats:

· 4v4+GK 25x25 yard grid

· 4v4 two goals game 30x25 yard grid

· 4v4 four goals game 25x25 yard grid

· 4v4 end line/zone games 25x20 yard grid



Main coaching points during this part of the session:

1. Ball Control

2. 1v1 skills

3. Creative play

4. Passing and movement at high speed



What advantages will this give?

The main advantage is to give the players the dual benefit of deliberate practice and guided discovery. By repeating variations of techniques within problem solving settings players begin to think more effectively during performance. Using the above two formats the players can do this in the context of the principles of play while still getting high touches.






Internalising the coaching points

It is not enough for coaching points to be practiced they need to be internalised mentally.

Use the Speak, Show and Do method.
Tell the player as simply as possible what you will do, show via drawing a diagram then perform the finished move, skill, pattern etc. Covering all learning styles and using three layers of reinforcement of the coaching points to focus player mentally. Deliberate practice without understanding and motivation can cause deteriation of skill level both on a physical and mental level.

The main coaching areas for development

· Good positioning both attack and defending

· 1v1

· Fighting for second balls

· Movement off the ball both attacking/ defending

· The use of techniques to solve tactical problems

· Understanding of tactics

· Passing and possession

· High speed of play

· organisation of set plays

When creating problems for players to solve players should be asked how they would use techniques combined with right tactics to help them solve situations where the teams against them are capable of aspects of any of the above of their sub groups.

Six variables contributing to winning games

1. Winning 1v1 situations

2. High work rate

3. Team cohesion

4. Playing to set system of play or game plan

5. Winning mentality

6. Goals and saves



Six factors of effective performance

1. Athletic skills

2. High range of techniques mastered

3. Game intelligence

4. High speed of play under pressure



After considering the development of players for the game in order to get peak results the aim should be to take a players natural potential in as many of the above 10 areas as possible and enhance it as much as possible .....then keep them there for aslong as possible.



Development should be judged by how much a player contributes with individual factors to the above team factors.



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Where is the Rene Maulensteen article from, Dirk?

Who is he?

Edited by Decentric: 1/5/2011 11:25:07 PM
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Decentric wrote:
Where is the Rene Maulensteen article from, Dirk?

Who is he?

Edited by Decentric: 1/5/2011 11:25:07 PM


he is at man utd and it gives an idea of what they expect of their youth ages 9-21 coaches.
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dirkvanadidas wrote:
Decentric wrote:
Where is the Rene Maulensteen article from, Dirk?

Who is he?

Edited by Decentric: 1/5/2011 11:25:07 PM


he is at man utd and it gives an idea of what they expect of their youth ages 9-21 coaches.



Great stuff, Dirk.

It is an interesting, thought provoking article.

There are a number of similarities with the the KNVB training I've done.

Alex Ferguson, Man U head coach, is quoted as saying one versus one duels are often decisive in determining the outcome of matches. This was presented at a FIFA conference in Sydney.

It encouraged me to test his (and Gerard Houllier's) proposition in practice. For a few years I have recorded stats in games.

What I have found is that a team may win the majority of one on one duels, but can still lose the game if they are technically inferior to the opposition.

Edited by Decentric: 2/5/2011 12:36:12 PM
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I for one, and hopefully the entire 442 online community, would like to thank Arthur in particular, and others, for the excellent articles he has posted in this section.

Unfortunately, I haven't seen him post for a while.

Has anyone else?
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http://www.the-afc.com/en/coach-education/coaches-reference-material/4-coaching

seen this?
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Decentric wrote:
I for one, and hopefully the entire 442 online community, would like to thank Arthur in particular, and others, for the excellent articles he has posted in this section.

Unfortunately, I haven't seen him post for a while.

Has anyone else?

He has been online today mate, Arthur is a busy boy! But I whole heartedly second the thanks to Arthur for sharing with us.

The thing about football - the important thing about football - is its not just about football.
- Sir Terry Pratchett in Unseen Academicals
For pro/rel in Australia across the entire pyramid, the removal of artificial impediments to the development of the game and its players.
On sabbatical Youth Coach and formerly part of The Cove FC

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for all you clog lovers and haters

How Dutch seeds can help England's grassroots youth football to grow
Rich in facilities and not obsessed with winning, William Gaillard was right to say Holland can show England the way
In Holland the key ethos is that all age groups should play in a 4-3-3 formation with the emphasis on freedom of expression and fun coaching sessions. Photograph: Rob De Jong
From the Netherlands has sprung Johan Cruyff, Marco van Basten, Ruud Gullit, Dennis Bergkamp and Total Football. Since 2002 it has also been the home of an integrated professional and amateur network of 2,700 clubs that this week Uefa stated should be the model that English football adopts if it is ever to replicate the kind of success enjoyed by Dutch players and teams.
Whereas Cruyff and his compatriots have helped Holland to three World Cup finals and victory at Euro 88, England have contested only one World Cup and two European Championship semi-finals since Bobby Moore lifted the Jules Rimet trophy 45 years ago. This week William Gaillard, the adviser to Uefa's president, Michel Platini, identified English football's factional nature and lack of significant funding as the fault lines that blight the sport here.
Gaillard told a parliamentary select committee that the Football Association should look to the Netherlands if England is ever going to address the malaise in player development. He said: "There is no doubt that turf wars have damaged English football, and the FA is probably in a weaker spot than any other in Europe. Holland is an excellent grassroots model."
A tour around amateur clubs in the Amsterdam area showed the stark difference in facilities between the Netherlands and England. Clubs such as ASV Arsenal, Sporting Martinus, SC Buitenveldert, Swift, AFC, SV Bijlmer and Legmeervogels boast facilities that always include floodlit grass and artificial turf pitches, dedicated medical centres, warm changing rooms, hot showers, spacious clubhouses and adequate car parking and bicycle ports – all of which placed the clubs at the centre of their local communities.
Their structure is also more professional than amateur. Dennis van Soest, who runs the commercial affairs of Legmeervogels, says: "Legmeer has 1,250 members. The owners are the members. Control and management is executed by the board of directors, which consists of 10 persons, of which five are part of the daily board. We have a chairman who is responsible for the youth department.
"Daily maintenance is done by our facilities' managers. We have around 200 active volunteers and 120 companies that sponsor our association. Membership costs on average €180 [£160] per year."
Broadly, the Dutch model that allows all this has been in place for nine years. Louis van Gaal, then the national coach, integrated the sport across six regions on behalf of the Dutch FA, the KNVB. This pyramid consists of the 2,700 clubs – of which 36 are professional – that are governed by a single body, the KNVB, with the amateur game benefiting from €1bn a year of investment.
The KNVB has around 1.2 million members (7% of the Dutch population), with local authorities contributing 90% of the €1bn investment and the government the remainder. English football's ongoing dispute between the FA, the Premier League and the Football League has resulted in inferior funding for the amateur game, in comparison to the Netherlands.
In 2000 the Football Foundation stated that the FA would contribute £20m per annum to grassroots football in England. Yet by last year the FA's contribution was only £12m. The Premier League contributes £43.4m, less than 5% of its latest £3.1bn TV rights deal.
In the Netherlands the key ethos is that all age-group teams should play 4-3-3 and that coaching sessions should be fun, with individuality allowed whether players are future stars of Ajax, PSV Eindhoven and FC Twente or destined to remain in the grassroots game. Competitive youth football is also played between professional and amateur clubs, which means standards between the sport's two strands are closer.
In England winning, not enjoyment, has traditionally been the end game. And it would be unheard of for a youth side from Manchester United, Chelsea or Liverpool to play against, say, an equivalent team from the Civil Service or Enfield Old Grammarians.
Bryan Roy, the former Nottingham Forest and Holland forward, is a coach at the Jong Ajax academy, which is a renowned conveyer belt of fresh talent. He confirms the closer dynamic between the amateur and professional game. "Until the age of 14 our teams from professional clubs still play against teams from amateur clubs," he says. "Holland's overall football philosophy is to always focus on ball possession to create opportunities. This is also true at amateur clubs. In the youth they always think in an attacking way."
In 2008 one enlightened English father, Steve Lawrence, decided to harness the Dutch vision by moving his family to Amsterdam so that his then 16-year-old son, Jamie, could improve his development there, after he had formerly been with Arsenal and Queens Park Rangers. Jamie began at HFC Haarlem, then a professional club, and is now at Ajax. His father was the architect of the original feasibility study and master plan for the London 2012 Olympic Games.
He submitted written evidence to the same parliamentary select committee that Gaillard addressed. "I've visited about 60 or 70 amateur football clubs [in the Netherlands]. On average they have around €3-4m of facilities [in] land and buildings. That's about €10bn in total. Effectively, they're all better than the standard academies in England so Holland has 2,700 academies. It's no surprise that Holland is No2 in the Fifa world rankings."
While the two nations have an almost identical population density, they are on very different points on the development scale. Roy states that Holland is intent on becoming more successful on the field. "We tend to focus more on tactics instead of technical improvements – that's the next step," he says.
English football's dream is to have only this concern.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/football/2011/apr/28/fa-england-holland-grassroots-football

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Great stuff again, Dirk.
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krones3 wrote:
http://www.the-afc.com/en/coach-education/coaches-reference-material/4-coaching

seen this?



Looked at the principles of coaching and teaching. There wasn't piles of info, but basically gave a brief outline.
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Interesting that Man U have Rene Maulensteen and UEFA have William Gaillard working on English football development.

Both are from the Netherlands.
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Decentric wrote:
krones3 wrote:
http://www.the-afc.com/en/coach-education/coaches-reference-material/4-coaching

seen this?



Looked at the principles of coaching and teaching. There wasn't piles of info, but basically gave a brief outline.

Look closer

http://www.the-afc.com/uploads/Documents/common/cms/afc/skill_smart.pdf

http://www.the-afc.com/en/component/content/article/33927-proven-gay-tests-for-mas


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Quote:
I'd do it again, says Roos, after intervention in junior football incidentAndrew Wu and Tom Reilly
May 24, 2011 - 12:00AM

Advertisement IN HIS eight years coaching the Sydney Swans, Paul Roos was famous for his calm demeanour: not even Barry Hall's antics got him vexed.

But an incident during a junior football match in Sydney on Sunday could prove the most controversial of his career.

Roos is under investigation after running onto the field in a game between the Easts Bulldogs under 16s, which he coaches, and the Newtown Swans.

Roos says he acted to protect a player who had been hit behind play, requiring hospital treatment and would ''do it again if I have to''. It came a week after Roos's own son spent a night in hospital and required head, neck and back scans after an incident on the football field.

Newtown's president, however, has accused the former All-Australian of breaking rules and ''abusing children''.

Roos used the spat to call on parents and coaches to play a greater role in stamping out violence in junior football.

''Our boy was 40 metres away from the ball and next thing you know he was in a screaming heap,'' he said. ''Myself and the boy's father ran out. He was really struggling to breathe and in a lot of pain.''

Newtown says it was not clear whether the injury came as a result of accidental or deliberate contact and is investigating.

President Steve Black said: ''From our point of view, Paul Roos running onto the field is not the way to handle it. He was abusing our players, abusing children - and that's not the way things work in junior footy.

''If every coach ran on to the field after such an incident they'd read the riot act, there'd be pandemonium.''

The rules state only nominated medical officials can run on to give treatment to players. ''I must admit I didn't even know the protocol. I've since spoken to the president and [he] said that the coaches aren't allowed to go onto the field and that it's only the runner or the trainer,'' Roos said. ''My responsibility is to a 15-year-old boy who can't move. Someone has to get out there. I'd do it again if I have to.''

The victim in the incident - Darcy Cordell, 15, the son of Sydney Swans media manager Jenny McAsey - said people should ''play hard but fair''. He said he might need a few weeks to recover from bruising to his ribs.

But Black was quick to point out his team won a fair play award last year and his players ''do not engage in foul play''.

As for the 15 year-old boy at the centre of the incident, Black said he had no ''history of any onfield misdemeanour'' in his years with the club, adding: ''There's a perception in Australia that you are innocent till proven guilty - we should at least give this kid that right.''

The issue of violence at junior football - specifically among players aged from 11 to 15 - was brought into sharp focus two years ago when former Melbourne skipper Garry Lyon penned a column for The Age headed: ''A win over violence is the victory junior footy urgently needs.''

Lyon said yesterday that he had never received as much feedback from a column.

Now an assistant coach with the Kew Rovers, Lyon said there had been improvement in the past year but urged vigilance.

''I have got to say, in the last 12 months, I haven't had any problems at all from games that I have been involved in,'' he said.

While praising 85 per cent of parents and officials, Lyon said it was unfortunate there were those still preoccupied with winning.

He said the threat of on-field violence at a junior level was the sport's ''biggest challenge''. ''You can talk about challenges coming to AFL footy from Greater Western Sydney and Brisbane and all that as the game expands, that's great, but the heartland … is your kids.''

With JON PIERIK

This story was found at: http://www.theage.com.au/afl/afl-news/id-do-it-again-says-roos-after-intervention-in-junior-football-incident-20110523-1f0ub.html


While not a player performance issue, two important themes come through on field violence and off field violence in junior sports.

I have seen some crazy things the last few years, thankfully nothing to serious more like handbags at 10 paces, but some times you can see some kids on the field going out there to hurt their opponent.

What I do like is the last line "..............but the heartland.. is your kids." For our code how true that is, and yet we still have'nt connected with them enough to make them passionate followers of the local game, at all levels.
Food for thought.
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One good thing from articles posted here, is that it acts as a reminder about some coaching practices.

From a Xabi article, I realised I haven't been incorporating 'rondos' lately. I will use them in the next training session.

Another one is Rene Maulensteen's article. I intend to incorporate some 1v1 SSGs.

I don't know about other FFA currently accredited coaches like Arthur, Andy and Krones, but I'm not happy that to access S2S
(1600 training ground exercises), one has to submit their FFA identification.

If FFA is trying to build the game, surely they would have this information available to all coaches/stakeholders, not just coaches who are currently FFA accredited. It seems like FFA has issued an edict for state branch coaching staffs to coerce every coach to retrain every year to fill FFA coffers.

FFA Advanced coaching licences start from $1600 upwards, with coaches needing to take two to three weeks off work to do them. There is also a push that everything is obsolete very quickly. To me it is an exercise in revenue raising.

The punters/clubs out there want service delivery and value for money too. There are those who are travelling to Singapore to do their licences.
I'm not a cynic, like the forces of darkness, but revenue raising seems to be an important priority for FFA ATM.

Edited by Decentric: 25/5/2011 03:33:50 PM
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Arthur wrote:
Quote:
I'd do it again, says Roos, after intervention in junior football incidentAndrew Wu and Tom Reilly
May 24, 2011 - 12:00AM

Advertisement IN HIS eight years coaching the Sydney Swans, Paul Roos was famous for his calm demeanour: not even Barry Hall's antics got him vexed.

But an incident during a junior football match in Sydney on Sunday could prove the most controversial of his career.

Roos is under investigation after running onto the field in a game between the Easts Bulldogs under 16s, which he coaches, and the Newtown Swans.

Roos says he acted to protect a player who had been hit behind play, requiring hospital treatment and would ''do it again if I have to''. It came a week after Roos's own son spent a night in hospital and required head, neck and back scans after an incident on the football field.

Newtown's president, however, has accused the former All-Australian of breaking rules and ''abusing children''.

Roos used the spat to call on parents and coaches to play a greater role in stamping out violence in junior football.

''Our boy was 40 metres away from the ball and next thing you know he was in a screaming heap,'' he said. ''Myself and the boy's father ran out. He was really struggling to breathe and in a lot of pain.''

Newtown says it was not clear whether the injury came as a result of accidental or deliberate contact and is investigating.

President Steve Black said: ''From our point of view, Paul Roos running onto the field is not the way to handle it. He was abusing our players, abusing children - and that's not the way things work in junior footy.

''If every coach ran on to the field after such an incident they'd read the riot act, there'd be pandemonium.''

The rules state only nominated medical officials can run on to give treatment to players. ''I must admit I didn't even know the protocol. I've since spoken to the president and [he] said that the coaches aren't allowed to go onto the field and that it's only the runner or the trainer,'' Roos said. ''My responsibility is to a 15-year-old boy who can't move. Someone has to get out there. I'd do it again if I have to.''

The victim in the incident - Darcy Cordell, 15, the son of Sydney Swans media manager Jenny McAsey - said people should ''play hard but fair''. He said he might need a few weeks to recover from bruising to his ribs.

But Black was quick to point out his team won a fair play award last year and his players ''do not engage in foul play''.

As for the 15 year-old boy at the centre of the incident, Black said he had no ''history of any onfield misdemeanour'' in his years with the club, adding: ''There's a perception in Australia that you are innocent till proven guilty - we should at least give this kid that right.''

The issue of violence at junior football - specifically among players aged from 11 to 15 - was brought into sharp focus two years ago when former Melbourne skipper Garry Lyon penned a column for The Age headed: ''A win over violence is the victory junior footy urgently needs.''

Lyon said yesterday that he had never received as much feedback from a column.

Now an assistant coach with the Kew Rovers, Lyon said there had been improvement in the past year but urged vigilance.

''I have got to say, in the last 12 months, I haven't had any problems at all from games that I have been involved in,'' he said.

While praising 85 per cent of parents and officials, Lyon said it was unfortunate there were those still preoccupied with winning.

He said the threat of on-field violence at a junior level was the sport's ''biggest challenge''. ''You can talk about challenges coming to AFL footy from Greater Western Sydney and Brisbane and all that as the game expands, that's great, but the heartland … is your kids.''

With JON PIERIK

This story was found at: http://www.theage.com.au/afl/afl-news/id-do-it-again-says-roos-after-intervention-in-junior-football-incident-20110523-1f0ub.html


While not a player performance issue, two important themes come through on field violence and off field violence in junior sports.

I have seen some crazy things the last few years, thankfully nothing to serious more like handbags at 10 paces, but some times you can see some kids on the field going out there to hurt their opponent.

What I do like is the last line "..............but the heartland.. is your kids." For our code how true that is, and yet we still have'nt connected with them enough to make them passionate followers of the local game, at all levels.
Food for thought.


Fair points raised.

I was pleased to watch two games with impeccably behaved parents and good sportspersonship from players on the pitch last Saturday at under 12 level.
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Why are most EPL Clubs going to visit Southampton? it looks like there football and education program is working And is the model that the FA is going to use.So much that there education person has been assigned to help clubs set up a model to suit there club.
Boys train 4 full days doing a set structured approach to football covering all aspects.
Including two hours a day of schooling with three full time teachers Maths, English, General?..Contact time goes up and this club has produced .

The Wallace Brothers ,Mike Channon, Alan Shearer,Matt lattiser,Gareth Bale, Theo Walcott , Wayne Bridge .

There is also a young oz kid that TMG have placed on there books that could be heading there if the fee is agreed?????.I fall to understand how a young lad from our shores has been signed by one of the biggest clubs and no one has said boo.
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I've run that ^^^^ through babel fish but am still non the wiser.

TMG?
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Judy Free wrote:
I've run that ^^^^ through babel fish but am still non the wiser.

TMG?
go to Tyrone James football site the former Fulham player and you will see young George Mells, this is the same kid that used to do coerver.
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dirkvanadidas wrote:
for all you clog lovers and hater
Great article

How Dutch seeds can help England's grassroots youth football to grow
Rich in facilities and not obsessed with winning, William Gaillard was right to say Holland can show England the way
In Holland the key ethos is that all age groups should play in a 4-3-3 formation with the emphasis on freedom of expression and fun coaching sessions. Photograph: Rob De Jong
From the Netherlands has sprung Johan Cruyff, Marco van Basten, Ruud Gullit, Dennis Bergkamp and Total Football. Since 2002 it has also been the home of an integrated professional and amateur network of 2,700 clubs that this week Uefa stated should be the model that English football adopts if it is ever to replicate the kind of success enjoyed by Dutch players and teams.
Whereas Cruyff and his compatriots have helped Holland to three World Cup finals and victory at Euro 88, England have contested only one World Cup and two European Championship semi-finals since Bobby Moore lifted the Jules Rimet trophy 45 years ago. This week William Gaillard, the adviser to Uefa's president, Michel Platini, identified English football's factional nature and lack of significant funding as the fault lines that blight the sport here.
Gaillard told a parliamentary select committee that the Football Association should look to the Netherlands if England is ever going to address the malaise in player development. He said: "There is no doubt that turf wars have damaged English football, and the FA is probably in a weaker spot than any other in Europe. Holland is an excellent grassroots model."
A tour around amateur clubs in the Amsterdam area showed the stark difference in facilities between the Netherlands and England. Clubs such as ASV Arsenal, Sporting Martinus, SC Buitenveldert, Swift, AFC, SV Bijlmer and Legmeervogels boast facilities that always include floodlit grass and artificial turf pitches, dedicated medical centres, warm changing rooms, hot showers, spacious clubhouses and adequate car parking and bicycle ports – all of which placed the clubs at the centre of their local communities.
Their structure is also more professional than amateur. Dennis van Soest, who runs the commercial affairs of Legmeervogels, says: "Legmeer has 1,250 members. The owners are the members. Control and management is executed by the board of directors, which consists of 10 persons, of which five are part of the daily board. We have a chairman who is responsible for the youth department.
"Daily maintenance is done by our facilities' managers. We have around 200 active volunteers and 120 companies that sponsor our association. Membership costs on average €180 [£160] per year."
Broadly, the Dutch model that allows all this has been in place for nine years. Louis van Gaal, then the national coach, integrated the sport across six regions on behalf of the Dutch FA, the KNVB. This pyramid consists of the 2,700 clubs – of which 36 are professional – that are governed by a single body, the KNVB, with the amateur game benefiting from €1bn a year of investment.
The KNVB has around 1.2 million members (7% of the Dutch population), with local authorities contributing 90% of the €1bn investment and the government the remainder. English football's ongoing dispute between the FA, the Premier League and the Football League has resulted in inferior funding for the amateur game, in comparison to the Netherlands.
In 2000 the Football Foundation stated that the FA would contribute £20m per annum to grassroots football in England. Yet by last year the FA's contribution was only £12m. The Premier League contributes £43.4m, less than 5% of its latest £3.1bn TV rights deal.
In the Netherlands the key ethos is that all age-group teams should play 4-3-3 and that coaching sessions should be fun, with individuality allowed whether players are future stars of Ajax, PSV Eindhoven and FC Twente or destined to remain in the grassroots game. Competitive youth football is also played between professional and amateur clubs, which means standards between the sport's two strands are closer.
In England winning, not enjoyment, has traditionally been the end game. And it would be unheard of for a youth side from Manchester United, Chelsea or Liverpool to play against, say, an equivalent team from the Civil Service or Enfield Old Grammarians.
Bryan Roy, the former Nottingham Forest and Holland forward, is a coach at the Jong Ajax academy, which is a renowned conveyer belt of fresh talent. He confirms the closer dynamic between the amateur and professional game. "Until the age of 14 our teams from professional clubs still play against teams from amateur clubs," he says. "Holland's overall football philosophy is to always focus on ball possession to create opportunities. This is also true at amateur clubs. In the youth they always think in an attacking way."
In 2008 one enlightened English father, Steve Lawrence, decided to harness the Dutch vision by moving his family to Amsterdam so that his then 16-year-old son, Jamie, could improve his development there, after he had formerly been with Arsenal and Queens Park Rangers. Jamie began at HFC Haarlem, then a professional club, and is now at Ajax. His father was the architect of the original feasibility study and master plan for the London 2012 Olympic Games.
He submitted written evidence to the same parliamentary select committee that Gaillard addressed. "I've visited about 60 or 70 amateur football clubs [in the Netherlands]. On average they have around €3-4m of facilities [in] land and buildings. That's about €10bn in total. Effectively, they're all better than the standard academies in England so Holland has 2,700 academies. It's no surprise that Holland is No2 in the Fifa world rankings."
While the two nations have an almost identical population density, they are on very different points on the development scale. Roy states that Holland is intent on becoming more successful on the field. "We tend to focus more on tactics instead of technical improvements – that's the next step," he says.
English football's dream is to have only this concern.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/football/2011/apr/28/fa-england-holland-grassroots-football

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Touchtight wrote:
dirkvanadidas wrote:
for all you clog lovers and hater
Great article possibly now that all academies are to be graded like holland things might just improve.

How Dutch seeds can help England's grassroots youth football to grow
Rich in facilities and not obsessed with winning, William Gaillard was right to say Holland can show England the way
In Holland the key ethos is that all age groups should play in a 4-3-3 formation with the emphasis on freedom of expression and fun coaching sessions. Photograph: Rob De Jong
From the Netherlands has sprung Johan Cruyff, Marco van Basten, Ruud Gullit, Dennis Bergkamp and Total Football. Since 2002 it has also been the home of an integrated professional and amateur network of 2,700 clubs that this week Uefa stated should be the model that English football adopts if it is ever to replicate the kind of success enjoyed by Dutch players and teams.
Whereas Cruyff and his compatriots have helped Holland to three World Cup finals and victory at Euro 88, England have contested only one World Cup and two European Championship semi-finals since Bobby Moore lifted the Jules Rimet trophy 45 years ago. This week William Gaillard, the adviser to Uefa's president, Michel Platini, identified English football's factional nature and lack of significant funding as the fault lines that blight the sport here.
Gaillard told a parliamentary select committee that the Football Association should look to the Netherlands if England is ever going to address the malaise in player development. He said: "There is no doubt that turf wars have damaged English football, and the FA is probably in a weaker spot than any other in Europe. Holland is an excellent grassroots model."
A tour around amateur clubs in the Amsterdam area showed the stark difference in facilities between the Netherlands and England. Clubs such as ASV Arsenal, Sporting Martinus, SC Buitenveldert, Swift, AFC, SV Bijlmer and Legmeervogels boast facilities that always include floodlit grass and artificial turf pitches, dedicated medical centres, warm changing rooms, hot showers, spacious clubhouses and adequate car parking and bicycle ports – all of which placed the clubs at the centre of their local communities.
Their structure is also more professional than amateur. Dennis van Soest, who runs the commercial affairs of Legmeervogels, says: "Legmeer has 1,250 members. The owners are the members. Control and management is executed by the board of directors, which consists of 10 persons, of which five are part of the daily board. We have a chairman who is responsible for the youth department.
"Daily maintenance is done by our facilities' managers. We have around 200 active volunteers and 120 companies that sponsor our association. Membership costs on average €180 [£160] per year."
Broadly, the Dutch model that allows all this has been in place for nine years. Louis van Gaal, then the national coach, integrated the sport across six regions on behalf of the Dutch FA, the KNVB. This pyramid consists of the 2,700 clubs – of which 36 are professional – that are governed by a single body, the KNVB, with the amateur game benefiting from €1bn a year of investment.
The KNVB has around 1.2 million members (7% of the Dutch population), with local authorities contributing 90% of the €1bn investment and the government the remainder. English football's ongoing dispute between the FA, the Premier League and the Football League has resulted in inferior funding for the amateur game, in comparison to the Netherlands.
In 2000 the Football Foundation stated that the FA would contribute £20m per annum to grassroots football in England. Yet by last year the FA's contribution was only £12m. The Premier League contributes £43.4m, less than 5% of its latest £3.1bn TV rights deal.
In the Netherlands the key ethos is that all age-group teams should play 4-3-3 and that coaching sessions should be fun, with individuality allowed whether players are future stars of Ajax, PSV Eindhoven and FC Twente or destined to remain in the grassroots game. Competitive youth football is also played between professional and amateur clubs, which means standards between the sport's two strands are closer.
In England winning, not enjoyment, has traditionally been the end game. And it would be unheard of for a youth side from Manchester United, Chelsea or Liverpool to play against, say, an equivalent team from the Civil Service or Enfield Old Grammarians.
Bryan Roy, the former Nottingham Forest and Holland forward, is a coach at the Jong Ajax academy, which is a renowned conveyer belt of fresh talent. He confirms the closer dynamic between the amateur and professional game. "Until the age of 14 our teams from professional clubs still play against teams from amateur clubs," he says. "Holland's overall football philosophy is to always focus on ball possession to create opportunities. This is also true at amateur clubs. In the youth they always think in an attacking way."
In 2008 one enlightened English father, Steve Lawrence, decided to harness the Dutch vision by moving his family to Amsterdam so that his then 16-year-old son, Jamie, could improve his development there, after he had formerly been with Arsenal and Queens Park Rangers. Jamie began at HFC Haarlem, then a professional club, and is now at Ajax. His father was the architect of the original feasibility study and master plan for the London 2012 Olympic Games.
He submitted written evidence to the same parliamentary select committee that Gaillard addressed. "I've visited about 60 or 70 amateur football clubs [in the Netherlands]. On average they have around €3-4m of facilities [in] land and buildings. That's about €10bn in total. Effectively, they're all better than the standard academies in England so Holland has 2,700 academies. It's no surprise that Holland is No2 in the Fifa world rankings."
While the two nations have an almost identical population density, they are on very different points on the development scale. Roy states that Holland is intent on becoming more successful on the field. "We tend to focus more on tactics instead of technical improvements – that's the next step," he says.
English football's dream is to have only this concern.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/football/2011/apr/28/fa-england-holland-grassroots-football

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Though this is an article about Hockey development some key lessons here;

Quote:
Catch Them Young By Coach Shiv


In the wake of the two Junior World ups which were staged this year, FIH accredited coach, Shiv Jagday, says “Catch them Young and Coach them Young!”Background? Recently I was going through my library of old magazines when I came across the November/December 1996 issue of Psychology Today. Interestingly, in an article titled “Brains Science”, the author, neurologist Harold Klawans, M.D. discussed why basketball superstar Michael Jordan was not a big success when he switched to baseball in the mid 1990’s? According to Dr. Klawans, “There is often a limited window of time during which the brain can master a skill. Just as learning a second language is easiest when we are young”.

Bend the willow, when it’s young? Numerous studies have indicated that the optimum time to develop outstanding athletes – hockey players in our instance – is when they are young, especially in their pre-teen or early teen years.

It should be noted that each sport is different to some extent, as gymnasts, for example, need to be developed even at an earlier age. However the earlier you catch them, the greater the opportunity a coach has to mould their athletes.

How do we do so?? Knowing is one thing and doing is another. Too often, there is a disconnection between knowing and doing.

From my experience, the countries which are serious about junior development and are keenly aware of this concept, are the ones who continue to produce superstars from their junior development programmes.

[[size=7]b]A key element in driving the junior programmes into success programmes – which produce great future hockey players, is to have the best, most experienced coaches in the system working with the beginners.[/b][/size]

In spite of being aware of this powerful reality, we do quite the contrary and appoint under-qualified coaches to do the important role of nurturing and developing our juniors.

The Master agrees? Horst Wein, FIH master coach agrees and was quoted in World Hockey magazine June 1998 as saying: “How long can we allow the ignorance of some coaches and administrators to continue to obstruct the proper development of the next generation of hockey players”?

The four stages of development? Dr. Istvan Balyi, Ph.D., has divided the development of an athlete into four phases. These four stages are: fundamental, training to train, training to compete, and training to win. According to Dr. Balyi it takes eight to 12 years to develop an international-calibre athlete.

Fundamental Phase?A well-structured – Fun Phase. The chronological age is 6–10 years. The emphasis is on the overall development of physical capacities, such as the ABC’s of movement education, through the use of fun activities and mini games. Introduce and teach the basic field hockey technical and tactical skills.

Train to Train Phase?The chronological age is 11-14 years. The focus is to develop the overall sports specific skills, with emphasis on fun and games. This is the time to gradually develop the correct technique, to execute the basic skills and develop the basic game sense and basic tactical awareness.

Train to Compete Phase?The chronological age is 14–20 years. This is the period where the gem is polished and fully developed, with emphasis more on the correct technique, to execute the basic and advanced skills. Further, to understand the simple basic and advanced concepts of the game.

Train to Win Phase?The chronological age is 20 years onwards. The more time the coaches spent in Phase 2 and 3, the less time they will spend on correcting bad habits in this phase. Note, at this stage, one can only make cosmetic touches, one cannot change the foundation.

Every outstanding hockey paying nations has at least one guru? When we go deeper in to each and every country, we can see so many examples of amazing coaches, who are gifted and produce world class players, year after year.

It is difficult to discuss this topic and not mention Paul Lissek from Germany. Paul, now residing in Malaysia, needs no introduction. He did wonders with the German under 21 programme in the 1980s, guiding them three junior world cup titles.

And then core of the group that won the 1982 Junior World Cup, which included the likes of Carsten Fischer, Volker Fried and company, went on to claim the gold medal at the 1992 Barcelona Olympic Games.

What am I trying to convey?? The message is simple: a good developmental coach can make all the difference in a player’s hockey career. But these classic, knowledgeable coaches are hard to find. Unfortunately, they are few and far between.

Conclusion? The first coach in the career of a player is the most important. He can and will make or break a hockey player.

I conclude this article with a reference to a sign which was posted at the hockey fields of Punjab Agricultural University in Punjab, India, by the late Prithipal Singh, Director of Sports, PAU.

Singh is a hockey legend winning Olympic medals of all colours: Rome 1960 (silver), Tokyo 1964(gold) and Mexico 1968(bronze):

“Happy hearts and happy faces, happy play in grassy places, this is how in ancient ages, children grew to kings and sages” (Author Unknown)

Your feedback is certainly appreciated. Feel free to contact me via email coachshiv@aol.com


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CHRIS SULLEY: YOUTH DEVELOPMENT – BEST PRACTICE IN EUROPEAN PROFESSIONAL FOOTBALL

Posted on July 21, 2011 by leaders


There appears to be a greater commitment to the development of young players abroad than we typically see in England and certainly in the Premier League.

The following article is based on a 10 month field research project that included over 10 visits to some of Europe’s best known professional football club Academy’s and national associations for developing elite professional footballers. The article alludes to the aspects of best practice that I encountered.

Recent figures suggest that the average youth development budget, as a percentage of gross turnover, was between 7-15%. Barcelona, the top producer of elite young players in Europe appeared to invest the most amount of money into youth development, with €16m being ploughed into their youth academy at La Masia. In the English Premier League 20 clubs spend less than £4m per season (in total) on their Academy’s, with the average turnover ranging between £40-80m. Often in England when clubs are looking to save money the first budget to be slashed is the Academy budget.

In addition, many of the clubs that I visited tasked themselves with producing a set percentage of first team squad players from the Academy. Many of these clubs employ Sporting or Technical Directors, who sit on the board and therefore appear to have more influence with respect to the club’s decisions on youth development.

Consistency is key

Barcelona’s success now is the fruit of a 20 year commitment to youth development. The fact that the Academy Director/Manager reports into senior management or a board member reduces the chance of constant change which is very disruptive to a child’s development. Many of the Academy Directors/Managers had been in post or been involved in youth development for many years. The most successful clubs and/or associations including Clairefontaine (French National Centre), Bayern Munich, and Middlesbrough have had the same person in charge for between 13 and 30 years. One of many negative points that arise from constant change is the club invariably lose the talent they have in their system to other clubs.

If we broaden our lens across the most productive Academy’s at a Premier League level in England, including Manchester United, Arsenal and West ham (Professional Football Players Observatory 2010) we tend to see stability in the Academy personnel.

The top clubs for producing regular top end talent to 1st team (Barcelona, Bayern, Ajax) seem to have a ‘club way’, an identity that is almost tangible and can be described by all. Clubs make a conscious effort to recruit staff in the Academy that have a long term club affiliation to maintain the consistency of their message. While this may seem dangerous and puts at risk the evolution of the infrastructure, it gives consistency and clarity, which are staples of a good development programme. This approach was also characterised by a consistent way of playing all the way through the age groups. In Europe we found there is a culture of learning from the base even for the big name players. For instance Frank De Boer and Dennis Bergkamp were taking the under 13 and 14s at Ajax and Roy Makaay was taking the under 15s at Feyenoord. They were there to learn about coaching and given a chance to experiment without fear of failure. These former ‘superstar’ players also act as fantastic role models for the young players.

Considering the full development landscape allows for a better approach

In other European countries there appears to be far more joined up approach within the Academy infrastructure to facilitate top players being produced for their national teams than there is in England currently. Germany and Holland operate a star rated system of which the higher ranked clubs can take players from lower tiered clubs through set levels of compensation. Many of the national youth sides take selections of players several times over the year for training weeks. Clearly, there are benefits for the top clubs as this approach serves to facilitate the ‘best working with the best’ – a proven method for developing elite players.

Most clubs have developed tiers of partnership clubs within their local community and across other parts of their country to spread their scouting capability and player development. The club link strategy appears to be a very good way of gaining access to talented boys, transitioning young players to the first team environment, loaning young professionals to gain first team experience and players who are not good enough can be offered back or sold on with profits shared. Part of the relationship also allows the parent club to allow access to all its other support operations like coach education, sports science and medical and education and welfare issues to the link clubs for their own development.

Think local, act global

Many of the clubs are owned by their members, or well established in the community, and therefore have a preference for developing local talent above recruiting in.

There was a clear message from the clubs that I visited that the continuity of work with the players is vitally important. European clubs do not have a restriction as to where players can be signed from but most have a self imposed 1 hour rule up until U14, to ensure these players can train with the club on a regular basis. I found that clubs felt it was more favourable to work every day for shorter periods, than to block larger sets of hours out in fewer sessions (e.g., 3 x per week).

Although priority was local recruitment, all of the clubs in this field research had an interest in international recruitment, but with an especially strong interest in recruiting talent from Africa in various forms. Where outstanding players from outside this region were identified, the clubs would provide accommodation and schooling locally to ensure they met the demands of the training programme.

Focus on long term development

All the organisations focussed on development above and beyond winning on match day. Clubs were well equipped to articulate their philosophy, showcase their development model and performance pathway to becoming a 1st team player and were open to sharing. The accumulated training hours (excluding games) over a 10 year period (9-19 years) ranged between 2900 hours (Barcelona) and 5000 hours (Aspire). None of the clubs were close to the much touted 10000 hour rule, showing that development in football is not necessarily about total hours trained but the subtleties in creating the best ‘development environment’ that cultivates talent.

Data on player’s debut age suggests that in football it takes longer to gain the skills necessary to reach the top level teams. This is reflected in the strategy of many of the clubs to keep players in the system until their early 20s. In England we are often quick to release players at the age of 18 or 19 years.

Individualised player development

The concept of using teams to support individual development was articulated at all clubs. Some (Ajax, Bayer Leverkusen, Barcelona, Real Madrid) have taken it on a level by providing additional activities and resource such as specialist coaching or athletic development, to higher performing individual players. Similarly, individual player profiling allows for a more objective assessment of needs based on the player’s developmental stage.

Clubs were open to using different types of methods to engage learning at different levels, for example position based master classes at Bayer Leverkusen, Ajax, Real Madrid and Barcelona are delivered across a number of age groups, and content is delivered both in the field and in the classroom.

Developing problem solving footballers

There was a clear emphasis on a possession based philosophy and most employed a 4-3-3 model with an explicit attempt to pass the ball through the units. There was a tangible difference in the type of work delivered to the players from what I believe is typically delivered at EPL Academies. Early age players typically participated in random and variable practices that involved decision-making tactically. The consistent Talent ID criteria was centred around the player’s ability to handle the ball, make good decisions and speed, as opposed to the notions of power, size and strength that still dominate the English youth system.

In general, the coach tends to adopt the role of a facilitator rather than being the font of all knowledge. The coach sets the practice up with learning outcomes in mind and then lets the session develop with little, if any interruption. It was only on occasion that the coach did stop play to make a coaching point. Coaches tended to step in if the tempo was not to their standard or if any individual seemed not to be concentrating. This suggested that they were more concerned with mental development although this appeared to be a subconscious behaviour in the main as only Ajax had this as a specific outcome to their sessions.

Using the games programme to meet the development needs and timing

A flexible games programme was considered advantageous, so that within the games structure clubs may organise friendly games or tournaments to suit their and others needs. Clubs in Europe mostly play in regional leagues that sometimes only possess one or two other professional clubs. It was suggested by Gilles Rouillon (Head of Recruitment at AJ Auxerre) that they thought the success in the early years actually helps the boys to maintain their enthusiasm and only when they get older around 15 do they need to start to play against older boys to get a more competitive environment. This challenges ‘best against best’ philosophy in the early years.

Holistic Support mechanisms are the key to maximising the ‘development environment’

Every club that was visited mentioned the importance of psychological factors in assisting player development. However, very few centres had a development plan to develop desired traits and behaviours. It is generally left to the individual staff and their craft skills, values and beliefs.

Performance analysis is an area that has been well established in England including at Academy clubs but has yet to be fully embraced in Europe on a consistent basis. It is an area that can clearly help develop a player’s tactical and technical development that could arguably be used towards their accumulated hours of practice.

All the clubs are meeting the basic requirements for medical provision however differences were evident with respect to the presence and/or utilisation of the sports science department. All the centres employed a fitness and conditioning specialist or had qualified staff who were doubling up to provide this support. This is a very visible part of development and is easily measured and therefore justifiable. However, the awareness that it is ultimately the psychological things that will make or break a boy’s development is less supported. I tend to believe that this is mainly because of a lack of knowledge and uncertainty and the ‘difficulty’ experienced in gauging and/or measuring these skills.

Nearly all of the clubs supported players from U14 upwards (and in some cases lower) to have a full training capacity with the club. This was usually arranged by way of accommodation (if travel time was the barrier), or flexible schooling arrangements. This flexibility has been enjoyed for many years by the foreign clubs but is only recently being exploited by clubs in England through the gifted and talented initiative and the new Academy schools programme. Although clubs have experimented in the past with these types of arrangements (e.g., Notts Forrest, Arsenal) they all seem to have abandoned them for various reasons. However, clubs like Manchester United, Watford and West Bromwich Albion are leading the way to developing links with schools that provide the curriculum flexibility required.

The approaches to players’ accommodation varied, and most of the clubs had a mix and match structure. For instance AJ Auxerre put all of their 16-19 year old boys into club accommodation but they tended to separate the age groups into different buildings. Bayern Munich have only a small hostel on site catering for the few foreign boys and those boys from other parts of Germany, with some club flats that they allow the under 19s and slightly older players to use.

It would appear that there is some merit in group accommodation within the first year to allow the players to be inducted into the culture of the club/city and then push them out into home stays allowing them to switch off from football and do family type things. A lot of the Academy Directors expressed their preference of either homes stays or travelling from their own home. It is probably prudent to retain flexibility within this structure to decide what will fit each individual situation.

Finally, all of the clubs visited had adopted a same site scenario. Work undertaken by Dr Martin Littlewood in 2003 alluded to the fact that the most productive Academy clubs in England at the time were those who were based on the same site. The outlier to this was Manchester City, but clubs like Manchester United, West Ham and Middlesbrough are all based on one site.

Chris Sulley is the academy manager at Leeds United. He has previously worked at both Blackburn Rovers and Bolton Wanderers, where he spent 8 years at the helm of their academy, and regularly appears as a guest lecturer at the University of Central Lancashire speaking about his motivational methods as a manager.



http://www.leadersinperformance.com/the-leader/chris-sulley-youth-development-best-practice-in-european-professional-football/
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Keep the articles coming guys.

There are some good reads there.

:)

Edited by Decentric: 30/10/2011 01:57:57 PM
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I like Dirkvanadidas article lot of interest in that.
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Arthur wrote:
I like Dirkvanadidas article lot of interest in that.



It was good.:)

The was another beauty he posted about Rene Maulensteen's training programme at Man U.
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not an article but a link to tv series about Clarefontaine

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lh-2EzHfWaQ&playnext=1&list=PLA5B0AF1DB44CE91A
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Cruyff: All great teams have home-grown players... otherwise they end up like City and Tevez

By Rob Draper

Last updated at 10:53 PM on 15th October 2011

One club: Cruyff is a great believer in loyalty

Johan Cruyff remembers the first time he set eyes on Pep Guardiola. The scrawny teenager was playing in Barcelona's youth team and Cruyff had just been appointed first-team manager at the club. 'He was a boy and the people said to me, "Oh, he's one of the best".

'So (over the next year) I looked for him in the reserves, but he didn't play in the reserves. So then I looked at the first youth team, and he didn't play in that team. And eventually I found him in the third youth team.

'So I said to the coaches, "You said he was the best one!" And they said, "Yeah, but physically…" I said, "Put him there (in the reserves). He will grow. Don't worry, everybody grows". And they said, "Yeah, but we will lose". I said, "If we lose, we lose. We need to create players". And he did very well.'

It is, of course, a glorious understatement. Apart from winning six league titles, the European Cup and the Olympics as a player, Guardiola has gone on to win two European Cups, three league titles, a World Club Cup and the Spanish Cup in three seasons as Barcelona coach. In fact, it would not be pushing it to say that he and Cruyff have transformed the face of global football.

Not with their playing, although Cruyff, along with Pele and Diego Maradona, will always find himself at the top of those lists of the world's greatest ever footballers, but more with their coaching contributions.

Ultimately the ascendancy of what Neil Warnock derided last week as 'tippy-tappy football', as demonstrated by Barcelona and Spain, who is currently winning almost every title they contest, started with the appointment of Cruyff as Barcelona manager in 1988.

He convinced the club not just to change their entire style, to model the football he had been taught by Rinus Michels at Ajax and with Holland, but also to embrace a new philosophy of creating their own players from the youth team, which 23 years on culminated in their extraordinary Champions League victory over Manchester United at Wembley fielding seven home-grown players.

'A long time ago, Spanish football was based on a different basis while Ajax, Dutch football, was based on different things. At Barcelona you could change it. A lot of people came after me [to continue the work]. But the people who control the ball very well, they're the most important players. And weak, smaller players, to survive they had to have a better technique than the others. Normally everyone grows - some a little later, some at different times, but everybody grows. A lot of things will change but the base of football is always technique, always should be technique.'


Mind over matter: Barcelona's Messi and Fabregas show that skill is the way forward

As recently as five years ago there was a feeling abroad that football was being invaded by giants, that muscular, physical players would dominate the future. Then came Leo Messi, Andres Iniesta, Xavi, Cesc Fabregas, David Villa, David Silva. 'We could have changed that,' says Cruff, immodestly but not without reason.

Cruyff has an apt analogy to hand. He was speaking after a practice round at the Old Course, St Andrews, where he was playing at the recent Alfred Dunhill Links Championship, the European PGA Tour that pairs up professional golfers with celebrity amateurs.

'It's like golf: if you hit 100 balls and 90 go another way than the way you want them to go, you're going to look for another sport,' he said. 'You can enjoy yourself if the ball does what you want - it's fun. If it doesn't, then it's not.'

Cruyff's philosophy is a constant thorn in the side of English football, not just because the focus on the technical has gone against the grain here, although Sir Trevor Brooking is now working to change that at the FA . It is Cruyff's belief in creating players through youth teams that has been counter-intuitive in the globalised football world, where the likes of Chelsea and now Manchester City have attempted to buy in whole teams in short periods.


Grand designs: Cruyff at Barcelona

'Normally, all the great teams of the past had more than half from the local community,' said Cruyff. 'You take Ajax [from the Seventies], you take AC Milan [from the late Eighties, early Nineties], you take Barcelona in my time, Celtic from that time [1967], Manchester United in 1999. It gives you something extra. Maybe it's not much but it's local people who have been there and know the public.'

It is fundamental to Cruyff's vision that a club should have a culture to which players brought up in the youth system must be loyal and to which players brought in from the outside must adapt.

While personnel may change, the philosophy endures, and the collective is more important than the individual. The day the Dutchman spoke, he was digesting the news of Carlos Tevez's alleged refusal to play against Bayern Munich. Tevez's 'owners' are now seeking his fifth club in five years and he has publicly stated that he dislikes the city in which he works. The Argentine may still struggle with English after five years in the country, but he makes Cruyff's point eloquently.

'You have to fit 11 players together. You can't have 11 individuals. You need to have a team. That's why someone from outside needs to adapt to the majority. If the majority don't know where they come from, because they're all different, then what do they adapt to?'

Of Manchester City's current model, he says: 'One day it will struggle, for one thing. And you're just allowed to play 11.'

He concedes that Barcelona are also one of the biggest spenders in the European transfer market but insists that the balance is different. 'You always need a mixture. You can buy pieces to be better, because you can't create everybody, it's impossible. But you have to create your own mentality, your own people. It's very difficult to buy a team.'

As for City's spending spree, he is instinctively aghast. 'You can't lose so much money. It's absurd. You can't do it. It's the responsibility you have. How many teams don't lose money? Who's going to pay it?'

City have the huge wealth of Sheik Mansour behind them a n d t h e owner has converted almost £400million worth of City's debt into equity in the club.

But Cruyff has little time for the argument that outlawing such lavish spending on teams, which UEFA's financial fair play rules will effectively do from 2013, is the equivalent of pulling up the drawbridge to protect the status of the likes of Barca, Bayern Munich and Manchester United while keeping the nouveau riche such as Chelsea and City out. 'You can create players,' he says, by way of a challenge. Players that would presumably then be bought by the elite clubs? 'But then you have the money and you can create another one.'

It is an idealistic vision of football but Cruyff's voice in the modern game is often one of studied unworldliness. He disowned his own country after they attempted to kick Spain off the pitch in the 2010 World Cup final, and insists that he was sad to see Holland resort to such tactics to quell Spain's stylish football, ironically inspired by Dutch football. 'They [Holland] played a game they normally don't do. You can expect from other teams that type of play but not from Holland. You must never do what's not yours.'

And he is predictably unenamoured with the current philosophy of Jose Mourinho's Real Madrid, the controversial coach having just been given a two-match ban for poking the eye of Barca coach Tito Vilanova.

'Like I said before, football is not only about winning. Madrid have a very good team. They just have bad luck that they are playing the same competition as Barcelona. They played well last year. They just didn't win the championships because Barcelona were there.

'That's not shameful. Not at all. Of course, you like to win. But there are limits of winning and I think that Madrid have always been a team of high-quality persons, fantastic environment, coach (leader) to the whole world and they're losing all that. And that's a pity. It's not good.'

Real Madrid, in short, are losing their soul? 'Yes, because what you going to achieve with this? At the end of the day you have one point more than Barcelona. That's what you want to achieve?'

Mourinho might feel that was the point of football. 'Yeah, but that's people from outside sport. He has never been a player so it's difficult to judge. But I think in the world there's much more responsibility for the coaches of Madrid, Barcelona, Manchester United, all the big teams. You have more responsibility than just being the coach. There are wider responsibilities to all the children.'

It is why he is full of praise for Sir Alex Ferguson. Cruyff contrasts United's tactics in the Champions League final, where they attempted to match Barca but lost 3-1, with Mourinho's attempts to break up the game with fouls and defensive play. 'Ferguson did what he had to do, which means he can be proud of the club. Go for it. That's perfect. And at the end you can see if you win or lose.'

Perhaps Cruyff is a dreamer. But given his achievements on and off the pitch, which are unlikely to be matched, he has probably earned the right.


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Thanks Arthur
Cruyff
Is not a dreamer
He is 100% right.
I wonder which one of the rich people in Australia will be the first to see that if they build a great team with a great academy their name will live on for ever.

GO


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