Hi Smudge, brainwashed by Sir Trevor Brooking not at all, I have had the opportunity to discuss youth development with several senior members of the FA over the last few years. I do have a background in the pro game with coaching and academy management experience. I have disagreed and agreed with policies concerning youth development recently introduced by the FA. Do I think we have got it right or are anywhere near getting it right in this country, no we are years away. This discussion could take several pages and go on for several weeks which I guess the forum is for.
My views are as follows, we haven't enough suitable facilities available for youth development. They are simply not enough floodlit grass or 3G pitches available. We have some great youth development coaches coming through. Although these specialist coaches will struggle to break into senior roles in the top pro clubs. Unfortunately we are still employing experienced ex pro players not experienced player development coaches in the top positions. How many Youth Development coaches are sitting on the board for the FA Commission? None. Contact time, due to the lack of quality facilities, actual time that the boys are coached is limited. The EPPP recommends 3 x1.5 hours a week plus a fixture as a minimum. League 1&2 clubs or Cat 3 Academy's simply cannot afford to hire the facilities for any longer even with the £290k grant. In Europe, the access to facilities is massively easier and cheaper.
In answer to your comments about how our players are treated. Players are signed to pro clubs at Under 9 level, although its not uncommon for younger players to be invited in for training. Man City have Under 5s in pre academy's. Upto Under 11 they are signed for a year, Under 12 and above 2 years. They are reviewed constantly with player reviews given every 6 weeks. Any player falling below the expected standard is notified in these reviews with a development plan offered to assist him to get back to the required level. Releases are never a surprise, but yes the player is obviously very upset.
Now hears a thing, every player I've had to give a negative review to has been offered a development plan. A player has never refused this advice. If they continue to not meet the standard, they are offered the chance to play down a year group or join the development centres rather than remain in the pressurised academy environment. Has a player ever turned me down ? No, but guess what, the parents have. So rather than accept the support offered they drop out of the game or back into grassroots football. Parents are very proud of little Johnny being in an Academy, but are not proud to admit that Johnny is having a difficult time. So rather than support Johnny's development they teach him how to quit. There lies a massive problem in this country, we are not patient. We want results overnight. I have only released 2 players due to their ability, I have released 5 because of parents misconduct . I cannot record how many players the parents have removed from the Academy's. You can tell a man his wifes ugly, but you can't tell him his son is struggling at football. Although I've never tried telling him both. So have I broken hearts of kids in the academy's Ive worked in ? Yes, however I've taken every step to avoid it. Do you think if I said I recommend you join an Under 21 league he would accept my advice? Yes the player would, but would his dad? Probably not. A good player development coach working with an Under 21 team is worth his weight in gold. I can see an Under 21 league being incredibly successful if the club's ethos is player development and not results driven. It's got to be worth a go.
Your next point, yes several clubs are financially able to bring in players from abroad. Why are these players technically/tactically better ?
My opinion is that the facilities, coaches and contact time in these countries are better than ours. We need a professional coach in every school, and in every grassroots club running a development program. Football should be offered after school every evening, as it is in many European countries. We all used to play walking home from school every night anyway. So lets do it under the guidance of a professional coach.
So yes ,you might of guessed I think an Under 21 league is a great idea. Will clubs being able to afford to be in it ? Doubtful, maybe the FA will offer financial support to all the clubs that want to enter.
HKP, it was an absolute pleasure to visit your island and mingle with some really nice people there, the matchday itself was so refreshing with innocent family friendly singing and not a hint of malice from the home support even whilst sitting in the midst of the green army at two nil up and cruising ! I was totally moved at the end by the way the whole stand waited to applaud our players off the pitch at the end - can't ever remember experiencing that before !! Now back to reality on Sarturday and off to deepest darkest South East London to face Dulwich Hamlet ... :-(
Yes there did seem to be a lot of extra conditions they had to meet. Given the crowds they attracted last season their first FA cup gane should stir up a lot of interest. Probably easier to get to Guernsey than parts of Cornwall for an away trip though
Some people have to have something to complain about. Without some sort of whinge or moan their lives appear less fulfilled than others. I wonder what would happen if some of the contributors chose to post something genuinely positive rather than finding fault. I am sorry not to have had an opportunity to see Guernsey in action.
For what its worth, I will miss Guernsey. Over the last 2 seasons they have been a breathe of fresh air and a credit to CCL.
Where are all the CCL well wishers when they did so well in the vase? The many posts saying how well clubs were treated in Guernsey and what a good time they had..... this is not just a coincidence due to so many plaudits raised. .
They are very professional in their outlook. very respectful and polite when visiting other clubs.
I repeat, alot of clubs can learn from them, in the way they present themselves as players and as a club.
I personally wish Guernsey all the very best next season ! I will keep an eye out for their results.
We must remember, one should not be jealous of their success, but praise where it is due.
By the way, well done Egham in being CCL Premier Champions !
Having lived in the Baliwick for 6 years until 2008 I have a sentimental reason for hoping they do well,however, they will find a level and it may be that it has now been reached, only Island based players are selected so they cannot attract better players on promotion, no doubt they have the infrastructure and the sponsership is amazing from local companies, good luck to them, I hope we get them in the League cup, would be a nice away trip !!
Thanks for the info, it was unusual towards the end of the season but you got there in the end. If anything last season is as bad as it gets so at least you have shown you can get your fixtures played.
I was jumping ahead of myself by mentioning Bury and Lowestoft who are in the division above, perhaps I was presuming you'll get another promotion this coming season!?
I'm sure though that there's lots of players and supporters in Div 1 South looking forward to a very unique away experience next season. A very early good luck to you.