Reinventing The Optimum Conditions for Youth Player Development
New methodology for the analysis and further development of youth academies in German professional football.
I want to become a pro …This is what the young players say around the world.
In Germany, the entire country seems to be supporting the efforts of the country’s soccer federation. Youth soccer development is a science in there, and a well funded one.
Hating to lose and with eyes on dominating the pitch, Germany launched a revitalization of youth soccer years ago. So far, a total of more than 1.5 billion Euros has been invested in this way of promoting young talent by professional clubs.
Each season, an average of 5,588 young talents – distributed across all age groups – are trained in the academies. Every year, around 70 players make it into a professional squad of a Bundesliga or Bundesliga 2 club.
The successful system “youth academies” was introduced to the Bundesliga in 2001 and to Bundesliga 2 one year later.
Since then, the 36 clubs have been obliged to maintain an academy for junior players in accordance with the licensing regulations of the DFL.
The goal is developing homegrown players, and everyone agrees this is the decisive advantage for a club.
Holistic approach is the focus for developing today’s youth soccer players
The objective, among other things, is to coordinate all support measures concerning the academies using a holistic approach.
The goal is to provide youth players with a chance to prevail against the toughest competition
The current certification and the associated star classification based on rigid criteria, which have been used for all locations, will be replaced by an individual analysis together with the respective club in future.
A paradigm shift with regard to youth academies
The DFL is taking on an active role with regard to recognizing current trends and further technological developments and will provide encouragement for putting specific new applications into practice as an interface to the clubs.
This paradigm shift with regard to the youth academies – from result orientation to process consultation – is accompanied by even closer cooperation between the DFL, the DFB and the clubs.
The idea is to provide an individualize approach. We are not just training but developing qualities needed in the work place.
The youth academies can also network with each other more strongly, maintain an intensive exchange concerning key topics and learn from one another.
A corresponding exclusive service portal for academies and a reference database of the DFL and DFB serve as aids for generating knowledge, looking up practical examples and expert opinions and carrying out detailed comparisons and in-depth analyses.
We need to keep evolving.
A more individual and flexible approach
“Associations and clubs are taking on an even more active role. Based on the already excellent work in the academies, this more individual and flexible approach should achieve an even higher level of training for youth players. The objective is a world-class level of German football – also with the help of the youth academies,” says Andreas Nagel, Director of Sport & Youth Development at the DFL.
Source: DFL – Interview coming with details on programming.