The City Academy - impressive, but is it fearsome?

September 14, 2012 in Premier League

Pin It

Today, construction work on the ‘City Football Academy’ has officially kicked off. The 80-acre site, adjacent to the home of the current Premierleague Champions, the Etihad Stadium, is to be transformed into a state-of-the-art training facility where players from the first and youth teams alike will train day-to-day. The plans include a 7,000 seater stadium to be used for reserve and youth team matches, 16 training pitches including an indoor facility, special areas for goalkeeper and fitness training, medical facilities as well as the headquarters for the club’s office staff.

Manchester City are investing £100m to create one of the world’s most premier sporting institutions, which has been designed after a long consultation period, including visits to similar training facilities across the world. So when Patrick Vieira tell us it will be the world’s very best facility of its kind, he is undeniably saying it with a weight of evidence behind him.

Read the rest of this entry →

Assessing the new technique for developing technique

May 29, 2012 in International

Pin It

FA shareholders yesterday voted in new youth development proposals which will see 5v5 football for under 7’s and 8’s, 7v7 for under 9’s and 10’s and a 9v9 format for under 11’s and 12’s. The changes will be phased in by the 2014-15 season.

Read the rest of this entry →

The Folly of Youth

May 23, 2012 in Features, Premier League

Pin It

“He is one of the best young talents in the country, but we have to remember he is only 18. It is a colossal fee we have paid for him, but he’s a striker who has got the world at his feet.” This was how Steve Bruce, the former Sunderland manager, described his signing of Connor Wickham last summer. However, due to persistent injuries, Wickham has struggled to make an impact on the first team this season only contributing one goal, five starts and a handful of substitute appearances.

Yet take the quote, change the age and position as required and Brucie’s words could reflect hundred of thousands of young talents who are proclaimed to be the next best thing. Read the rest of this entry →