A fantastic opportunity came about last week for the academy when the English FA invited the youth team to St Georges Park.
The day involved an all expenses paid trip to face England Futsal u18s, a chance to take the players to the national centre of English football to challenge the players in a different environment. Always looking at different ways to help with player’s development taking them out of their comfort zone, a spike in the original programme is what helps when it comes to learning with some players taking on the challenge and others finding hard to deal with demands of a futsal.
Each game was 20 minutes long the youth team played England u18s x2 20mins and Sheffield United, the fast tempo of futsal and how high the level of technique was compared to 11v11 caught out the players early on but they soon got use to the different weighted ball, smaller caught and hard surface. The attitude the players showed through-out was outstanding and the FA commented on this.
Since the summer the academy has built a good relationship with the FA and the regional staff leading to these opportunities, the staff have also been up to St Georges Park in recent weeks to watch England u15s against Turkey and listen to a presentation from Dan Ashworth and Mathew Crocker around player development and talent ID.