The Professional Development Phase coaches spent the morning at St. George’s Park in order to study and observe how the FA work on a day to day basis when planning and delivering on International camps. We attended with coaches from Sheffield United and AFC Wimbledon, along with the FA U15 & U16 coaching staff.
U16 Head coach, Dan Micciche, presented us with the itinerary of the day for both an U16 international player and U16 staff member covering everything they do day to day from training to social events.
It was a day packed full of activity and with clearly outlined objectives of the day and included double pitch sessions and a gym session. Dan also explained to us the relationship between the FA and the player’s parent clubs; going into detail regarding the loading of the players and how a strong partnership between international and club teams ensures that the player’s best interests are maintained and can affect how long an individual player trains with the national squad.
After the meeting, we went into a team presentation with the U16 squad which was delivered by Troy Townsend (father of England international Andrew). It was a thought provoking presentation.
After this, we went to view the sessions. These included small sided games, a possession based drill, and two other drills using goalkeepers. The games showcased exactly what was expected at international level. Using a slightly slower tempo, the technical ability on show was outstanding.
After viewing the sessions, we went back inside for a chat with the coaches of the squads, explaining the philosophy and principles of their session and how they were geared towards the upcoming games against Belgium and Spain.
After the session lunch was provided while chatting with coaches from other clubs and candidates from the FA Advanced Youth course.