academy

In this Masterclass Webinar replay, we connect with the highly experienced, Kelly Cross & Drew Sherman to discuss youth development in Australia. Kelly Cross is the Technical Director – Youth at Sydney FC, whilst Drew is the General Manager of Football at Melbourne Victory. Since the turn of the century these two clubs have been the most successful in the A League and now lead the way around youth development pathways. In this discussion, PDP Editor, Dave Wright hosts Kelly and Drew for an in…

Coaching across age groups requires subtle skills and in depth understanding. In this Masterclass Webinar replay, PDP Co-hosts Dave Wright and Dan Wright host Assistant Academy Manager at Birmingham City FC, Stuart Engish for an in depth discussion on age appropriate coaching. Stuart shares some brilliant insights into the academy at Birmingham City FC and his former club, Brentford FC where he held a similar role. The conversation focusses on the differences of coaching delivery and player development across all of the age phases from…

In this Masterclass Webinar replay, the PDP team host FA National Goalkeeping coach, Yilmaz Aksoy for a fascinating discussion on how to develop goalkeepers. Most kids dream of scoring the perfect goal. I’ve always dreamed of stopping it. – Iker Casillas Goalkeepers are different. Whilst most kids fall in love with scoring the perfect goal, Goalkeepers thrive in denying these moments and keeping the ball out of the net. PDP Co-hosts Dave Wright & Dan Wright sit down for a discussion designed to help coaches…

In this Masterclass Webinar Replay, UEFA A licensed coaches Dave Wright and Dan Wright will co-host a discussion which helps coaches support individuals within their team. Dave and Dan will be joined by special guest, Graham Mills, Academy Coach at Southampton FC & Lecturer in Sports Coaching from Solent University. Graham, Dan and Dave have extensive player development experience in the English Academy system while Dan has also coached in Africa and Dave has worked in both Australia and New Zealand. This conversation focusses on:…

Dan Robinson is the Academy Manager at Burton Albion FC in England and a former Assistant Coach & Goalkeeper Coach with the New Zealand Women’s team. In this Masterclass Discussion, PDP Editor Dave Wright sits down with Dan to discuss his coaching journey and some of the challenges of taking on a major role at a small club. Dan discusses some of the lessons he’s learned in leadership, the player development philosophy at Burton Albion, his experience on the world stage with international women’s teams…

In this Masterclass Discussion, PDP Editor Dave Wright hosts Brisbane Roar Academy Director, Drew Sherman for an insightful conversation on youth development. Drew shares his own personal experiences from England, to the Cook Islands and now Australia, discussing key lessons on the way. We discuss the development of the brand new Brisbane Roar academy and some of the challenges faced in bringing bringing youth development to A League. Drew Sherman is the Academy Director at Brisbane Roar. Drew is a holder of both his Pro…

In this Masterclass Discussion, Sydney FC Academy Director, Kelly Cross joins PDP Editor, Dave Wright for a fantastic discussion on coaching. Kelly shares his experience working with world-class players like Harry Kewell, Aaron Mooy and others, as well as his insights into coach education and the new program he is overseeing at Sydney FC. Kelly has a wealth of experience and shares a variety of lessons learned on his long coaching journey. Kelly Cross is currently Academy Director at Sydney FC. He has previously worked…

In this Masterclass Discussion, PDP Editor, Dave Wright is joined by PDP Technical Advisor, Dan Wright to go behind the scenes at Watford FC. Dave & Dan sit down for a fascinating discussion with Lead YDP Coach, Martin Prickett & Lead Foundation Phase Coach, Rob Morris to discuss the Watford FC way, age appropriate learning and much more as these two highly experienced youth developers give insights into their coaching careers so far. Image Source: depositphotos.com

PDP Editor, Dave Wright is joined by Dan Thomas, Lead Youth Development Phase Coach at Fulham FC. Dan has a vast amount of coaching experience and has been immersed in player development at Fulham FC for 10 years. Dan specialises in working with teenage players making the transition from academy to scholarships and discusses the non-linear journey that many players experience. He also gives candid insight into the Fulham FC philosophy and the world of academy football. Don’t miss another fantastic learning opportunity from one…

What is the Future of Academy Coaching? PDP Lead Researcher, James Vaughan discusses his experience from a trip to the Applied Psychology in Football Conference in Bilbao earlier this year. James shares some of the key questions and notes from the event. Earlier this summer I was lucky enough to attend the AIPAF III International congress of Applied Psychology in Football, held in Bilbao, Spain. This blog is based on the notes that I took at the congress, which were transcribed from discussions translated live from Spanish. The reason I…

Regular PDP contributor, Dan Wright gives us an excellent insight into his 3 month journey from the comforts of West London to the challenges of coaching in Africa. In this insightful article, Dan outlines the value of people in any organisation. Driven kids, challenging facilities and some surprising results. This blog examines the Football For Good Academy, Uganda’s only full time football program achieving results against the odds. For the past 3 months I have been coaching in Gulu, Northern Uganda. There have been many new experiences…

Doing your football apprenticeship at FC Barcelona is the kind of coaching education we all dream of. Player Development Project caught up with Josep Gombau, a man who emerged from Catalonia and has since travelled the world coaching at all levels. Josep Gombau is a much travelled man. Born in Amposta, Catalonia, his coaching career has taken him from Spain to Hong Kong, where he was named coach of the year twice, before a stint at A-League club Adelaide United. Between 2003 and 2009, Josep…

Are we measuring the stuff that really matters or focussing too much on hard data that neglects the human element of development? Former FA Talent Identification Manager & now Head of Talent & Performance at UK Sport, Nick Levett discusses the impact of sports science. So I was having a trip round a Professional Sporting Academy, being given the behind-the-scenes tour by the Academy Manager. We walked through the indoor area into the next room to “where the sports scientists live” I was told. And…

Dave Wright discusses the power of play and how a learning environment that allows play and creativity but challenges players to grow through adversity and failure is key to long term success. In issue 1 of Player Development Project Magazine, I wrote an article called Fighting the Fear Factor, challenging the environments that many coaches still create despite the knowledge we have in modern football and coach education. It’s an absolute passion of mine to develop environments for players where they can be free, to learn,…

With the help of Pro Soccer Development, Dave Wright examines whether Jamie Vardy is a football anomaly or personification of a problem in elite player development. Unless you’ve been living in total football isolation, away from the world of social media and headline news, it’s fair to say that by now, we know that Jamie Vardy has experienced a meteoric rise over the last eight years. This has culminated in seeing him go from striker for the Stocksbridge Park Steels (in the eighth tier of English Football) to the…

Dan Senda is an example of someone who has always worked exceptionally hard for everything he has achieved. Desire and determination are traits that you easily identify in the man when you spend time with him. He hasn’t played in a World Cup, and he hasn’t played in the Champions League, but he personifies classic British hard-graft. What Dan Senda has done in his time in football is persist, and with that he’s managed to achieve what few do – sustain a long career as…

Michael Beale has had the privilege of coaching some of the best young talent in England from the very beginning of their developmental journey. A UEFA A license holder with 10 years experience at Chelsea FC before making the move to Liverpool FC where he now manages the U21s, Michael gives us an in depth…

The road to success in football is not always straightforward. Now regarded a Premier League stalwart, West Bromwich Albion were a club once derided as the ‘Boing Boing Baggies’ for their succession of relegations and promotions in the early 2000s. Now a stable club under the guidance of Tony Pulis, the club’s academy are producing some exciting young footballers. PDP Editor, Dave Wright spoke to Jimmy Shan, the Under-21 coach at The Hawthorns, about his career and got an insider’s look at the WBA Academy….

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