"...this is the most articulate and accurate piece written about the club for years!" - Tales from the Front, http://www.otib.co.uk/

Sunday, 15 April 2012

Gone for a Burton; is the new NFC key to the future?

The Exiled Robin takes a different direction with this post from Lee Molland (@Molls28), a Bristol City fan who has progressed from coaching locally to his current role as a scout for the Bristol City Academy.  He has kindly offered this insightful view on St. George's Park, the  FA's soon to be finished state-of-the-art national football centre at Burton-on-Trent, and the impact it might have on England's finest young footballers.

Football at grass roots level needs to be focused on playing and enjoying the game. As the standard of player progresses, the coaching can progress. Results should never be driven into the kids and the competitive side of the game should only come in at adult level. Children will only learn and become better when they have lots of touches of the ball in EVERY session.
We need children to be able to play without fear of losing, where positional sense and tactics are not as important as simply touching the ball with your feet. Make a mistake but learn from it, nothing wrong with that - When I coach football for 5-11 year olds, this is fundamental to their learning and the FA are finally getting more young coaches to employ these same methods.
This change in attitude is just the first step. It is important to stop children from falling out of love with the game because of the pressure to be successful and get a result, which in the past has been put on them from a young age. This seems to trickle down to grass roots level right from the tabloid media who scrutinise and place importance on every success and failure, but this change in ideology in conjunction with St George's Park, the FA’s new national football centre, will alleviate so many problems for our national side going forward.
Based in Burton-on-Trent, the centre will be home to all 24 England teams, including all the Men’s and Women’s teams, the Disability sides, Youth and Futsal. But how will St George's Park help? Well, over the past few years the FA has visited and consulted with those at the helm of highly acclaimed national football centres including those in Spain, France and Holland and the academies for club sides like Real Madrid, Manchester United and Arsenal. They have taken on board their philosophy and training methods while learning from their successes and although it’s taken the FA a long time, they have finally caught up. Our new University of Football will hopefully inspire young players onto greater training and performances.
The facilities will be second to none with full medical and sports science centres, and with full indoor and outdoor pitches it will become almost impossible for football in this country not to progress, especially considering that young English footballers will be based at the centre and coached together regularly. Also, our young players will no doubt come into regular contact with the senior players and management - can you imagine the boost that would give players?
Furthermore, St George's Park will become the venue where coaches get coached. The game of football has changed to a slower approach and fast counter attacking game and we are beginning to realise this, changing the way our coaches are educated from the grass roots up. The FA has made the steps to closing the gap on Europe’s elite, and over time, I believe we will see the rewards with articulate but winning football.

Thanks to The Basis Mag for allowing me to reproduce this article.

Follow me on Twitter: @TheExiledRobin

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