Join Now | 
HomeAboutContact UsPrivacy & SecurityAdvertise
Soccer America DailySpecial EditionAround The NetSoccer Business InsiderCollege Soccer ReporterYouth Soccer ReporterSoccer on TVSoccer America Classifieds
Paul Gardner: SoccerTalkSoccer America ConfidentialYouth Soccer InsiderWorld Cup Watch
RSS FeedsArchivesManage SubscriptionsSubscribe
Order Current IssueSubscribeManage My SubscriptionRenew My SubscriptionGift Subscription
My AccountJoin Now
Tournament CalendarCamps & AcademiesSoccer GlossaryClassifieds
Team GB Has Simple Lesson For English Soccer
Independent, August 25th, 2008 3:30PM

MOST READ

MOST COMMENTED

The success of the British Olympic team in Beijing serves up a simple lesson for English soccer, writes Sam Wallace. If you want to create a sporting elite, you have to root out the underperformers and let the country's best athletes train together.
 
Chelsea and Manchester United both boast impressive youth academies, but because of English Premier League rules forbidding recruitment outside of a 90-mile radius (or within one hour's drive, if boys are under 11), they will not attract the country's best players. The idea was to spread the most gifted players around all the country's clubs, and allow lower division teams to nurture local talent. In reality, it means that the EPL's top sides end up recruiting youth from abroad to fill the talent gap.
 
The Olympic sports where Team GB was most successful "recruit, promote and drop talent as they see fit," writes Wallace. "They are shamelessly elitist and single-minded about success. It is a level of control about which Premier League academy directors can only dream." The EPL rules on geographical restrictions mean that "if you live in Cornwall or Essex -- where David Beckham grew up -- there is no chance your son will be able to join Manchester United's academy."
 
This system ignores the crucial point that elite sportsmen "need to develop with the best of their peer group, not in isolation. In England, the best young footballers are stuck, in the most crucial years of their development, playing and training with 15 others their clubs have rounded up from the locality."

Read the original story...



No comments yet.

Sign in to leave a comment. Don't have an account? Join Now




AUTHORS

ARCHIVES
FOLLOW SOCCERAMERICA

Recent Section 2 Around the Net
Cal South TOPSoccer Program Turns 25    
"We're all soccer players, special needs or not," says Sandy Castillo, chair of the Cal South ...
How Neymar Played in Childhood     
Neyrmar: "I used to pick up the ball, set up the furniture and go around dribbling ...
Chivas USA Youth Players Face Murky Future    
Chivas USA, which folded after the 2014 season, had one of the MLS's most ambitious youth ...
Roma Partnering with U.S. Youth Clubs    
Italian Serie A club Roma, which has American ownership, aims to forge partnerships with seven U.S. ...
LVG: Falcao "Has to Prove Himself"    
Manchester United coach Louis van Gaal has responded to criticism over dropping Radamel Falcao by claiming ...
Report: Adidas to Assist Messi Move?    
According to Spanish sports daily AS, Lionel Messi's sponsor Adidas could be the key to the ...
Mourinho Questions Man City's Transfer Policy     
Chelsea coach Jose Mourinho suggested that rival Manchester City is not adhering to UEFA's Financial Fair ...
Toure Admits Man City Future in Doubt     
Speaking ahead of the opening games of the African Nations' Cup in Equatorial Guinea this weekend, ...
Ronaldo Blasts 'Defensive' Atleti Tactics    
Cristiano Ronaldo blasted Atletico Madrid for its unattractive style after the Rojiblancos ousted Real Madrid from ...
Fabian Johnson's 'Spat' with 'Gladbach Coach Favre    
According to Bild, USA defender Fabian Johnson is in a "spat" with Borussia Monchengladbach coach Lucien ...
>> Section 2 Around the Net Archives