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
Spurs Signs Vorm, Davies; Swans Sign Sigurdsson    
Tottenham Hotspur on Wednesday signed Dutch international goalkeeper Michel Vorm and Wales defender Ben Davies from ...
Stoke Signs Krkic From Barcelona    
Stoke City on Tuesday completed the signing of Bojan Krkic from Barcelona. Krkic, 23, became the ...
Report: Lampard Completes NYCFC Move     
Former Chelsea legend Frank Lampard has completed a move to new MLS franchise New York City ...
Barca Signs Mathieu from Valencia     
Barcelona on Wednesday signed central defender Jeremy Mathieu on a four-year contract from Valencia for 20 ...
Johnson Ready for 'Gladbach Challenge     
During his press unveiling on Wednesday, USA defender Fabian Johnson, who moved to Borussia Monchengladbach from ...
Van Gaal Bemoans Man United's Preseason USA Tour    
Louis van Gaal thinks Manchester United's preseason tour in the U.S. could jeopardize the club's success ...
German Politicians Question 2018 Russia World Cup     
Several senior politicians in Germany on Wednesday raised the possibility of stripping Russia of its right ...
Atleti Re-signs Tiago     
Atletico Madrid on Tuesday re-signed Tiago Mendes on a two-year deal, despite interest from Premier League ...
Koeman: Dani Osvaldo for Sale    
Southampton manager Ronald Koeman has confirmed that Daniel Osvaldo is for sale, but reports in Italy ...
BVB: Hummels, Reus Not for Sale    
Borussia Dortmund coach Jurgen Klopp on Tuesday poured cold water over the transfer speculation swirling around ...
>> Section 2 Around the Net Archives