The outbreak of the novel coronavirus has affected millions of people globally with regards to their day to day activities.
Various essential industries around the world have also come to a standstill due to the lockdown imposed by the governments to contain the virus, including the sports industry.
Football leagues all around the world have either been prematurely called off or have been postponed till the situation gets better. While the teams and academies playing at the elite levels are able to sustain themselves during the pandemic, various academies responsible for grassroots development have shut down to cut their losses, with no definite time-frame regarding the passing of the pandemic.
Five time champions league winners, Barcelona, are widely involved in grassroots development by establishing their academies across various countries in the world including Australia, Canada, New Zealand amongst others. But the famous Barca Academy is now under scanner for shutting their academies in Canada and Australia. The shutting of ?Barca academies? in Sydney and Brisbane due to bankruptcy has left hundreds of parents baffled and furious. This is due to the fact that the families had already paid in full for the much anticipated once in a lifetime opportunity for their child to participate in the ?Barca Academy World Cup? to be held in April. Though the tournament was cancelled due to the pandemic, parents struggled to get offered a refund for the huge sums they paid and the shutting of the academy makes things even worse.
When making decisions around these private programs parents should look at:
- Who is running the academy in the country (i.e. are they business professionals and what is their connection to the Club)?
- What the status of the coaches running the programs (i.e. are they fly in / fly out or permanently based here like the AC Milan Academy in Sydney did with Andrea Icardi)?
- What is the success rate of the club in producing their own players into their first team from their own academy?
- What is the success rate of players from Australia / New Zealand etc in gaining a position in their Academy (not just a trial)?
Have an understanding of FIFA Regulations around movement of minors for football.
The costs involved versus other programs run by locals with similar qualifications, experience and results of developing youth players into professional football.
Is there a pathway after the event – ie is there an opportunity to experience Academy life overseas if the player impresses the club coaches? (not a extra cost but free for the player)
A big deferential is what the players actual learn. Is the programme more than just on pitch learning? Coaching camp programs in Australia should cost $25-30 a hour, plus extras, whether domestic or international.
Private Football Academy
We started developing the Treiner platform in 2017 to provide some objective feedback from players, parents and teams on coaches & private providers like these academies, as well as providing the coaches and academies with a platform to better operate their business from using our software and technology.
If you have been affected by these recent events or are unsure about the next step to take in your or your childs football development and pathway, please reach out and we will provide you with some objective feedback to assist you in your decision making.
James Muir has been involved in coaching & coach education since 2004 working for Fiji FA, Football NSW and for National Premier League clubs in Victoria as a Technical Director prior to setting up Treiner.co.