Every Saturday morning, subscribers to Blueprint for Football Extra, this site's free newsletter, receive an e-mail with the best coaching related articles we've come across during the week. These are the articles included in the e-mail sent on the 14th of February. If you too want to receive the links straight in your in-box, all you have to do is subscribe to the newsletter.
Working On Aberdeen’s Future
Whatever happens by the end of the season, this has been a tremendous campaign by Aberdeen who have been putting up a genuine challenge for the Scottish title and putting pressure on Celtic’s dominance of the game north of the border.
Even if they end up winning nothing the future is bright for them and not because of their present squad. Aberdeen have always promoted youth but now are doing so more than ever putting greater emphasis – as a lot of Scottish clubs are – on developing players.
Gavin Levey is Aberdeen’s Head of Junior Academy (the man responsible for the players younger than 12 in their academy) and in this interview he talks about the work that they’re doing, how they’re doing it and their overall philosophy.
Crewe Alexandra and the Pioneering Academy Model Under Dario Gradi
For a long, long time that of Dario Gradi was a lone voice in English football. He had taken over as manager of Crewe when they were literally the worst team in England’s professional structure and built them up to the point that they would go on to play in the Championship. And he did this on a very limited budget with most of the players coming through the youth system that he himself oversaw.
Today Crewe are in League One and Gradi is no longer manager yet their ethos remains the same: invest practically all the money that there is in the youth system in confidence that the structure that has helped develop the likes of Rob Jones, Danny Murphy, Nick Powell and Dean Ashton will keep on providing talent. This article takes a look at that system and how it provided the model on which Southampton was built.
Manchester City plan to link up with St-Etienne confirmed by president
This is only indirectly linked with youth development but, in the wake of the Premier League’s massive £5.1 billion television rights deal and the subsequent debate over the lack of money that will trickle down to grassroots level, it is a significant story.
The truth is that, with the riches now afforded to them, English clubs can now pick most European clubs clean of any talent that they have. That St Etienne, a French club with a rich history and currently doing well in the league, would consider a deal with Manchester City where they essentially agree that any promising player that they produce can move to City is significant both for the implications that it has for French football and also what it means for City’s own academy.