ECA News

The ECA Youth Academies Task Force met in Lisbon today at the Cidade do Futebol, home to the Portuguese Football Federation (FPF).

The specialised Task Force, which was assembled under the umbrella of the ECA Youth Working Group to discuss major challenges facing the development of youth players at professional football clubs across Europe, was invited to attend a presentation from the FPF on its certification model for youth academies.

President of the FPF, Fernando Gomes welcomed the Task Force, which was made up of representatives from Juventus, Olympiacos FC, Aalborg BK, amongst others, as well as invited local clubs, SL Benfica and Sporting Clube de Portugal, to the national technical centre of the UEFA Euro 2016 winners, Portugal.

The aim of the Task Force meeting was to get a better understanding of the FPF's unique certification model for youth academies, which can serve as inspiration for the continued work on developing minimum standards across Europe. Former members of the ECA Youth Working Group, Pedro Mil-Homes and Diogo Matos presented the model on behalf of FPF, demonstrating the clear practical implementation of outcomes and theories developed from the 2012 ECA Report on Youth Academies in Europe.

The domestic licensing criteria imposed looks to establish best practice in nine key departments:

  • Planning and Budget
  • Organisational Structure
  • Recruitment
  • Sports Training
  • Medical Sports Monitoring
  • Personal Social Training
  • Human Resources
  • Facilities
  • Productivity

The expertise and knowledge gained from this meeting and the model implemented by the FPF can be put into practice across European clubs in order to stimulate, develop and protect the grassroots of youth football.

For more information regarding the work of the ECA Youth Academies Task Force, see the preliminary results of the recent ECA Youth Academies Study. A video summarising some of the key findings of the ECA Youth Academies Study can be viewed here.