Today, ECA Membership Services Manager Olivier Jarosz participated in a seminar on Youth Development hosted by the Danish Football Association in Copenhagen. For the benefit of approximately 50 representatives from Danish clubs and accompanied by ECA Youth Task Force member Konstantin Kornakov (Heart of Midlothian FC), he presented the key findings of the ECA Report on Youth Academies.
The presentation proved to be very educational with many Youth Academy Directors present actively participating in the Q&A session that followed.
The Report, launched in 2012, coincides with the increasing investments of clubs in their youth academies following the implementation of the Financial Fair-Play rules. It outlines and compares different approaches and philosophies of some of the top academies across the continent, acting as a benchmark for all clubs thinking of investing in youth development.
Another topic on the agenda involved the question of youth transition into the first team. A case study analysis of the U19 Danish National League was presented where Heads of Youth Academies took the opportunity to discuss from a sporting point of view on the best possible format for an optimal transition into the first team. Additionally, the matter of player eligibility for National teams was raised as Danish regulations in combination with FIFA rules make the obtainment of sportive citizenship a complex issue.