A delegation of the ECA Youth Working Group today visited the Youth Academy of Athletic Club in Bilbao.
The ECA delegation, which specifically focuses on the aspect of "Transition from Youth to First Team", is one of three thematic expert groups looking at important aspects of youth development. The other groups focus on successful Youth Academy Management and Education within Youth Academies.
Specific questions such as "Why do talented academy athletes often fail to successfully join the first team?" and "How do athletes cope with the academy-to-first-team career transition?" were at the centre of discussion during today's meeting.
Welcomed in Bilbao by Athletic Club's President Josu Urrutia, the ECA Members - notably representing PFC CSKA Moskva, Stade Rennais FC, AFC Ajax, FC Internazionale Milano and NK Siroki Brijeg - could learn first-hand from Athletic Club how they deal with this important matter.
Commenting on the ECA visit, Athletic Club President Josu Urrutia said:
"We are very pleased to be part of ECA, and the fact that ECA believes the Athletic Club Youth Academy is an example in this area honours us."
The major findings and outcomes of the visit will be discussed at the next Youth Working Group Meeting, which takes place at the occassion of the 12th ECA General Assembly on the 3rd of March in Barcelona. The information gathered will also be integrated in a detailed report which will be completed by two additional site visits in the upcoming year.