A delegation of the ECA Youth Working Group, led by its Chairman and ECA Board Member Edwin van der Sar, today visited the Borussia Dortmund Youth Academy.
The delegation is one of three thematic expert groups looking at key aspects in youth development, and specifically focuses on the "Education" facet. The remaining two groups respectively focus on successful Youth Academy Management and Transition to the first team within Youth Academies.
The purpose of today's visit was to address key questions such as "How to combine and integrate academic education with football education?" and "Should football clubs also educate the player's entourage, and if yes - how?"
Together with different Borussia Dortmund representatives, members of AFC Ajax, FC Schalke 04, CS Grevenmacher and the former Head of Youth Academy of NK Dinamo Zagreb were present on behalf of the Youth Working Group to exchange knowledge.
Commenting on the ECA visit, Borussia Dortmund Head of Youth Academy Lars Ricken said:
"If the hours spent on the pitch and hard training are essential, an efficient education process is also a key aspect for the optimal player's development. Today, together with the ECA Youth Working Group we were able to exchange views on those aspects which are as important as the sportive parameters".
The main outcomes of the visit will be discussed at the next Youth Working Group Meeting. The information gathered will also be integrated in a detailed report which will be presented later on during the current ECA two-year cycle.