The ECA Youth Task Force gathered at the Veltins Arena, home of FC Schalke 04, in Gelsenkirchen on the 1st of May to finalise the first draft of the ECA Youth Academy Benchmarking Guide. The publication is set to be published in Autumn 2012.
At this occasion, the ECA Task Force Members were invited to attend a coaching conference hosted by Schalke 04 gathering 200 coaches from all over Germany. Several FC Schalke 04 coaches presented the clubs training philosophy highlighting the importance of match preparation and post-match analysis. In particular, FC Schalke 04 Head Coach Huub Stevens gave interesting insight into his day-to-day work at the club and took the opportunity to exchange thoughts and ideas with the attendees.
Did you know?
Several Schalke 04 Youth Teams (U-15 - U21) accompanied the professional team to away matches during the club's UEFA Europa League campaign 2011/12. Friendly matches were organised against AEK Larnaca, Maccabi Haifa, Viktoria Plzen, FC Twente and Athletic Bilbao. With this initiative the youth players were offered the opportunity to gather first international experience and "live" a European adventure.
On the 3rd of May, the ECA Task Force met for its last field visit in Barcelona. The information gathered during the visit of FC Barcelona's famous Youth Academy "La Masia" will form part of the first ECA Youth Academy Benchmarking Guide. The aim of this benchmarking guide is to provide advice and share experiences from youth development strategies in order to improve the functioning of club academies. It will also help improve ECA knowledge relating to youth academies and allow members to learn from each other by offering examples of best practice. The ECA Youth Task Force already visited the youth academies of FC Internazionale Milano, Arsenal FC, NK Dinamo Zagreb, R. Standard de Liège, FC Levadia Tallinn, FC Bayern München, Sporting Clube de Portugal and AFC Ajax.