football academy news 2014/2015
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Week three of the 2015 pre-season session saw all the players attend the UK football trials session in Manchester.
The UK football trials is something EduKick Manchester attends regularly with the team. Having formed a partnership with UK football trials in 2013/2014 EduKick Manchester sees this as a great opportunity for the player to showcase their talent. At all the trial sessions there are a number of pro club scouts watching the boys, at the last session in May there was 14 different clubs represented.
During the time the EduKick Manchester players have been attending we’ve had a number of successes, with Matt being picked for Witton, Carlos heading to Everton, and others being called in for trials.
Not only is it a great opportunity to be seen, but it’s also a great place for the players themselves to judge their own ability against some top players in the UK. Many of the attendees of the sessions are player who are at clubs and coming towards the end of their time there or have been released by professional clubs in the UK and are looking for further opportunities, so to just play alongside these players gives the EduKick lads a chance to see what they can do. For those players who are here for the full year programme, it also gives them a head start at the next trial. They will know exactly what to expect and will be a lot more prepared for the day.
In this August trials session it was interesting to watch the sessions the boys were doing with the pro coaches. All the sessions were similar to those that Nigel has been doing with them over the past 2 ½ weeks, so they should be ready.
Hopefully we will receive some positive feedback from the session and we can see once again an EduKick player progress on.
The next UK football trials session is in October, so book your player on the EduKick Manchester month long programme in October to gain entry into this trial, however places are limits, so act soon!
Hard Work during Pre-season Training
It’s been a hard couple of weeks so far for the boys on the pre-season programme, however under the guidance of Nigel & Jose they are work really hard and enjoying their time, even though it’s so tough.
So far we have had 100% attendance, a tremendous attitude and some great work rate from all the players involved. Reporting to the school for 9am every morning, other than those who are just doing football, the lads are studying hard, learning more about sport, fitness and the game in the UK. This week with Nigel they have been looking at coaching, trying to understand how coaches work, how they plan a session and the process they go through. It’s a great tool to have as a player to try to enable you to relate to your coaches. Similarly as JP says in this short interview, if soccer doesn’t work out for them coaching may be the line f work they would look at, to stay in the game.
After the classroom sessions it’s been down to training and then the hard work really begins, with Nigel and Jose putting the lads through their paces to improve fitness and strength. This week, whilst Nigel was working on their aerobic endurance and testing how far they had come, Jose then led a session looking at their upper body strength, holding off players and being strong in challenges.
Another one of the EduKick Manchester players are achieving success, this time its current EduKick Manchester Player Zaan (Ismail Zaan Amir)
Zaan gets an International call up
Zaan joined Edukick Manchester at the start of the 2014/2015 season, and as one of the youngest players on the programme has really impressed in his time. Zaan is a complete professional, both on the pitch and off the pitch, working hard in every aspect of the programme and being totally focused on success. During his year at EduKick Manchester, Zaan caught the eye of a few of the coaches during the PFA sessions at Blackburn Rovers, and the attention of the scouts during the UK football trials.
Zaan’s development over the past season has been fantastic, all due to his ability to learn, take on board feedback and work hard to improve.All the work rewarded Zaan with the Young Player Of The Year award for 2014/2015 and now his effort has been rewarded during his summer break with Zaan being selected for his National U16’s side.
During August 2015 Zaan will travel to the SAFF U16’s Championships in Bangladesh. He will be representing the Maldives but not only that, he will be leading them out as team captain.
In their warm up games, they have been doing well, with a 5-1 victory and Zaan getting on the score sheet.
Everyone at Edukick Manchester are tremendously proud of Zaan and wish him the best of luck at the tournament. Zaan will then be returning to Edukick Manchester for his second year on the programme, finishing his iGCSE’s and working more on his football, and with the experience of international duty who knows where he can take his football career.
A Great Start to Pre-Season
The Pre – season programme kicked off this week in Manchester and it’s been a great week. The players we have registered on the course are committed and determined to improve. It’s been a delight to see their commitment to the course and their desire to work hard, both in the classroom and on the pitch.
With a packed timetable for most, the players have been reporting to the school in the centre of Manchester for 9am every morning. There is a split in the academic studies, with some following the BTEC sample sessions with Nigel on the football studies programme, and some on the EFL lessons with IH Manchester to improve their English. These boys on the study & football programme have been in class for 3 hours a day, dedicated to learning, then it is off to the training ground to get some football in.
As its pre-season the football sessions are all about fitness, so Nigel and Jose have been working them hard for the 2 hours on the pitch, not only to improve technique, but also to get them fit ready for a demanding season ahead.
For Devendra it’s been even tougher on the fitness side, as Devendra has signed up for the football only programme. He’s been at the training ground in the mornings too, working with Jose on his fitness and some one on one sessions to really home in on his improvements.
A great start to the season and we look forward to the challenges ahead. Not long until the UK football trials, so they have to keep focused on that and keep improving.
Meeting More Stars of the Game
This week at Edukick Manchester, as part of our link with the Professional Footballers Association, the players have been involved once again with the coach education programmes. As in previous sessions these UEFA coaching programmes are held for current and past professional players and coaching staff from the game in the UK. On previous sessions the Edukick players have met up with current and ex Manchester united players such as Michael Carrick, and once again this week it was no different, except there was a host of big name players who were coaching the lads.
The sessions were split over two venues this week, with half of the boys travelling to Curzon, a ground they know well from previous fixtures against the club, and half of the boys getting a great opportunity to see the Blackburn Rovers academy training facilities.
At both of these sessions they met some current and ex professionals and club managers such as Nicky Hunt, Trevor Sinclair, Danny Pugh, Paul Rahubka, Freddy Kanuote, Michael Raynes and Darren Peacock. Along with this there were coaches from clubs such as Blackburn, Oxford Utd, Mansfield Town, Macclesfield Town, Oldham Athletic, York City, Rotherham Utd, Crewe Alexandra, Warrington town, Lancaster City and Barrow plus many more.
So what a great opportunity for the boys and they did us proud, with fantastic comments coming from the players and coaches, and one or two of the club coaches having an interest in the players, so watch this space, some may get that last chance with club.
As a little extra bonus, Danny Pugh, ex Manchester United star and now currently at Coventry City, has offered to come to the EduKick Manchester training ground next week to do some work with the lads.
Reaching New Heights in Technology
This week EduKick Manchester have been trialing their new technical acquisition that will hopefully aid training and match analysis next season, along with the opportunities for the EduKick Manchester players.
EduKick have invested in a sports mast camera, which will enable filming of games and training sessions from 6 meters high, giving a whole new perspective of the game analysis.
The sports mast, which arrived last week, means that the new HD video camera can be mounted on the 6 meter high pole yet controlled from below, this enables a better, ‘plan view’ of games and training. Currently the EduKick team film every game and compile week highlights of the programme, this does enable the coaches to review games and feedback, but with a limited amount of vision and sight of the whole picture. With the new technology this should mean the view is much more beneficial for player’s development and insight into positions and movement on the field, along with providing some excellent highlights to keep friends and family up to date.
Initially during the closing weeks of the 2014/2015 season the team will be testing it out and trying to gain as much footage and best practice as possible, with a view to filming most of the fixtures in the 2015/2016 season. These filmed games will then be available not only for the coaches in the match review sessions, but is a match library for the players to copy themselves and use in compiling their own video CV highlights or just watching their own performance. It is also hoped that we can post these on a new YouTube channel that will feature the EduKick Manchester games, for all parents, players and friends to see. A great benefit of this is when creating opportunities for player’s progression into the professional game. Currently we invite scouts to fixtures and create opportunities for the players to be seen live in games, with this new technology we will be able to send match footage involving all the players to many more football scouts across the world to aid in the EduKick Manchester’s players opportunities.
10 Years Celebration
During the 9 seasons of the programme in the UK we’ve looked at trying to find great experiences and opportunities for all the players on the programme and continue to grow these, however over the time we’ve had some great treats for the players, including the trips this season to the Manchester united training ground, meeting and being coaches by the top players and going to the national stadium.
However back a few seasons ago when the visa regulations for travel into Europe were a little easier for our international players, we managed to travel to Madrid twice to meet up with EduKick Madrid and compete in the Alcala de Henares Cup.
In 2012 the EduKick England team got a real treat too, playing the Real Madrid side in the competition and held them to a 0-0 draw.
The EduKick Players see Falcao in the U21’s
The EduKick Manchester players travelled to Old Trafford this week to take in the Manchester United U21’s V Spurs U21’s.
Watching these fixtures not only gives the lads a chance to go to the magnificent stadium in Manchester, but also enables them to see the level of play at that age, where most of the EduKick lads are looking at aiming. It’s a really good test to see if the EduKick players can compare themselves to the U21’s at the top level and then can start to self-assess where they might be at, all this and they get up close to the action too.
This week in the game they also got a treat as Manchester United star and multi Million pound signing Falcao turned out to get some minutes in a game in.
Another great experience for the EduKick lads in Manchester.