Welcome to the Training Ground Guru podcast, in association with Hudl. Each month we'll be taking you behind the scenes in professional football, with unique in... Ver más
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#50: Des Ryan: Athletic development of Academy players
Our guest on Episode #50 of the Training Ground Guru Podcast, in association with Hudl, is Des Ryan.
Des is Director of Coaching and Performance at Setanta College and was Head of Sports Medicine and Athletic Development at Arsenal Academy from 2013 to 2021.
During his time with the Gunners he helped to develop 'Strong Young Gunners' like Bukayo Saka.
SHOW NOTES =>
02:01: Darcy Norman praise. Always being an outsider. How move to Arsenal came about.
07:24: Differences between athletic development in football and rugby union.
09:41: Strong doesn't mean big. Lots of misconceptions about strength and conditioning work in football.
13:02: Skepticism/ hesitancy about gym work when he arrived at Arsenal. In vast majority of cases the training age was low.
18:30: What athletic development looks like through the different ages in the Academy.
21:15: No truth in 'old wive's tale' that weights can hamper growth.
24:15: Strong Young Gunners philosophy at Arsenal. Four pillars. Creating the most challenging and caring environment for development in the world.
28:06: Arriving in England and finding that players went home at 2pm. That changed so they were working full days.
29:37: Letter from Hector Bellerin to himself, now on the wall at the Academy.
31:31: Publishing 'The Arsenal Way of Physically Developing Players.' Arrow. Speed training. Different to straight line track sprinting. Arsenal have a tradition of producing athletic players.
38:17: Bukayo Saka. 'He was a very good example of Arsenal development'
42:57: Work with Setanta College.
45:40: Looking ahead to presenting at TGG's Youth Development Webinar on June 6th.
#49: Pedro Marques: Inside Benfica’s talent factory
Our guest on Episode #49 of the TGG Podcast, in association with Hudl, is Pedro Marques, the Technical Director of Benfica's Academy.
There's a strong case for saying that Benfica have the top Academy in Europe. They are the reigning UEFA Youth League champions (having beaten RB Salzburg 6-0 in the 2022 final), have the most profitable Academy in Europe (according to the CIES) and have recent graduates including Ruben Dias, Joao Felix and Bernardo Silva.
SHOW NOTES =>
02:30: Is there one thing that sets Benfica's Academy apart?
06:07: The importance of the Benfica Campus. Previously it was like "travelling with a house on your back" for players, parents and coaches.
08:56: Balance between being a development club and one that also wins trophies.
11:24: PILLAR ONE of the Benfica Academy = Scouting.
17:04: Admiring the work of Right 2 Dream, especially their character development and commitment to all children.
21:01: Overall there are 520 players in the system - 200 in the regional talent centres, 100 living in Lisbon and 220 living at the Benfica Campus.
26:45: Despite the success with South American players, the focus of the Academy is Portugal.
29:18: PILLAR TWO of the Benfica Academy = Methodology.
30:04: Broad base and diversity of activities at younger ages (futsal, dance, gymnastics, cage football) with more specialism at the older ages.
32:04: Playing model throughout the club. "It's not so much about the system, but principles & ideas - about intensity, taking the initiative, pressing high,regaining quickly & scoring lots of goals."
36:34: PILLAR THREE of the Benfica Academy = Competition.
41:02: PILLAR FOUR of the Benfica Academy = Opportunities.
43:17: Benfica Lab.
45:25: Instead of selling your stars, could you hold onto your best players in future and win the Champions League?
#48: Stuart Webber: Six years and beyond at Norwich City
Our guest on Episode #48 of the Training Ground Guru Podcast, in association with Hudl, is Norwich City Sporting Director Stuart Webber.
SHOW NOTES =>
02:04: Rebuilding Norwich's training ground. Appeal of Sporting Director job was producing something sustainable at a club.
08:03: Premier League is the hardest league in the world. Even Brentford and Brighton, in Norwich's peer group, have significant owner investment.
09:56: Arriving at the club in 2017. They were lacking direction/ didn't have a lot to show for seasons in the Premier League. Simplified the plan: style of play/ invest in youth/ develop global scouting.
13:10: Evolving as a person. Change manager v status quo manager.
17:48: Is he the purest form of a Sporting Director?
23:17: Should the Sporting Director be visible and communicate with media/ fanbase?
25:41: Inspired to do the Sporting Director role by Damien Comolli.
35:35: Huddersfield Town. Focusing on foreign players and foreign coaches.
39:02: Would you appoint an English Under-21 coach as a manager? Have done it with German coaches in David Wagner and Daniel Farke.
42:30: Summit Foundation.
45:05: Criticism for mountain climbs/ Summit Foundation. Breakdown of relationship with local newspaper.
56:00: Ambitions for Norwich City. Personal ambitions. Could see a future outside football.
#47: Tom Vernon: Giving everyone a Right to Dream
Our guest on Episode #47 of the TGG Podcast, in association with Hudl, is Tom Vernon, the founder and Group CEO of Right to Dream Group.
=> SHOW NOTES:
02:12: What is Right to Dream and its philosophy?
04:46: Start of Right to Dream in 1999. Changing the 'extractive mindset'. Setting up the only residential girls' Academy in Ghana.
12:23: Moving into the USA and plan to buy an MLS club.
16:12: Trying to have a straight pipe rather than a pyramid with youth development.
17:39: Right to Dream recruitment days in Africa. 100,000 kids attend trials every year.
19:33: Appointing Ian Yates as Head of Global Recruitment. "We wanted someone who had been thinking in multiple sports in multiple ways. We want to go to places which are overlooked, where people might believe excellence does not exist."
21:35: Why "entrepreneurship in Africa is as tough as it gets." How he benefitted from white privilege.
23:42: Expelled from school. His own dyslexia. Why football needs to follow lead of other industries and recognise/ promote neurodiversity.
29:30: How the world - and football - are "rigged systems", with a high level of unfairness towards Africa.
34:13: Good book - 'Why I am no longer talking to white people about race.' Ghana's 'year of the return.' African diaspora returning and driving a different narrative.
37:21: Praise for Gareth Southgate "realities of the past and reconstructing the future." "One of the most inspirational stories in the sport in the last 20 years."
38:43: Is Right to Dream 'ultimate socialism'? Is it sometimes difficult to balance this with capitalism of raising finance/ selling players and corporate packages etc?
46:09: Buying FC Nordsjaelland. Reasons why. Developing youth - 14 of the first-team squad have come through the Academies in Ghana and Denmark.
51:50: Other leagues and clubs are taking lessons from what FCN and Right to Dream do, but not so much England.
54:38: Right to Dream's KPIs - social impact, brand equity and football performance.
#46: David Sumpter: A curiosity-based approach to data
Our guest on Episode #46 of the TGG Podcast, in association with Hudl, is Professor David Sumpter, who has worked with top teams including Ajax, Barcelona and England.
=> SHOW NOTES:
02:06: How he got started in computer programming/ mathematics and then football.
05:45: Studying behaviour of birds and fish and how this relates to football. Need to look at at least six matches of data to remove randomness.
08:13: Matthew Benham's work on gambling/ modelling of odds was first alliance of football and data.
09:54: Teams including Manchester City come to visit him in Uppsala following publication of Soccermatics. First formal involvement with a club is with Swedish side Hammarby, spending 50% of his working time there.
21:00: How he packages up the approach to football developed at Hammarby to use at other clubs. Can apply to every area of the club, including fan experience, performance and scouting.
23:05: Worked on research projects with Barcelona, Ajax and England. With Ajax he's looking at the rules of motion of players. With the Football Association (England) he is working with a research student and they are looking at scanning behaviour and expected threat models.
29:45: Ajax are doing things 'from a more fundamental level, trying to understand the game from its basics', which is rare.
36:50: Liverpool are 'definitely leading the way in analytics', but doing it in a very different way to Ajax, focusing mainly on recruitment.
39:35: Importance of quantifying your style of play and how this 'identity' informs everything.
44:18: 'The stuff we did at Hammarby is still a lot more advanced than what's being done at some of the big clubs. There is still so much they can use this tracking data for.'
50:45: Analytics will never replace people or expertise. 'The inputs of experts are so important.'
56:45: Use of streamline, a 'second revolution' after Python.
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Welcome to the Training Ground Guru podcast, in association with Hudl. Each month we'll be taking you behind the scenes in professional football, with unique insights from leading experts. Thanks for listening.