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RE: 10 Year Old Son wants to join Football Academy

(36 Posts)
LoveWorkingForMyself Mon 19-Mar-18 11:46:00


Any advice greatly appreciated on this subject please!


cantkeepawayforever Tue 20-Mar-18 22:13:11

Has he been scouted and offered a place, or is it just a dream that he has?

Is it a Premier League setup at the club's training base, a satellite using the club's name, or a lower league club that you are looking at?

LoveWorkingForMyself Fri 23-Mar-18 10:58:49

its an aspiration of his at the moment!
Is it a Premier League setup at the club's training base, a satellite using the club's name, or a lower league club that you are looking at? - I really don't know how would I find all this out please?

cantkeepawayforever Fri 23-Mar-18 19:09:26

The thing is, the usual route is for a boy to be scouted - ie spotted while playing for their normal weekend [usually] team. They would usually have been spotted by your DS's age - DS was scouted at 7/8 and played for 3 years for the local lower league club's academy before being selected out.

However, the 'bigger', more well-known teams may well hold selection events as well: it would be worth googling [your local club] + academy to see what that brings up.

Beware that there paid-for football courses branded by some premier league clubs ( e.g. Liverpool Soccer Schools) and these are seldom a route into the main academy.

It's a pretty unforgiving world, though. Training 2-3x per week and weekend matches is normal, for children younger than your DS, and selection out is the norm. I think only 1 of DS's Academy mates have made it through to youth football with the club.

user1471539385 Sat 07-Apr-18 14:55:58

Some clubs run school holiday courses that can result in an invitation to a trial. Mostly just Primary age though, so you would want to try to book something ASAP!

ineedamoreadultieradult Sat 07-Apr-18 14:59:29

Does he play football for a team at all at the moment? They are usually scouted by academies from the local junior leagues. And then usually only from the top few divisions of the league. It is very competitive and most kids are scouted aged about 7. Also if you do get in the academy it is then very full on. My friend's son was scouted at 7 signed from the academy and had to sign papers saying he wouldn't play football in the street or go ice skating etc in case he got an injury.

Kutik73 Thu 19-Apr-18 22:08:35

One day we took DS to a local drop off weekend football. It was a very casual setting and anyone could come and play for fun. After the session we were approached by one of the staff and asked to bring DS to a trial for the junior section of a premier league. DS was then successfully invited to join in the u6 team - he was 5 at the time. When DS was 8 or 9, they held selection events which were open to anyone interested, not only for those in the junior teams. I think there were 300 or so kids gathered. They put some in the top division, some in the next division and I think the rest had no offer (sorry DH did all this so I don't know the official name of these things!). DS was placed in the top division. But at that time DS had developed other interest and was not keen to commit 3-5 days a week of training + matches + long journey. DH made DS continue for a year, but it was just too much. So we eventually asked to remove DS from the top division and now DS plays in the second division which has totally different atmosphere and lots more manageable and fun. Football Academy is def not for lighthearted families. Yes, I say 'families', not just the child himself. Lots driving, time/work juggling, unsociable hours commitments etc.

Kutik73 Thu 19-Apr-18 22:13:44

But obviously if that's what the child want and the family is happy to support him 100%, that's great. But as someone said it's quite brutal even for mere 9-10 years old. You've got to have thick skin to survive.

pollyhampton Thu 19-Apr-18 22:18:14

My youngest son plays for a premier league academy. I don't know any child that has gone down the academy route without being scouted. My ds was scouted through his football club but his friend was scouted through playing football for school. It's hard work, we turned down the club twice but ds was determined to play for them. A lot of travelling but worth it.

RomaineCalm Thu 19-Apr-18 22:18:57

Someone recommended the BT Sport documentary 'No Hunger in Paradise' to me when DC was talking about a 'career' in football.

It's worth watching for a view on the football academy system. Haven't read it but I think there's also a book. Definitely not for the faint-hearted.

Taffeta Thu 19-Apr-18 22:26:35

DS played premier league academy football for 3 years, was scouted aged 8.
It was a lot of work, for him & us. Also a lot of pressure. We withdrew him as he started having panic attacks during matches.

There are benefits - the coaching was amazing, he made a wonderfully diverse range of friends, learned a lot and travelled widely.

The big downside is once they get to 13-14 they have to start missing school....

Kutik73 Thu 19-Apr-18 23:11:42

I can't remember the title but I read a book about football academy also. After I understood how it works I was not very keen to let DS go into the world. But it was up to him. Luckily he decided it was not his thing. I wouldn't like him missing school for football. But now he is into music which is no better than football career wise!

Kutik73 Thu 19-Apr-18 23:15:21

I found it. It was 'Every Boy's Dream: England's Football Future on the Line' by Chris Green. It was such an eye opener, especially for me as I knew nothing about football and academy.

Lifechallenges Mon 07-May-18 18:50:47

Kutik73 those ‘fun days’ are in fact scouting days...looking for 4/5 year olds to get into their pre academies. They look like just a bit of fun, but have a serious underside.

Kutik73 Mon 07-May-18 20:54:31

Yes, it was a scouting day, Lifechallenges. No one knew though (or at least we didn't know). But now I know those guys are everywhere, from bigish events to very local small school matches.

Lifechallenges Mon 07-May-18 22:07:54

I don’t think most people realise how young it all starts. I see DC every week deemed ‘not up to scratch’ at age 5. They can barely dress themselves ..

Kutik73 Mon 07-May-18 22:28:02

I was told it was because they want to snatch talented ones before taken by other clubs. Not sure how true it is for them to start so early.

Kutik73 Mon 07-May-18 22:30:30

Another thing I was told was because those scouts were everywhere if you were talented you would be found.

Lifechallenges Mon 07-May-18 22:40:13

They do want to grab them before another club does, in the hope that they later make money for the club when sold etc so they invite hundreds to join ‘development sessions’ which are of mixed quality.

Lifechallenges Mon 07-May-18 22:46:12

The scouts hang around the higher divisions of local leagues especially around the U7 / U8 leagues. Less so in the older age groups as a 9/10/11 year old who is still just playing grassroots is unlikely to be able to compete against a child that has been in an intensive ‘academy development group’ since age 5.. contracts are signed age 8

Kutik73 Mon 07-May-18 22:48:58

The club DS belonged to runs award winning development centres/academy so the coaching and facilities were excelllent. They even had a dome to cover several pitches for winter training. Parents didn't get as good treatment as the players though. We even didn't have a place to sit down! grin

Lifechallenges Mon 07-May-18 22:58:41

Well sounds very like one of our local prem clubs... and yes you have to stand on the balcony in the dome if they let you in lol. But there are also loads of sessions under prem club banners that are really quite poor

Kutik73 Mon 07-May-18 23:02:39

Well, DS still belongs to the same club! But as he's moved out of the top group, the training venue is less glamorous now! Certainly no more dome! And less matches. Coaching is still good I think. But it's now once a week instead of 3-4 times a week.

FermatsTheorem Mon 07-May-18 23:12:24

OP, I'd read this: Football’s biggest issue’: the struggle facing boys rejected by academies from last year's Guardian. Having read it, I personally would be incredibly wary of letting my son sign up for an Academy.

The odds on a boy making it through the academy system into the professional game are incredibly long, and the amount of time it takes and the impact on their education means there's sod-all options open to the boys who don't make it after they've been "spat out" by the system.

Kutik73 Mon 07-May-18 23:19:26

I also recommend the book I mentioned earlier. It tells you the problems of the system. The book certainly put me off the whole academy thing. I also knows a few boys who got axed quite brutally after all the devotion and commitments.

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