Foundation Phase Lead Coach Adam Maltby will be updating us on the academy for this weeks update.
Maltby discusses the recent academy results over the past week, the selection process for district in age groups u14 and u15, academy players that are training with the first-team in pre-season, holiday camps, development centres and pre-academies, Leatherhead Youth fixtures for the u9s – u16s and news on the soon to come fixture release for the 2020/21 season.
HOW DID THE ACADEMY DO IN THEIR FRIENDLIES OVER THE PAST WEEK?
Adam said: “We played against Uxbridge on Monday evening and we managed to get a result out of that. I’m not sure what the scores were but the boys did really well.
“Throughout training, we’ve worked really hard on mentality and to have that mentality on not giving up no matter what the score is. We’ve been progressing really well and the trialists have been coming down throughout the week. Plenty of trialists have come in and been competitive with our original boys so the level is always high.
“We also had a result where the u16s in the YDP (Youth Development Phase) beat Yateley u16s 4-1 which is really good. They did really well. There were areas of improvement but we can always reflect on that.
“We also have fixtures coming up as well with the u7s and u12s FDP (Foundation Development Phase). They are playing against Pro Sports Academy on Sunday. We have our last pre-season match coming up on the 29th or 30th where it’s going to be the most challenging against Leatherhead Youth from our u7s – u16s. All of those age groups will be playing them at their facility as well.”
PLAYERS ARE BEING SELECTED FOR THE DISTRICT IN AGE GROUPS U14 AND U15. WHAT SORT OF PLAYERS ARE THEY LOOKING TO RECRUIT?
“They are looking for impact players and players who they think are district level. As an academy, we do have those types of players, especially in those age groups. We always look to make sure that those players represent the district.
“As an academy, we would like to make sure that they remain with us as well. They will also be looking at players who are team players as well as individual players that can make an impact as well.”
BEN SHROLL, JOE RABBETTS, LEANDRO JARDIM AND LEWIS BOOTH FROM THE ACADEMY HAVE BEEN TRAINING WITH THE FIRST-TEAM FOR PRE-SEASON. WILL THE ACADEMY BE AIMING TO GET THEM PROFESSIONAL CONTRACTS?
“Yeah, 100%. I believe that those players have a great attitude and they turn up to training every day with a willingness to learn and develop themselves and win for the team. I definitely believe that by the end of this season coming up, we will get them into the first-team with a professional contract.
“Again, as coaches, we are there to support them. They’re doing really well but the whole point of them having that mentality is making sure that they see it through. To the end of that stage, they need to see what outcomes are for them.
“I definitely believe that they have the potential to be in and around that first-team by the end of the 2020/21 season.”
HOLIDAY CAMPS ARE UNDERWAY NOW AND THERE IS ONE MORE ON AUGUST 24TH. HOW EXCITING IS IT TO COME BACK AND RESUME THOSE CAMPS?
“We’ve been pretty successful throughout all of the holiday camps this summer especially. Numbers are coming in and we’ve got over 30 kids that joined us in the last camp and we’ve got about 24-25 coming up for the 24th August.
“It’s so good to see especially coming back from a pandemic, it’s great to see that young footballers and people from the public are coming in and showing interest. They are being a part of our camps and it’s always good because whoever turns up to these camps, it doesn’t end whenever the camps ends.
“We try to offer them places at the performance centres that we do as well. It’s not like they’re enjoying the week and then leaving us completely, we always offer them pathways to come and stay with us as well which is really exciting. There is great weather for it and there are plenty of coaches to help them as well.”
DEVELOPMENT CENTRES AND PRE-ACADEMIES WILL START IN SEPTEMBER. WHAT ARE THOSE ABOUT AND HOW WILL IT HAPPEN?
“The development centres and pre-academies will be a direct pathway to the academy. They’re going to have a full training program same as the academy. This will be to learn about the philosophy behind what we do, why we do it and the purpose of why we coach them with the same philosophy as we do with the academy.
“It’s just for players that if they don’t get into the academy through trials, they can come to the performance centre and develop there as well as play for their grassroots teams as well. For example, if they played for Rushmore and they wanted extra training then they could come and join us and we can help them out further and develop them further as players.
“We just focus on one v ones and individual ball work so they focus on the important individual stuff. As an academy, we just focus on the individual player development and that will also benefit them in a team environment as well so we make sure that it’s a safe environment and get them to experience academy training and feel what it’s like.”
“They can still experience academy coaches and get to know the academy environment even though they’re not in the academy just yet. We still make it fun, enjoyable and competitive as well.”
THE U9S – U16S ARE TRAINING AT ALDERWOOD SCHOOL AND THEY HAVE FIXTURES AGAINST LEATHERHEAD YOUTH AT THE END OF THE MONTH. HOW EXCITED ARE THEY FOR THOSE GAMES?
“They are really looking forward to it. Leatherhead have always been a challenging side to play against and they have a lot of good players individually. It’s always good to play them as they set the tempo from the start of the season right up until the end.
“I believe that every single age group will be challenged against them. We’re going to prepare by playing our own game and what we teach the players, they’ll deliver onto the pitch. Our goal in pre-season is to develop everyone individually, we have new players coming in as well from trials and other places.
“We want to get those new players settled in quickly, get them playing and just get the ball rolling. I’m looking forward to it and it’d be good to see how everyone gets on.”
THE FIXTURES FOR THE ACADEMY WILL BE RELEASED ON THE WEBSITE SOON. HOW EXCITED ARE YOU FOR THE NEW SEASON AND WHAT ARE YOUR EXPECTATIONS?
“I’m expecting in most age groups from the Surrey Youth League to the JPL (Junior Premier League) to be competitive. I want us to be prolific and for us to have a reputation of being a side who people look forward to playing against in the sense of how hard we will be to beat.
“I want other teams to look at us and go, I can’t wait to play them or we will be hard to play against. We just want the kids to get playing in full-time training and games programs which will be very good. It will be good to get everything back to normal from lockdown.”