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-   -   'Football Academies - A side of football no-one talks about' (https://www.cpfc.org/forums/showthread.php?t=261246)

Woosie 22-08-2015 10:00 PM

'Football Academies - A side of football no-one talks about'
 
Have a read of this if you're interested in what happens at academies. Pretty brutal but not really surprising.

https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/paren...-simon-bywater

Steamy 22-08-2015 10:17 PM

A very emotive article. Feel very sorry for Bywater Jr, but if he is as good as his Dad claims, he will make it in the game.

CharlieCPFC 22-08-2015 10:17 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Woosie (Post 12540969)
Have a read of this if you're interested in what happens at academies. Pretty brutal but not really surprising.

https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/paren...-simon-bywater

A very good read and surprising stories like these aren't documented more often publicly.

The academy structure in this nation is an absolute shambles. Coaching sessions for 9 year olds are treated more like military training. I understand the nessessity to install discipline but they go way too far in my opinion. So far that some boys are nervous and don't actually enjoy playing or want to express themselves under tense pressure.

Children develop at all different ages, so why clubs release players who aren't good enough at 8 years of age is just strange. I also believe that youngsters are encouraged to play like robots with no freedom or creativity to express themselves.

I personally think academies need three teams in each age group and look to stick with them age groups for at least 5 years. Either that or there needs to be a "foundation tier" in between academy and grass roots level. The facilities and coaching levels between the two are massive it's embarrassing. I believe a tier two should ensure all clubs play on 4G facilities with a minimum level 2 coaches working on each group. How on earth is a 12 year old who's just been released by say for instance Palace expected to possibly hit his peak which could happen between the ages of 13-15 (which some do) under a coach who has barely if any decent experience developing players and playing on poor facilities?

switchboard 23-08-2015 08:12 PM

Out of interest anyone know the person in question with his son in the academy?

HRS 23-08-2015 08:53 PM

It's not nice to read but to be honest i've heard all before and not really sure what the answer is. Are things really any different in other countries?

Woosie 23-08-2015 08:53 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by switchboard (Post 12542423)
Out of interest anyone know the person in question with his son in the academy?

Simon Bywater - son is Kieran Bywater.

CharlieCPFC 23-08-2015 08:58 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by HRS (Post 12542479)
It's not nice to read but to be honest i've heard all before and not really sure what the answer is. Are things really any different in other countries?

Yes, you'd be astonished.

HRS 23-08-2015 09:02 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by CharlieCPFC (Post 12542488)
Yes, you'd be astonished.

In what ways?

switchboard 23-08-2015 10:17 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Woosie (Post 12542480)
Simon Bywater - son is Kieran Bywater.

I meant this statement and who it referred to:

''Nick Haycock who was incidentally forced out of West Ham by a certain person who has his own son happily in the squad.''

AJ8 23-08-2015 10:47 PM

The way some academy's treat kids needs to change. Just today I was speaking to the father of an 11 year old who was told he was being released by a London club as they couldn't afford to keep a "luxury player" going. 11 years old!

sheepy 23-08-2015 11:03 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Woosie (Post 12540969)
Have a read of this if you're interested in what happens at academies. Pretty brutal but not really surprising.

https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/paren...-simon-bywater

Family friend has a kid who might be offered a scholarship soon.

The dad is keen but mum is rooting for him not to be offered it as she doesn't want him in the system.

Obviously the riches for succeeding are astronomical but it just seems like an awful life to push a kid into. Less than a 1% chance of success after having to put so much effort in / give up so much of your childhood for (not to mention the politics / corruption the article alludes to).

Bones14 23-08-2015 11:24 PM

Wow.... That's a shocking story. Really feel for the family and young man in question.

Not a good look for the "ammers" academy either.

The one thing that hits home though is even for the little ones, it's a business now and no longer a sport.

WellingtonEagle 24-08-2015 05:52 AM

I find the comments about the lack of financial support a bit surprising. One of my cousins is in the Barcelona academy but had a bunch of trials with English clubs (including palace). The English clubs were willing to offer more financial support than others. IIRC Liverpool were willing to go so far as to find accommodation and employment for his parents and help with the relocation.

firesign 24-08-2015 07:33 AM

I'm sure I'm not the only one who noticed the words 'Allardyce' and 'agent' in the article...

elliott 24-08-2015 07:39 AM

Similar story from my friend relating to a Yorkshire club. Characters not acting in the best interest of the club, private dealings going on, and no-one really caring about the wellbeing of their students.

chatham_eagle 24-08-2015 07:44 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by switchboard (Post 12542592)
I meant this statement and who it referred to:

''Nick Haycock who was incidentally forced out of West Ham by a certain person who has his own son happily in the squad.''

The academy manager is Terry Westley, whose son plays for the Under 21s.

Ralph 24-08-2015 08:46 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by switchboard (Post 12542592)
I meant this statement and who it referred to:

''Nick Haycock who was incidentally forced out of West Ham by a certain person who has his own son happily in the squad.''

Yes - Academy manager is Terry Westley, son is Sam Westley who has followed his dad from Birmingham to West Ham. It's an unpleasant read BUT Sam Westley is a CB and Kieran Bywater a Attacking CM so dont really see one keeping the other out.

He's clearly been pushed out for his agent choice but I think it has little to do with Sam Westley - equally not nice for that young kid to be dragged through any unpleasantries.

cpfc4evandeva 24-08-2015 08:47 AM

hang on a sec: If what this guys says is true, then it's got nothing to do with the academy at all, does it? Allardyce didn't want to sign him but other staff at the club did.

Things like lack of travel expenses is poor but two things on that: 75 miles in any direction from West Ham means there would have been a Football League club nearby. But this guy only wanted a Premier League club for his son - that's his choice. And if he wasn't getting paid these expenses, why didn't he pipe up about it at the time?

Also, if his son is as good as he says then he will get a chance. To say lower league clubs don't like taking a risk is not true. If you're good enough then you will get a go. Especially an ex-West Ham Academy graduate who had a great goal scoring record.

'Some will think I’m writing this article because I’m a bitter Dad because our son didn’t get an opportunity at West Ham.' I think he is bitter and that's completely understandable. The only terrible thing in the article and one which is worth investigating is the agent story. Something that follows Allardyce around...

Pub Idol 24-08-2015 08:54 AM

Interesting article on Sterling a few weeks back where it stated how young players are treated by clubs and justifying his actions because of this.

Football is cutthroat business and if club doesn't want you are out. Players do what's right for themselves just like we all do each day.

Billyd 24-08-2015 09:20 AM

A good read with some valid points raised (especially the bit about the promises made for an in demand player).

However generally speaking it is contradictory and one sided in the extreme. Il go into in more depth when I have time, but it comes across pretty bitter to me. I cant say to much about 16,17,18 year olds but in the younger age groups when a player is released the parents ALWAYS blame the club. Their child could have a terrible attitude and be miles behind his team mates ability wise but all the parent will see is the amount of time and dedication they have put in over the years and how their child is almost certainly the next David Beckham.

Fact is at West Ham hes a terrific football education at West Ham with some of the best academy coaches in the world. If this kid is good enough he will make it.

CPFC_DAVE77 24-08-2015 09:36 AM

Plays for Bishops Stortford now.

Poosence 24-08-2015 09:54 AM

This was quite interesting but when I got to the line "given his selfless great attitude and a Commando ethos he learned from me over years of dedicated effort", my eyebrowes raised. I'd certainly be seeking the other side of the story before taking this guy's account as gospel. It's a shame because I'm sure there are some grains of truth in there on the academy system, but I couldn't be sure which.

Pint of Speroni 24-08-2015 10:06 AM

We regularly pick up players let go by other clubs at that age so not really sure - if he is good enough - how he's only ended up at Bishops Stortford

Billyd 24-08-2015 10:42 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by CPFC_DAVE77 (Post 12542941)
Plays for Bishops Stortford now.

And there is the bitter truth of the matter.

Dont get me wrong it must be hard for parents to take when they have spent the best part of 10 years shipping their son around 3-4 times a week but there is no guarantee anyone will make it. If your not good enough your not good enough. Every parent knows this going in.

Also in this case it was purely their decision to travel further to get to 'West Ham'. I can understand it once the kid is 15+ but travelling 2 hours+ with a 8-14 year olds is bonkers.

There is a dad who posts on here who rejected some very big clubs for his 8/9 year son and instead took them Crawley because it was much more local. Meant it wouldn't disrupt his child's education and social upbringing. Not to mention pressure and demands etc. Definitely the right thing to do at that age.

CPFC_DAVE77 24-08-2015 10:44 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Billyd (Post 12543044)
And there is the bitter truth of the matter.

Dont get me wrong it must be hard for parents to take when they have spent the best part of 10 years shipping their son around 3-4 times a week but there is no guarantee anyone will make it. If your not good enough your not good enough. Every parent knows this going in.

Also in this case it was purely their decision to travel further to get to 'West Ham'. I can understand it once the kid is 15+ but travelling 2 hours+ with a 8-14 year olds is bonkers.

There is a dad who posts on here who rejected some very big clubs for his 8/9 year son and instead took them Crawley because it was much more local. Meant it wouldn't disrupt his child's education and social upbringing. Not to mention pressure and demands etc. Definitely the right thing to do at that age.

It did strike me that the parent opened by explaining that there was not a PL academy near them.

Well, don't go to a PL academy then?

I guarantee there was a good club near them that they could have gone to.

kolinkins 24-08-2015 10:55 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Billyd (Post 12543044)
And there is the bitter truth of the matter.

Dont get me wrong it must be hard for parents to take when they have spent the best part of 10 years shipping their son around 3-4 times a week but there is no guarantee anyone will make it. If your not good enough your not good enough. Every parent knows this going in.

Also in this case it was purely their decision to travel further to get to 'West Ham'. I can understand it once the kid is 15+ but travelling 2 hours+ with a 8-14 year olds is bonkers.

There is a dad who posts on here who rejected some very big clubs for his 8/9 year son and instead took them Crawley because it was much more local. Meant it wouldn't disrupt his child's education and social upbringing. Not to mention pressure and demands etc. Definitely the right thing to do at that age.

But you're missing the point of the article - among other things, not using a prefered agent, someone's son getting a deal etc.

brooklynlou 24-08-2015 11:03 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by sheepy (Post 12542630)
Obviously the riches for succeeding are astronomical but it just seems like an awful life to push a kid into. Less than a 1% chance of success after having to put so much effort in / give up so much of your childhood for (not to mention the politics / corruption the article alludes to).

Sort of like trying to make partner in a major law firm ...

cpfc4evandeva 24-08-2015 11:06 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by kolinkins (Post 12543068)
But you're missing the point of the article - among other things, not using a prefered agent, someone's son getting a deal etc.

Those are definitely two things which were actually quite bad. However, neither of them really have anything at all with the academy.

The agent thing sounds like it's higher management as opposed to the academy. And nepotism exists virtually everywhere.

But the article appears to be very much saying 'It's not fair, my son is the best footballer ever.' He's dropped down to Conference South but if he is good enough, he'll get a chance higher up. Saying things like 'Football League clubs don't take risks on youngsters is not true and just sounds like excuse making.

Billyd 24-08-2015 11:07 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by kolinkins (Post 12543068)
But you're missing the point of the article - among other things, not using a prefered agent, someone's son getting a deal etc.

No just that element of the article. And id agree, I know very little about agents and clubs giving out professional contracts to kids so I comment on that as would be unfair.

But I will say the article is very one sided about the situation and treatment from academy's in general.

Speaking of agents, wtf is it with everyone having them these days. I see 17 18 year olds playing non league with representatives these days!

switchboard 24-08-2015 11:17 AM

I'd say non league and youth players should be the ones with agents as they need the most guidance and contacts etc

sirdougie 24-08-2015 11:41 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by switchboard (Post 12543102)
I'd say non league and youth players should be the ones with agents as they need the most guidance and contacts etc

They don't need agents, they need good PFA union representatives.

FourtyTwo 24-08-2015 04:03 PM

I used to know (through a family friend) the guy that kept Frank Lampard out of the Essex schoolboys team. He ended up at Wealdstone, and Frank ended up at West Ham, despite not being as good as the other players in the squad at the time.

Sometimes, it is just who you know.

Baffled Bob 2 24-08-2015 04:11 PM

To be honest, I have little sympathy. These lads and their parents surely must know they're going into a brutally competitive industry?

muswell eagle 24-08-2015 06:15 PM

Didn't Dwight Gayle spend a year at Bishops Stortford at about the same age?

Premier League academies are brutal and Palace will be no exception. No academy product has made his debut in the Premier League since we were promoted.

I taught a boy last year who was released by Watford and got a 2 year scholarship at Ipswich and in terms of his chances of making it, I think he is now in a better place, especially after Watford's promotion. Having said that he is likely to just get two years working around a football club, but for a 16yo, that will feel like living the dream.

917L 24-08-2015 06:18 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by muswell eagle (Post 12543909)
Didn't Dwight Gayle spend a year at Bishops Stortford at about the same age?

.

He was 22 when he went to BS

Woosie 24-08-2015 06:22 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Billyd (Post 12543044)
And there is the bitter truth of the matter.

Dont get me wrong it must be hard for parents to take when they have spent the best part of 10 years shipping their son around 3-4 times a week but there is no guarantee anyone will make it. If your not good enough your not good enough. Every parent knows this going in.

Also in this case it was purely their decision to travel further to get to 'West Ham'. I can understand it once the kid is 15+ but travelling 2 hours+ with a 8-14 year olds is bonkers.

There is a dad who posts on here who rejected some very big clubs for his 8/9 year son and instead took them Crawley because it was much more local. Meant it wouldn't disrupt his child's education and social upbringing. Not to mention pressure and demands etc. Definitely the right thing to do at that age.

There's no right or wrong thing to do. It's up to the parents and child and should reflect individual circumstances

Many academies now have a school link-up, and they are usually successful in terms of helping to balance school work with football. There's a reason it's required for Cat 1 of EPPP.

The points raised in the article are by no means unique, and I've spoken to academy players' parents (outside of Palace) who have said it rings true with them. It's certainly not as simple as if you're not good enough you're not good enough, there is a lot of politics involved at football clubs and their academies.

Quote:

Originally Posted by muswell eagle (Post 12543909)
Didn't Dwight Gayle spend a year at Bishops Stortford at about the same age?

Premier League academies are brutal and Palace will be no exception. No academy product has made his debut in the Premier League since we were promoted.

I taught a boy last year who was released by Watford and got a 2 year scholarship at Ipswich and in terms of his chances of making it, I think he is now in a better place, especially after Watford's promotion. Having said that he is likely to just get two years working around a football club, but for a 16yo, that will feel like living the dream.

Watford's new owners barely pay lip service to their academy so he's better off out of there.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Baffled Bob 2 (Post 12543720)
To be honest, I have little sympathy. These lads and their parents surely must know they're going into a brutally competitive industry?

Doesn't make it OK though.

Quote:

Originally Posted by FourtyTwo (Post 12543708)
Sometimes, it is just who you know.

This, especially in football, is true.

Billyd 24-08-2015 11:47 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Woosie (Post 12543921)
There's no right or wrong thing to do. It's up to the parents and child and should reflect individual circumstances

Nope there isnt. But its my opinion that driving a child over 8+ hours a week to football isnt right. On top of school and then matches a weekends. Its a huge drain on a child. There is a rule in place for a reason and some clubs just bypass it. Again in my opinion its not right.


Quote:

Originally Posted by Woosie (Post 12543921)
The points raised in the article are by no means unique, and I've spoken to academy players' parents (outside of Palace) who have said it rings true with them. It's certainly not as simple as if you're not good enough you're not good enough, there is a lot of politics involved at football clubs and their academies.

There is tons of politics no question. But my point still stands whenever a kid is released 95% of the time the parents will blame the academy/coach/club as opposed to accept it just wasn't to be.

I can fully appreciated the frustration. A parent might have potentially given up 10 years of their life shipping their child around, being promised the world by the club, then at 16/17 suddenly is released, often without too much warning. It must be a huge blow. But its not political. Its the fact its cut throat sport where everyone wants to make it and only a very few can.

Billyd 24-08-2015 11:50 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by FourtyTwo (Post 12543708)
I used to know (through a family friend) the guy that kept Frank Lampard out of the Essex schoolboys team. He ended up at Wealdstone, and Frank ended up at West Ham, despite not being as good as the other players in the squad at the time.

Sometimes, it is just who you know.

No. It just means you havent made it till you've made it. Being a top player 15/16 is no guarantee you will be at 19/20.

Brett 25-08-2015 03:00 PM

Should count himself lucky he didn't have to pay a fee for his son to be in an academy (lots of south-of-the-Thames clubs, hang your heads).

firesign 25-08-2015 03:13 PM

As a slight aside… only ten managers have been in their current job for more than three years and 50 have been in situ for less than a year. With that kind of turnover is it no wonder that there is little incentive to play youngsters from your academy. For most managers, logically, it is not worth the risk.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_o...eague_managers

eddieskyclad 25-08-2015 03:35 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by CPFC_DAVE77 (Post 12542941)
Plays for Bishops Stortford now.

And it sounds like he only got that gig because Nick Haycock (who's one of the few people that Dad mentions in a positive fashion) is Assistant Manager and used to work with him at West Ham...

Still he looks ok on the obligatory highlight video...




meee 25-08-2015 03:56 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Billyd (Post 12544297)

I can fully appreciated the frustration. A parent might have potentially given up 10 years of their life shipping their child around, being promised the world by the club, then at 16/17 suddenly is released, often without too much warning. It must be a huge blow. But its not political. Its the fact its cut throat sport where everyone wants to make it and only a very few can.

I think it's a bit of both.I have absolutely no experience with football academies apart from meeting 1 or 2 people who have played in them,but I do know what agents are like and how political football can be.It can be a case of "it's who you know."


Quote:

Originally Posted by firesign (Post 12545126)
As a slight aside… only ten managers have been in their current job for more than three years and 50 have been in situ for less than a year. With that kind of turnover is it no wonder that there is little incentive to play youngsters from your academy. For most managers, logically, it is not worth the risk.

This could be true but then the same would probably happen in the rest of the world where managerial sackings are also common.Germany and Brazil, for example,are still able to produce a lot of top players.

davematt 26-08-2015 11:46 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by CharlieCPFC (Post 12540993)
The academy structure in this nation is an absolute shambles. Coaching sessions for 9 year olds are treated more like military training.

Have to disagree here from what I know (and see).

At AFC Wimbledon, our sessions for our foundation phase age groups are superb. We stick to our core beliefs and principles but structure our sessions to allow as much player ownership as possible to enhance our players decision making at a young age.

Golf Boy 26-08-2015 12:01 PM

Are we actually producing better footballers from these acadamies? The England teams performances would suggest otherwise.

cantspell 26-08-2015 12:11 PM

I am with Billyd on the travelling aspect - it is too much at those early ages and staying in a local house as such a young age - Bollocks to that.

So the acedemy guy blamed Allardyce - that looks a smokescreen as recommendations would have come from the academy I would expect.

Getting agents at such a young age is poor - unfortunately the structure and pressure for teams to be perform that is in place means that youn talent is mostly overlooked and established players from other countries are purchased instead.

Billyd 26-08-2015 05:02 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by davematt (Post 12547402)
Have to disagree here from what I know (and see).

At AFC Wimbledon, our sessions for our foundation phase age groups are superb. We stick to our core beliefs and principles but structure our sessions to allow as much player ownership as possible to enhance our players decision making at a young age.

Completely agree. The only problem on that front would be from parents on match days!

What do you do at Wimbledon? Assume you have b licence what fa did you do yours?

davematt 27-08-2015 11:27 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Billyd (Post 12547933)
Completely agree. The only problem on that front would be from parents on match days!

What do you do at Wimbledon? Assume you have b licence what fa did you do yours?

Head Coach of the Under 11's; I hold my B; did it through the London FA two years ago.


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