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Seminar with Kevin Murphy from Manchester City Girls Academy

On Sunday I attended a seminar organised by the Irish FA with the head line speaker, Kevin Murphy, who is the Technical Director at Manchester City Woman's and Girls Academy.  We were also treated to presentations from Dr. Jonathan Bloomfield on the importance of sleep and Kevin Gallagher focusing on strength and conditioning.  It was a terrific morning of learning and wonderful that it was completely FREE - well done Irish FA!

Kevin began his presentation focusing on the most important factor - mindset.  He is 1 year in to the project at Manchester City.  His previous positions include Glasgow Rangers and Hamilton.  At Manchester City he was proud to say how inclusive they are with the mens team, boys academy, woman and girls.  He believes they are pioneers in England for woman's football.  City are only 18 months old with regard to their woman's team.

Their vision;

To create the best football academy in England which produces players of international standard who can excel at the highest level.

 

Set Up;

  • Regional Talent Clubs (RTC's) in England.
  • Tiers 1, 2 or 3.  Based on clubs infrastructure, facilities, pathways and coaching development.
  • Duel age bands for girls - U10, U12, U14, U16, Development Squad.
  • Based on academic year in England (September).
  • 34 clubs have 'tier' status divided into north and south.
  • Tier 1 - 13 clubs, Tier 2 - 12 clubs, Tier 3 - 9 clubs.  Manchester City are a Tier 1...other northern clubs that are tier 1 include Everton, Liverpool, Blackburn and Manchester United...although United don't have a girls section.
  • U10's and U12's play against boys.  U14 and U16 play in RTC regional league.

Manchester City invite teams in midweek to play games and train Saturday.  They do this to control the environment and level of teams.

U16 is the first competitive league with results published.

The Talent Pathway

England Woman Senior Team

England U15 / U16 / U17 / U18 / U19 / U20

FA Girls National Performance Camp

FA Girls Regional Development Program

FA Girls Regional Talent Club Tiers 1 / 2 / 3

Community Football / Grassroots Clubs / School Football

How we work at Manchester City FC

  • Individualised approach to each player.
  • The importance of the person and not only the player.
  • Imperative to have high work ethics, discipline and organisation to be part of the academy.
  • Access to world class facilities.
  • Professional environment equals professional standards.
  • 82 players in the academy.

 

Talent only gets you so far so they set tasks to find leaders; i.e. formation - sort yourself out; scenarios, 2-0 down, what are you going to do?  The academy is big believers in values.  When school work drops your training drops.  The academy will also organise work shops on time management, stress management, mental health, bullying - they want to develop a better person.

Training Schedule

  • U14's / U16's - 4 nights per week.
  • Includes gym, analysis, nutrition, multi sports.
  • Coaches have a curriculum, not scripted, but more like a theme.
  • Wednesday U16 / Development Squad receive a day release from school so feel what it is like to be a professional full time player.

Our Culture and our Environment

At the club all players shake hands on arrival and departure.  Two key factors is respect and hard work from players.


 

 

Other points that Kevin talked about...

  • Surround yourself with energisers rather than zappers - need to be positive (I love this one!)
  • Discipline!  Asks girls to wear black boots / no make up / no jewellery.
  • Keep humble.
  • Head teachers are invited in to see the football set up at Manchester City so it re-affirms the importance on education.
  • The first team players have a duty to inspire the next generation to come through.
  • Test resilience - need to change in challenging circumstances.

 

Self Analysis

This part of the talk really interested me.  At TW Braga we have used and continue to encourage the players to keep a weekly diary of their sleeping, eating and activity habits.  We also ask them to do a monthly Player Development Plan (PDP) for short and long term goal setting.  At Manchester City they utilise this with the latest app for players.  Once the players have the app on their phone they log on to trek their wellness.

  • How many hours did you sleep.
  • Quality of sleep.
  • Mood.
  • Sore Muscles?

 

Coaches review the data and possibility of adapting the players training.  They also look for a trigger if the player is not sleeping well.  Maybe the player is under stress with exams for example?

It is important that they always review performance.

Ghost Coaching

At Manchester City they often would have two coaches coaching at each girls session.  What they wanted to avoid was one coach working hard and the other simply standing back waiting to coach so they came up with the idea 'ghost coaching'.

One coach will lead while the ghost coach will go across every player to offer advice or say something to them.  This offers more individualised coaching for the players.

There is 12 weekly reviews on progress.  The games are filmed (younger sections every other game).

Good to Great programme

Wrist bands indicate what level each player is at.  There is 12 stations to work at as homework.  Every 6 weeks they come together for grading.  Similar to martial arts and working hard to get to your black belt this is a similar concept.

I love the idea.  This is something we will look to find our more information on when we visit Kevin at Manchester City and potentially look to introduce across our own program.

Manchester City Session Plan
A typical session plan at City begins with a warm up before progressing to a 15-20 minute technical practice.  It builds into a possession and reaction drill before some 1v1 duels.  Finally they focus on team organisation (defence v attack theme for example) then 'free play'.

Although there will generally always be some restriction during 'free play' of a game scenario like a girl or woman sent off and they have to play 7v6.

Every screen around the facility will offer highlights of the academy - both boys and girls, as well as the development squads and first team.  This is broadcast in the players lounge, parents room, reception, etc. it always features all teams.

 

 

Some final points that came up during a question and answer session included the following;

  • U10's play 7v7 / U12's play 9v9.  All players must play equal game time.
  • U14's play 11v11 on reduced size pitch.  All players must play half a game.
  • From U16's game time is based on performance.
  • Maximum of 15 players in younger squads and 18 players in older sections.

 

 

Kevin finished with a great image of 'A Player's Journey'.  It was a terrific and interesting seminar.  Superb as a coach to hear such a open and honest presentation on a professional club academy.  Kevin is a very driven coach demanding standards but very humble.  I thanked him for his time and sharing his content and experiences.  To show the class of the guy I passed him my business card asking him about the app they used.  Later on in the evening I had an email direct from Kevin!  Great day.  Coaches - never stop learning.  To have the opportunity to attend a seminar like this is invaluable.  Thank you to the Irish FA and everyone involved making it such a terrific morning.

Top La Liga Coach, Lucas Alcaraz, To Deliver Belfast Clinic

We are very excited that ex Levante Manager, Lucas Alcaraz, will be visiting Belfast to deliver a clinic open to all players & coaches.  The clinic will take place at Cregagh Sports Club on Sunday 28 February.  The Irish FA will also award 5 CPD credits for coaches in attendance.

Real Madrid's coach Jose Mourinho stands next to Granada's coach Alcaraz during Spanish First Division soccer match in Granada Born in Granada, Andalusia, Alcaraz started coaching with Granada CF in 1995 at the age of 29, achieving two top-four finishes in the third division in his three-year spell but failing to promote in the playoffs.  In the following two seasons he managed in the same category and region, with Almeria CF and Dos Hermanas CF.

In June 2000, 34-year-old Alcaraz signed for Recreativo de Huelva helping the oldest club in Spain return to La Liga after an absence of 23 years in 2002 behind champions Atletico Madrid and Racing de Santander. Even though Recre returned to the second level immediately, they also managed to reach the final of the Copa del Rey, losing 0–3 to RCD Mallorca.

Alcaraz then moved to Racing Santander before spending the following two seasons in the second division, helping Real Murcia get promoted in 2007.  He also enjoyed a spell at Recreativo.

In the 2009 summer Alcaraz signed with another team in his native Andalusia, Cordoba CF (second level), helping the side finish tenth in his first season.  In late June 2011, he re-joined Almería – now called Unión Deportiva.

Alcaraz had a short spell in Greece with Aris Thessaloniki FC before returning to his country and Granada, with the club now in the main category.

Lucas Alcaraz was appointed at Levante UD on 21 October 2014, to which he remained until October 2015.

'Tactics in Professional Football...Why Not Kids?' will be Lucas Alcaraz topic he will focus on.  The event will take place at Cregagh Sports Club (Orangefield OB FC) on Sundaylucasalcaraz2 28 February from 12-3pm finishing with a Q&A.  The event will provide a class room session from 12pm & is open to all coaches.  A practical session will then take place on the pitch from 1.30pm (using 2000-2003 players).  Orangefield OB FC would also like to invite you to stay in their club house & enjoy the live Sky Sports game with a drink.  We thank them for their hospitality.

The morning kicks off with a Spanish Coaching Clinic for 2004-2009's from 10.30-11.30am.  The events are open to all players & coaches.  You can find out more & confirm your place by contacting Tim Wareing on; 07740120788 or email; tim@twsports.org - already we have English & Dutch coaches booked in!  We are very happy that the Irish FA are awarding 5 CPD credits for coaches in attendance.  We thank them for their support.

The media & anyone involved in sport can request a meeting with Mr Alcaraz from Friday 26 February to Sunday 28 February.  Simply contact Tim for more details.  Here is our promotional video for the event - click here.

Please share our post, poster of the event & video on your social media channels and with your club coaches & players.  It is not every day we have a top La Liga Manager in Belfast to deliver, educate & network with local players & coaches.  Don't miss this opportunity!

Frame Football Hoping to get off to a Flyer

Local youth football club, TW Braga, are delivering the first Frame Football Section in Northern Ireland. Saturday 23 January will see the first meeting of the Belfast based club. This will take place at Loughside Recreation Centre from 1-2pm.

Frame Football Kicks Off 23 January

Frame Football Kicks Off 23 January

Frame Football was first launched in England in 2013 and provides the opportunity for children who are unable to walk unaided but do not require a wheelchair to play football. Many of these children use a walker style frame for mobility. These children cannot play in mainstream football because of the safety regulations. Frame Football brings them together to play an adapted game that suits their needs.

The IFA believe in creating opportunities for those with a disability to play the beautiful game. Let Them Play is the strapline of the new Youth Strategy and this Frame Football Programme will enable those children to play the game.

DJ and Let Them Play supporter, Colin Murray, recently raised over £5,000 for the establishment and development of Frame Football in Northern Ireland through the ‘101 Mankini’s’ walk on Boxing Day.

This money will be spent initially on starting a pilot Frame Football club in Belfast in partnership with TW Braga. In particular, it will go towards facilities, coaching fees, promotion within the disability sector and training kit for players.

Irish FA Development Manager for Disability Football, Alan Crooks, is very positive about this new initiative in Northern Ireland. He commented, “Frame Football is a great example of the how ‘Let Them Play’ is having a positive impact on the kids in Northern Ireland. We hope that with the awareness raised and support from Colin Murray that Frame Football will take off in our wee country.”

TW Braga Academy Director, Tim Wareing, added, 'We are so grateful to Colin Murray for his fantastic achievement of raising valuable funds & to everyone who donated. This will insure Frame Football kicks off strong in Northern Ireland. It's a wonderful opportunity to get everyone involved in the game. I would like to thank Richard Seedhouse of Frame Football for letting us get involved with his exciting project that kicked off in Coventry. I've enjoyed visiting & seeing Frame Football in operation at St. George's Park & appreciate the training & support the IFA have given TW Braga. We all can't wait to get kicked off on 23 January!'

It is anticipated that an additional two clubs in Armagh and Coleraine will be in operation by end 2016. Once these clubs are both up and running it will enable organisers to hold matches, competitions and festival days involving the three clubs.

For further information on Frame Football visit: https://www.facebook.com/FrameFootball or contact TW Braga Academy Director Tim Wareing on 07740120788.

The Secrets to Developing ELITE Youth Football Players

Tim Wareing has released his third book through his publisher titled, 'The Secrets to Developing ELITE Youth Football Players.' Copies are available in paperback or e-book!

Overview of 'The Secrets to Developing ELITE Youth Football Players.'...

Tim Wareing's latest book

Tim Wareing's latest book

Tim Wareing is a highly sought after coach. With over 20 years coaching experience and having achieved the prestigious UEFA European 'A' Licence at the age of 24, his methods and coaching philosophy are known and respected worldwide. He has delivered clinics in Ireland, England, Europe and USA along with his previous two books selling in over 30 different countries.

Tim spent six years at Irish Premier League side, Lisburn Distillery. He held roles as Reserve Team Manager and under 18 Manager. He played his part in developing Youth International Players and players for the first team, before setting up a very successful Academy for the Club.

As opinions changed in the direction the Academy was going, Tim stood down from his role and decided to take a sabbatical. He used the time to recharge his batteries and re-educate himself, visiting some of the top European Clubs, including FC Barcelona, SC Braga, Ajax and PSV Eindhoven, where he studied and exchanged ideas in youth development.

It was in Holland that he met with a top Portuguese Coach, Hugo Vicente, and the pair got talking about youth development. They shared similar philosophies and it was on this trip that two years later would see a new project launch in Northern Ireland.

The frustrations that Wareing had at his previous club are common across Northern Ireland. A lack of contact time with players, unqualified coaches, out dated methods and little to none specialist coaches and staff offer a limited opportunity for players to develop.

Re-energised he began to set up a very special project that would change the way youth football was delivered in Northern Ireland. Young players would come in and achieve up to 10 hours of contact time per week. Not only would they have access to Wareing but also a special talented team of experts. This would include games related training, match analysis, a conditioning coach, goalkeeper coach, education officer and pastoral care.

Players would come from all different backgrounds. Many arrived as broken players who had been told they weren't good enough, while others simply weren't receiving the correct education on and off the field to develop. Wareing would start to create better players, better people, using a new approach that was player and child centred. From conception to champions in 22 months attracted much interest from the National press and Irish Football Association. TW Braga would share their journey on their You Tube channel, @twsportsgroup, to date it has over 640,000 video views! These are the sessions that Tim Wareing used to help develop the complete player, that would improve each individual technically, tactically, physically and psychologically. This book has been specifically designed, so that each session is simple to follow, yet includes the coaching points that Tim offers to his players. These are all of Tim's preferred sessions that he has gathered on his coaching journey through his own experience and while visiting professional clubs across Europe.

'The Secrets to Developing ELITE Youth Football Players' will aid in developing your group of players, whilst having them enjoy their training!

What people think about Tim Wareing...

'One always takes pleasure in following the career and achievements of those one meets and works with on coaching programmes. It gives me particular pleasure to add to the congratulations being extended to Tim Wareing on the publication of his latest book.

He has huge respect in the Northern Ireland football community and further afield. He has fulfilled the expectations people had of him. Expertise, vision and hard work always get results.'

Jack Gallagher, FIFA Coaching Instructor and FIFA Technical Advisor 1979-2007

'Tim Wareing started the TW Sports Academy 10 years ago.

Just 24 at the time, Tim felt there was restricted youth development in Northern Ireland and felt passionately about doing something about it.

Encouraged and supported by his dad to complete his coaching badges, he worked his way up to UEFA European 'A' Licence level.

For six years he coached the Under 18's and Academy players at Lisburn Distillery, when his 'mentor' Paul Kirk was manager of the Ballyskeagh outfit.

While thrilled to be working with the kids, Tim was frustrated by the lack of contact time with the players, believing while he was making progress he could make an even bigger impact with more training sessions.

And so he decided to fully focus on taking his own Academy to a different level.
The acorn that begun with just himself coaching youngsters in the Cregagh area in Belfast, is fast becoming a big oak tree. Now, aided by sponsors Subway, he operates province-wide, employs 20 other qualified coaches and his Academy coaches up to 700 children per week ranging from the age of two to fifteen.

The first to bring a 'Toddler Soccer programme' to Northern Ireland, he has now written this third book. Tim's previous books on coaching youngsters sold in 30 countries. Also he is never afraid to post videos of training sessions on You Tube for the world to see.

He is an engaging character with an excellent pedigree and he coaches kids in the right way. I wish him well going forward.'

Steven Beacom is the Belfast Telegraph Sports Editor

'It is vitally important that children are fully developed as individual players as well as team players. On a recent visit to Northern Ireland I observed the excellent work carried out by the TWSports.Org Group in relation to not only team development but also the individual development coaching given.'

Martien Pennings, Coach PSV Eindhoven (Holland)

'What the TWSports.Org Group is doing is exceptional, it is different from what anyone else in Northern Ireland is doing, you try to bring the kids together at similar levels and start to work on that. At TWAcademy.Org it is all football related and child centered unlike other coaching which focuses on the physical aspect and not the talent.'

Bert-Jan (BJ) Heijmans, Director Dutch UK Football School

'During my time at Distillery FC, I had the privilege of working alongside Tim in his capacity as Director of Youth Football, a position that Tim embraced with his great enthusiasm and technical ability as a first class coach.

During our time together, I watched numerous boys and girls develop, from grass roots players at a young age, to elite athletes, players, and well rounded individuals.

Testimony to Tim’s work is recognised in just some of the players who developed through that structure and under his guidance; Jack Chambers now at West Brom., Josh Tipping now at Chesterfield, Nathan Kerr now at Stevenage and Luke Fisher now at Fleetwood.

Carry on the good work Tim, with your infectious enthusiasm dedication and knowledge of all aspects of the game. Good luck in the future, I know many more will benefit from having worked with you.'

Paul Kirk, UEFA Pro Licence Coach. Former Manager of Premier League side, Lisburn Distillery

"Here at Elite, we are extremely pleased with the professionalism and authenticity TW Academy has offered us over the past two years while conducting our soccer summer clinics in USA. Coach Tim and his team of coaches are highly knowledgeable and bring excitement to the field! The kids are thrilled and have smiles on their faces while learning the game of soccer." I trust coach Tim and the work he has to share with others. This is a great book to acquire soccer knowledge in creating the Elite soccer player. Apply these principles in this book and your players will improve and so will you as a coach."

Javier Perez, Founder and Executive Director of Elite Soccer Training

'I would like to congratulate Tim on this, his new book, and highly recommend it.

I first met Tim on a study trip in Holland, and since then he has changed very little. He is constantly searching for inspiration, knowledge, competence and different views and perspectives on training methods and philosophies.

He has made regular visits to other clubs in several countries, increasing his network of coaches and many other people involved in football, in order to share ideas about the game, and above all, about youth development. I feel that this book is a consequence of his dedication. It is basically his manual, sharing the good practices he has used throughout the years in his successful projects, and I think that this book can be used as an inspirational tool for all coaches at any level of the game.'

Hugo Vicente

Currently working on a new project at Follo FK, Norway. Formerly the SC Braga Academy Director, SL Benfica Youth Coach, Coerver Coaching Portugal Director, also involved in other clubs. Hugo is a top name in Portuguese youth football, and has travelled the world working with many clubs and federations, holding courses, coaching education and workshops.

Order your copy now! Simply follow this link. Available in book or e-book. For more details contact Tim Wareing, 07740120788 or by email; tim@twsports.org

Tim's first book, 'Toddler Soccer The Essential Guide', has sold in over 30 different countries! This stretches from the UK & Ireland, across Europe to USA & Canada, the Far East & Australia! Order a copy from here!

Likewise his second book, '1-on-1 Coaching The Secrets To Improve ALL Football Players - GUARANTEED!' is available to purchase here.

Do You Pick a Youth Team to Win or Develop?

Last year I wrote a blog on 'How Much Game Time Does Your Youth Team Players Get?' & some may have argued it is easy for me to write that but do I carry it through with my own team? Why should you look to share game time? Below is some of my findings from last year & how it compares to what I've done with my own U12 team this season.

The Scenario...

It’s a cold winters morning & your squad of 16 players have been up from 8am getting ready. They meet at 9am to travel 1 hour to the venue. 10.30am they’re doing the warm up for the 11am kick off. So 3 hours have passed by & 11 players take to the field to kick off while 5 others watch on…

This is a common situation in youth football. The scenario I have used above puts the manager against the ‘best’ side in the league. So he picks his best 11 players to play the game which is 30 minutes each way. His team come in at half time 2-0 down. He looks to the bench & simply thinks he has his best 11 on the pitch & the other 5 won’t make a difference so doesn’t make any changes. The 5 kids on the bench are freezing & disappointed, they have all went to training during the week & have been up from 8am…now at 11.40am they still haven’t got anywhere near getting on! Mid way through the second half the manager finds his team 3-0 down so asks the 5 subs to get warmed up.

10 minutes to go & it is 4-0. He replaces the 2 forwards with 2 subs thinking they can’t do any worse. 5 minutes left he replaces a winger like for like. In the last minute he makes the other 2 changes so everyone gets a game. The game finishes 4-0 & everyone is disappointed. They do a cool down & get changed before making their way home. They leave the ground at 12.30pm & return home at 1.30pm. Jonny who has been up at 8am got back into his house just before 2pm…nearly 6 hours dedicated to the team that offered him 2 minutes on the pitch today.

How many minutes each of our players have played to date…

How many minutes each of our players have played to date…

This is common in youth football. So many parents have said to me over the years that their child doesn't receive equal game time while signed up at other clubs. This season was the first time in 5 years that I ran my own team. I wanted to insure ALL of my players received similar game time. I have scanned my record time for my team for you to see. You'll notice against some players there is a second time in brackets. This is to allow for weekends away, suspensions, injuries or rarely a player arriving late. This helps keep a balance.

I purposely keep my squad to 14 players so that I only have 3 subs. I always try to make 3 subs at half time so everyone receives at least half a game. We have noticed a real difference as some players in the summer were behind others in terms of development. With insuring they play similar game time as the rest, in some cases more time, we have noticed a real improvement.

The project is only 6 months in but as we review at the end of the year the game time is pretty much the same. Obviously we only have one goalkeeper hence he is at the top of the list (Dale) while we don't have many centre backs so they also are a little ahead of the rest of the pack.

As a coach or manager do you review game time? Do you try to be fair to aid development for all players? I also want to insure that players don't get complacent either. We ask the subs can they be impact players? Basically they only have half the time to make a difference so can they become an impact player! At the same time we now will balance out the second half of the season. If we feel any player is getting too complacent in terms of thinking they will get a full game so not work as hard they will be subbed. We now ask the question to players, 'play so we can't sub you'. It's not to add pressure it is simply to get them thinking more about their game.

We realise that at a young age players will never have consistency in their games but we always expect the basics of time keeping, appearance, attitude, work rate & always wanting the ball. We offer a positive environment that allows them a platform to perform.

Let us have your feedback to this article regardless if you are a coach, parent or player. My next blog will be based around what the subs can do while waiting to get involved. Below is our end of year video review. Some funnies, tricks, great football & goals after kicking off this project in June. Enjoy!

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