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You can spin anything these days with social media. 
 

Simple question, why are DFC still not at elite level of academy football if it is so important to the club? Queen’s Park recently went to Elite level due to ambitious plans and proper investment in youths. The Dundee FC  Academy recently amalgamated age groups to save on cost of coaches and rental of pitches. 
 


 

 

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1 minute ago, BigG said:

You can spin anything these days with social media. 
 

Simple question, why are DFC still not at elite level of academy football if it is so important to the club? Queen’s Park recently went to Elite level due to ambitious plans and proper investment in youths. The Dundee FC  Academy recently amalgamated age groups to save on cost of coaches and rental of pitches. 
 


 

 

Better informed people than me have posted on this before but I believe DFC and Strachan have gone a different route due to doubts about the benefits or rationale of Elite status. 

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I've posted on this before and I agree with the club for not going for the 'Elite' status tbh. There's a lot of costly hoops that the club would need to jump through.

For example, the club would need to have 6 full time members of staff in the following positions:

  • Head of Academy
  • Head of Youth
  • Head of Children's Programmes
  • Head of Player Recruitment
  • Head of Academy Football Science & Medicine
  • Head of Academy Performance Analysis

We have a few of those positions covered, but simply don't believe we need all of those roles covered to ensure the development of our youth players and tbh I don't either - these are roles that can be overarching in some cases.

I'll copy and paste the rest of my previous post on the matter:

We have went full in with Gordon Strachan's plans. Rightly or wrongly, he wanted to implement his philosophy on a youth system and has had full control over the plans and he instructs the coaches on what to teach and is also a sounding board for them at all times. The whole system is his design - I don't know if it will produce any talent or not, but that's the idea behind it.

We also took over the SFA partnership that was ongoing at St John's for a good few year and that's now fully under our control.

One of Strachan's main focuses was that if the player fails to make the grade then the club are ensuring the talent was well equipped to still go out and make it in the real world rather than just end up on the scrapheap like so many young lads do.

Indeed - on the academy page on our website it states:

Quote

The school will be committed to the optimal holistic development of players. The success of our programme is based on our combined principles with the aim to offer the most comprehensive football and education programme in Scotland via optimal player development. The school will provide the best possible environment for the players to achieve excellence. The players will receive optimal training, education, nutrition, and recovery.  It will support their development by increasing the number of hours of training (10,000 hours by the age of 20) with increased productive touches on the ball.

The 10,000 hours aspect is one of the key principals behind 'Elite' status - that's what the end goal ultimately is - we've already implemented that well before some of the clubs that are in the 'Elite' category.

Now in regards to the SFA - we are not currently in the 'Elite' level that some other clubs are but this requires a significant investment in things that don't directly involve the coaching of the kids. There's certainly pros and cons to being 'Elite' but to me, this seems like a recent fad that the SFA have went with and you don't really hear 'Project Brave' getting near as much attention as it once did. We released a big statement at the time explaining why we weren't committing to that project like other clubs have done (and the reasoning is fairly sound even if it puts us at a bit of a disadvantage - the costs are huge and it doesn't necessarily mean their philosophy is any better than Strachans.) Statement here: https://dundeefc.co.uk/news/project-brave-statement/ And since that statement, through our own work we have actually been bumped up two levels. Jim McInally (before Project Brave was announced tbf) also absolutely slaughtered the way Club Academy Scotland (The SFA do things) highlighting that it's not necessarily the be all and end all: https://www.heraldscotland.com/sport/14037624.club-academy-scotland-destroying-nations-footballing-future/

Following on from my post in the topic, the poster @Academy Dad who's son is in our youth system had this to say:

Quote

OK – as someone who has had a lad in the academy for a couple of years…

I can’t disagree with the positive comments above.

The DFC academy is not perfect, but it’s a hell of a lot better than it used to be. Much of the credit must go to Stephen Wright (and his coaches).

From what I’ve seen, there is little between the strongest progressive academies (including Dundee) and most of the elite academies. The likes of Aberdeen, Hearts and Celtic would usually have a little too much our teams. But saying that, the under 16s were pretty much unbeatable last year (as under 15s) and would fancy their chances against anyone.

The rest of the credit for the Academy must go to whoever appointed Kevin Garrick. He coaches the youngest age group and gets them immersed in the two-touch pass and move, ball retention football that Wattie saw on Sunday.  (Kevin used to coach with Steve Murray who, with his son Tony, developed Cameron, Robertson and Mulligan).  Kevin also works with the 09s and 10s at St Johns.

Our Academy is also not obsessed with size, so our teams are often smaller than the opposition, but can usually out pass them. Everyone needs to be good on the ball, including defenders, and Stephen Wright will not let centre backs hoof it away -  they are encouraged to keep the ball, play their way out of trouble and make mistakes if necessary.  Stephen also doesn’t seem too bothered about winning (unlike some academies not too far away), as long as the boys play properly. Swearing, talking back to coaches and dissent are also no-no’s

 

I think the first groups Kevin Garrick worked with were the 07’s (under 17s), who have just finished  (with a CAS under 17 league cup semi-final defeat away to Morton), and will move into the under 18s next season.  I’ve got a pal with a lad in the  07s, and he was saying that all the under 17s are being kept on until at least Christmas. He reckons that the under 18s next season will start pre-season with two 06 keepers, six 06 outfield players and twelve 07 outfield players.

 

There is still room for improvement with the academy (few academy parents are ever 100% happy!), but with good, well coached 07s, 08s, 09s etc coming through, I think we are beginning to see the results of 4-5 years development under Wright and Garrick. Hopefully it w

 

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Good post Ludo.
Dundee fc don’t play elite academies on a regular basis they only play academies within performance tier, at the younger age groups Dundee can beat elite tier teams on occasion but this changes from around 12year old -13 year old. After this age group they simply don’t play elite teams as it would be non beneficial for both sets of players!  I believe in the last six months Dundee have amalgamated age groups to make the team more competitive, (stupid idea given development at this crucial age but purely a cot cutting exercise)
United went to elite level 3 years ago, it costs money but is heavily subsidised by the SFA once you are at that level. The benefits are for all to see given the clubs that play elite level and the experiences the young players get, I doubt it’s easy attracting the best young players or even holding onto them given the clubs at performance level.

If Dundee were serious about youth they would commit 100% from the TOP down. They have some fantastic coaches at this level and players but will always be restrained by the modest at  best investment from the club.

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10 hours ago, BigG said:

Good post Ludo.
Dundee fc don’t play elite academies on a regular basis they only play academies within performance tier, at the younger age groups Dundee can beat elite tier teams on occasion but this changes from around 12year old -13 year old. After this age group they simply don’t play elite teams as it would be non beneficial for both sets of players!  I believe in the last six months Dundee have amalgamated age groups to make the team more competitive, (stupid idea given development at this crucial age but purely a cot cutting exercise)
United went to elite level 3 years ago, it costs money but is heavily subsidised by the SFA once you are at that level. The benefits are for all to see given the clubs that play elite level and the experiences the young players get, I doubt it’s easy attracting the best young players or even holding onto them given the clubs at performance level.

If Dundee were serious about youth they would commit 100% from the TOP down. They have some fantastic coaches at this level and players but will always be restrained by the modest at  best investment from the club.

Just because you keep repeating something doesn't make it correct.

The SFA below the Elite tier (ie Performance, Performance Progressive etc) lead by the clubs (Dundee FC excluded) voted to dual age band 2 different pairs of age bands.  Dundee disagree with it as they believe they have a stocked and strong academy and that it will limit minutes for players for a year when they are in the younger band before moving up to the older band.  DFC were able to negotiate 2/3 considerations (rolling subs at U16s, minimum number of players from younger band in each squad etc).

The reality is that the elite status isn't something which magically creates better players, nor is having staff in the positions that Elite clubs must.  I'd expect DFC to move up in a couple years through the benefits that TDA CIC creates, but the benefits are more aesthetic, when as you say we get absolutely magnificent service from those already serving the club (often in dual roles).

Re: recruitment at academy level, there is a clear lack of understanding as to what it looks like on your behalf.  Approximately 85% of players at clubs by the time they reach U16 level are approaching 6+ years with that academy.  Most recruitment comes around the ages of 7-11 - and once those players receive 2-3 years of quality coaching there is little that non academy players can do to reach true academy level.  Yes, scouts are sometimes sent out at U13-16 level to look for players, but it is entirely targeted to those of certain positions being replaced.

I'm more than happy to hear what being an elite academy would've done for DFC in the past 5 years that wasn't done however, as for the true outlay I'd wager you can't find value.

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Sugar coat it all you like.

The club are to stop funding the academy and the academy is to be set up as a charitable status. CIC -Community interest company 🤨 

If the club were serious about the academy and it was the corner stone of the club and community we would have invested more and moved to elite status (like United and Queen’s Park have done). The dual banding age groups can be easily avoided by going elite. The difference in united academy since going elite is night and day in terms of player’s development and quality of coaching, it really is like comparing professional and amateur status in terms of running the academy. 

The question often comes up with Dundee supporters of where is the stadium money is coming from?  How can we get £30 million when we can’t find circa £300k to fund an academy that builds the future of the club.

 

 

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I'm certainly not any expert but surely running a Social Enterprise where non-repayable grants and government funding can make up up to 50% of your costs is a good thing?. Elite status might be the dogs bollocks but it comes at a considerable cost and would add 6 figures to our current losses. 

From the outside looking in this looks like a no brainer.

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26 minutes ago, Billy Campbell's Ghost said:

The stadium money will come from external  investors such as Keyes, Venture Capital companies, pension funds, etc . They have no interest in a football club and how it is run, they just want a return on their investment which in this case is property.

 

I believed this at one time as well, thought it was completely plausible then I woke up!

I think more people think  Nelms is a charlatan. 

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