Michiel's Memo - February 2020

The new year has begun, behind the curtains we haven’t been sitting still. The preparations for 2020 have been progressed with our new training tool which we built over the holidays. It was a nice process and I’m happy the fields are finally filled with playing kids again. Players that want to improve themselves, players that want to have fun. That view is what I missed most over the holidays.

In order to step it up once more in Term 1 we will have a nice challenge ahead, we as coaches need to make sure we will feed the technical committee all the information they need in order to get every kid in the right environment to be able to develop as a person and a football player. The upcoming weeks will be interesting in that regard. As soon as we will have an overview it will be shared so we can move on to the most important part: actually running our program together with the players and parents.

For the U9-U12 we will have our regular two sessions and a game moment. But we want to offer our players more opportunities to develop themselves and enjoy football. For the U9-U12 we have the opportunity to train extra on Monday when we will have Technification for these age groups.

For the Academy (U13-U19) we have our regular program which contains three training sessions and a game moment. For the players who want to do more we have the opportunity of adding two extra training sessions in the morning. Players in the academy who really want to take it to the next level have other multiple opportunities within their grasp. I believe it is important that players who want more can actually gain access to the tools that can help them excel. It is because of the ambition of our players, that we will offer more.

The first workshop has been offered already, I want to thank Fergus Connolly for his insights in mindset, Fergus was generous in sharing his experiences working with some great teams in the world, what stuck to me were his lessons he learned at the Navy and Liverpool FC. We will keep on offering workshops fortnightly for the players that want to invest their time and effort in becoming a better person and player. Sometimes we will invite an expert like Fergus, other times we will lead the workshops with our own experts like Joe Cole.

Besides the workshops that will help players in a wider perspective than just football we also want to dig deeper into the football content. Every Monday we will look into different positions on the field and have a video analysis session that will give players more insight in the characteristics of these positions so they can look for it in their own clips and in their training sessions. We started off with the Goalkeeper position and our Academy goalkeepers were able to learn a thing or two about their position which we immediately worked on in the team trainings and in Lew Gordon’s goalkeeper session. The individual position is one out of two detailed video analysis sessions we offer each week for our Academy players, the other one is about the different lines. The defensive lines of the Academy already enjoyed their first session last Thursday where we looked into the shape of the line and each individual role in the defensive shape.

We started off with a lot of different activities and now we need to make sure we are digging into the content and give all players experiences they need to develop into the player they want to become. After the start I had a couple of great conversations with interested parents and I’m looking forward to some more in the upcoming weeks!