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Thread: Debate - Future of Youth Development in Irish Football

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    Debate - Future of Youth Development in Irish Football

    I came across this on ybig.ie. Looks interesting and I'm going to go along.

    Tomorrow night, Bloomsbury area of London.

    http://www.sportbusinesscentre.com/news/2012-12-03

    Edit - Sorry, just saw the announcement on foot.ie above.
    Last edited by Stuttgart88; 05/12/2012 at 4:36 PM.

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    I'll be in town tomorrow night for a beer .......don't think I can make it.

    Stutts - please ensure firm plans are put in place to produce the talent to win the 2022 and 2026 World Cups - or just one of them if you feel that's too much of an ask.

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    It's difficult to organize flights in time and my room at the Dorchester isn't available, otherwise ??
    It looks like it will be a good discussion, just as long as they don't actually want "to blind Irish talent to the wider possibilities".
    Good luck with it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Stuttgart88 View Post
    I came across this on ybig.ie. Looks interesting and I'm going to go along.

    Tomorrow night, Bloomsbury area of London.

    http://www.sportbusinesscentre.com/news/2012-12-03

    Edit - Sorry, just saw the announcement on foot.ie above.
    Is the future green?

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    Stats Man TheBoss's Avatar
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    A bit ironic, that it is not in Ireland

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    It was a good event. The speakers were very impressive and Niall Harrison of the FAI was very well received. I drew the conclusion that any criticism of the FAI is another thing altogether as Niall is doing great work in the face of all kinds of challenges outside his control. There were some tough questions asked from the floor and a lively discussion, including Shay Kelly talking about just how tough the real world is for aspiring young footballers and Pat Walker describing the Swedish model and saying that there are options other than the UK open to young Irish. Chatham House rules were in place so we were all sworn to secrecy but none of the above is controversial.

    TheBoss, I can see the irony but at the same time the Birkbeck Sport Business Centre is a very credible "think-tank" in the sports world and there are some Irish guys heavily involved in it. It'd be nice to think some similar initiative would be shown at home.
    Last edited by Stuttgart88; 10/12/2012 at 10:19 AM.

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    I take it that the Swedish model being an option to the UK, was meant that the kids could be kept home in Ireland, in the same way kids develop their football at academies in Sweden?

    Chatham House rules means you can repeat all that was said, just don't say (or hint) who said it.

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    Yes, but also that the national association was more open and accountable and that the whole structure of the game more joined-up and owned by the association. That's how I understood it anyway.

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    Seasoned Pro ifk101's Avatar
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    The best kids leave Sweden at an early age. John Guidetti (Man City), Sebastian Larsson (ex Arsenal, now Sunderland), Alexander Kacaniklic (Fulham), Martin Olsson (Blackburn) all went to English club in their teens. Shamrock Rovers' goalkeeper last season left Sweden in his early teens to join Spurs.

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    I'd say the issue is more with those Irish kids who are not the best, who go to English clubs in their teens.
    Leave the 'weeding out' to be done in Ireland.

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    Seasoned Pro ifk101's Avatar
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    How many Irish kids leave for Britain on an annual basis?

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    I don't know how many each year, nor what age they go over at, nor what is a 'good' age to give it a go. As it stands now, it makes sense to go where the facilities are best.

    For the most part in Iceland, the club academies are good, the best players go abroad after they have finished the equivalent of their leaving cert and have played competitive first team football. And as they have already demonstrated that they are good enough, they're already offered a pro contract before they go. The Iceland FA actually touts the benefits of players to european clubs.
    Like Sweden, the few exceptional young players leave earlier, like Gylfi Sigurdsson probably was 'kidnapped' when he was in mid teens.

    In Ireland, in relative terms isn't O'Shea regarded as one of the exceptions? an Einstein for having completed his leaving cert.

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    The FAI are happy for hundreds of kids to go over and put all of their eggs in one basket, so long as the English academies deliver some bankable stars every once in a while. They don't seem particularly bothered about the ones who don't make it. Their responsibility is the welfare of football in Ireland, not just the 30-odd players on the international scene at any one time. They should be trying their hardest to keep promising players in Ireland by giving them a chance to develop their skills here, while also participating in education and training in case it all goes wrong. At the moment, it looks like they're content to let UCD do that for them. The health of the domestic game at all levels, from casual Sunday leaguer to one of the few professionals we have left should be an aim in itself, and shouldn't just be looked at through the lens of qualifying for a junket to Brazil, Russia or Qatar.

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    Seasoned Pro ifk101's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by geysir View Post
    Like Sweden, the few exceptional young players leave earlier.
    It's more than a few exceptional .... just mentioned a few names that readers might of heard of previously. The list wasn't meant to be exhaustive. It was just to point out that best teenagers leave Sweden as much as teenagers leave Ireland to play football. Difference is Swedish teenagers are not just going to English and Scottish clubs. Whatever Swedish model exists, doesn't address the lure of money in taking a player abroad.

    Quote Originally Posted by geysir View Post
    In Ireland, in relative terms isn't O'Shea regarded as one of the exceptions? an Einstein for having completed his leaving cert.
    There's plenty of exports with the Leaving, indeed some have lefted Ireland with degrees.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ifk101 View Post
    It's more than a few exceptional .... just mentioned a few names that readers might of heard of previously. The list wasn't meant to be exhaustive. It was just to point out that best teenagers leave Sweden as much as teenagers leave Ireland to play football. Difference is Swedish teenagers are not just going to English and Scottish clubs. Whatever Swedish model exists, doesn't address the lure of money in taking a player abroad.
    Then one could argue for the superior merits of the Icelandic model, but taking a look at the Swedish national squad, noting the age at which some players left the Swedish league to play abroad, these players were selected at random, not selected under false pretences to prove a bias

    Johan Elmander 19 Alexander Gerndt 25 Marcus Berg 21 Emir Bajrami 22 Christian Wilhelmsson 23 Toivonen 23 Pontus Wernbloom 23 Seb Larsson 16 Kim Källström 22 Samuel Holmén 24 Rasmus Elm 21
    Oscar Wendt 21 Behrang Safari 23 Martin Olsson 18 Jonas Olsson 22 Mikael Lustig 22 Andreas Granqvist 22 Daniel Majstorović 27 Anders Svensson 25 Tobias Hysén 24

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    Seasoned Pro ifk101's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by geysir View Post
    Then one could argue for the superior merits of the Icelandic model, but taking a look at the Swedish national squad, noting the age at which some players left the Swedish league to play abroad, these players were selected at random, not selected under false pretences to prove a bias
    Very random selection indeed. You included a name that hasn't been selected for some time and unlikely will be selected again for off-the-field reasons.

    But anyways and the point is, kids are leaving Sweden to play football to the same extent kids are leaving Ireland to play football. There is better structures in Swedish football, for example there exists football as a vocational training in a small number of schools (don't think this exists at secondary level in Ireland - maybe this is what the FAI should be looking at doing and linking it to a national academy), that is an initiative for players to stay in Sweden for longer but the ultimate goal is to play abroad which is the same as all Irish kids and presumably the majority of LOI players.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ifk101 View Post
    Very random selection indeed. You included a name that hasn't been selected for some time and unlikely will be selected again for off-the-field reasons.
    I selected 20 players on the Wiki squad list who had the most caps,
    And not listed were those capped players who are still playing in the Swedish leagues

    But anyways and the point is, kids are leaving Sweden to play football to the same extent kids are leaving Ireland to play football. There is better structures in Swedish football, for example there exists football as a vocational training in a small number of schools (don't think this exists at secondary level in Ireland - maybe this is what the FAI should be looking at doing and linking it to a national academy), that is an initiative for players to stay in Sweden for longer but the ultimate goal is to play abroad which is the same as all Irish kids and presumably the majority of LOI players.
    I don't see the evidence to support that, IFK.
    The evidence points to that most of the kids who make it though to the national team, do their apprenticeship in Sweden.

    These players were playing in the Swedish league until the age mentioned (approx).

    Sweden V England recent friendly
    Isaksson 18
    Lustig 22
    Sana 23
    Granqvist 22
    Antonsson 23
    Jonas Olsson 22
    Martin Olsson 18
    Safari 23
    Larsson 16
    Jansson still in Sweden
    Elm 21
    Kallstrom 22
    Svensson 25
    Kacaniklic 16
    Ibrahimovic 20
    Ranegie 24
    Wernbloom 23

    Unused Subs:
    Hansson ?
    Holmen 26
    Berg 23
    Hamad still in Sweden

    It goes without saying that Zlatan and Henrik Larsson are two world class players/the best Swedish players since decades,
    Zlatan left Malmo age 20 Henrik left Helsingborgs age 22
    Last edited by geysir; 11/12/2012 at 10:43 AM.

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    Capped Player SkStu's Avatar
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    I agree with Geysir; To the casual observer of Swedish football, that's how it appears.

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    Seasoned Pro ifk101's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by geysir View Post
    I don't see the evidence to support that, IFK.
    You don't want to see it more like. Go through the academy squads of British clubs and I'm sure you'll find plenty of Swedish names. Compare that to Irish players and then consider Swedes don't exclusively go to British clubs. And it increasingly more common that kids are leaving, or if not leaving being approached by foreign clubs. For example there's a kid for my local area with a Scottish club and the Swedish website for elite players has the last week published article on a 16 year old who turned down a move to Villa (because this is newsworthy - the turning down part).

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    Quote Originally Posted by ifk101 View Post
    You don't want to see it more like. Go through the academy squads of British clubs and I'm sure you'll find plenty of Swedish names. Compare that to Irish players and then consider Swedes don't exclusively go to British clubs. And it increasingly more common that kids are leaving, or if not leaving being approached by foreign clubs. For example there's a kid for my local area with a Scottish club and the Swedish website for elite players has the last week published article on a 16 year old who turned down a move to Villa (because this is newsworthy - the turning down part).
    Look IFK, when SkStu agrees, then we can safely say the aura of righteousness looms like a golden gilded cloud
    When 90% of the players that are selected for the current Swedish team and bench players have done their apprenticeship in Sweden, even played for seasons there at league level, we can say Sweden has a model that can be looked at, even adopted to some degree. The evidence is overwhelming to support that notion.

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