Results 1 to 4 of 4

Thread: Richard Sadlier: Sacrifices needed to overhaul system that's failing us

  1. #1
    First Team
    Joined
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Terryland Park
    Posts
    2,135
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    1,384
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    507
    Thanked in
    288 Posts

    Richard Sadlier: Sacrifices needed to overhaul system that's failing us

    The treatment of elite players has to improve for sake of Irish football, says Richard Sadlier

    Imagine a system where all the elite schoolboys of Ireland were attached to the academies of Airtricity League clubs. Imagine underage international squads could only be made up of players from these clubs. Imagine only 'A' licensed coaches would be allowed to work in these clubs. Imagine the only route to England or elsewhere was by playing for one of these clubs.

    Now consider the outrage among many people in Irish football who have just read this.

    Speaking on RTE radio recently, FAI high performance director Ruud Dokter said none of this. What he did say was that he aimed to involve and consult the relevant bodies and roll out a national plan for the development of the game in Ireland, the fruits of which would not be seen for another 10 or 15 years.

    He honed in on the fact that there is no common pathway for elite players to develop their careers but stopped short of explaining what he had in mind. He's thinking long-term about elite players on a national level, which in itself puts him at odds with a lot of people's thinking. No matter what he comes up with, though, if it involves change to existing structures he'll be met with some fierce opposition. His efforts will rely entirely on the support he receives from the FAI.

    I've been critical many times of the FAI's approach to elite player development. The system in place in Ireland is unlike that in the majority of countries in European football. It is one of the few places where the elite underage players are not connected with the academies of the best senior clubs.
    There are many traditional, political, financial and sporting reasons why this is the case, but it needs to be addressed in a meaningful way. From the comments made by Dokter, it sounds like he's keen to at least give it a go.

    Take the Emerging Talent Programme. Any programme which excludes players below the age of 14 can hardly claim to be working with emerging talent. Dokter said he believed it was working well but said his aim was to influence players as young as 11. Yes, it's setting the bar very low by praising him for this, but it's a positive step nonetheless.

    Whatever his plans are for the merging of schoolboy and senior structures, the position of Airtricity League clubs must be considered in full also. I'm sure Keith Fahey's image will feature heavily in the promotion of the 2014 season, but his return is not an indicator of a league in good health or that players of his ability are now seeing it as a credible option. Nor can it be seen as a vindication of how the league is progressing.

    The majority of players who competed in last season's competition spent the close season on the dole or in part-time employment because clubs cannot afford to continue to pay them. A full-time structure is still beyond reach for nearly everyone.

    League clubs don't have the funding or the stability to roll out a serious youth development programme and the power structures of schoolboy football are too well established to challenge. Implementing change in that area would require phenomenal feats of diplomacy and drive, but Dokter expects to present a national plan in the new year on how best to achieve his aims.

    If the FAI are serious about his role and supporting him in his plans -- whatever they may be or however long they may take to implement -- then the landscape can change in any way they see fit.

    In the past they have lacked the vision, the finances or the political will. In most cases, they have lacked all three. But Dokter is about to present a plan for change. Irish football's response to change has traditionally been one of resistance, but there has never been a better time to embrace it. With Ireland at its lowest ever world ranking, there has never been a more important time either.

    It will take progressive thinking and co-operation from those involved, but it will also involve self-sacrifice for the greater good. None of those are elements you'd instantly relate to Irish football. For too long, Ireland's elite footballers have been let down by a system aimed at shipping them off to the UK at the earliest opportunity. Radical change is needed but it takes vision and will to achieve. When Dokter produces his plan, the FAI need to summon the political strength to help him deliver it.

    "I have to make people collaborate rather than doing their own thing," was how Dokter phrased it a fortnight ago. In Irish football, as I'm sure he is finding out, that's an enormously difficult task.

    http://www.independent.ie/sport/socc...-29872619.html
    Last edited by gufcfan; 30/12/2013 at 8:08 AM.

  2. Thanks From:


  3. #2
    Apprentice Rory's Avatar
    Joined
    Jan 2014
    Posts
    26
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    4
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    3
    Thanked in
    2 Posts
    I think the FAI/SFAI need to shift their focus to the coaching in the clubs instead of developing a handful of players. If better coaches are developed nationwide, you will see better players coming forward. Monthly sessions with club coaches. Helping them with team development plans, drills, tracking progress etc...
    Taking one or two players from club and giving them an hour extra coaching will not have the same impact as their club coach being able to deliver a similar standard of coaching... With the help of these "Emerging Talent" coaches, the club coaches in that area could deliver great coaching sessions and all players will benefit and develop.
    This means the teams will get stronger and so will local competitions which, in turn, will make the players stronger and so on....
    The kick start courses might be handy to have but without guidance the coaches will quickly start doing "their own thing"..
    Some clubs have taken the initiative and signed up with "Coerver Coaching" or the "Ajax on-line Academy" to bring the level of coaching in the club to the next level. This is expensive but will definitely help the players. In my opinion the FAI should set up development sessions for coaches who can then share this with their players......
    Or even get only one club coach from each club to these sessions who will pass on the material to the other coaches within the club....

  4. Thanks From:


  5. #3
    Capped Player
    Joined
    May 2004
    Posts
    16,908
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    5,585
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    3,680
    Thanked in
    2,095 Posts
    Wasn't that the Swiss and Belgian approach? Get a strong cohort of highly qualified coaches and insert them into the clubs?

  6. #4
    Apprentice Rory's Avatar
    Joined
    Jan 2014
    Posts
    26
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    4
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    3
    Thanked in
    2 Posts
    I'm not sure Stuttgart but if so, it really worked for them. Switserland seeded in the "group head" pot for the world cup draw and Begium also qualifying after missing out for many years. And look at all the Belgian talent roaming the european pitches over these last few years.
    For me this is a more logical approach instead of trying to find the single gem and develop him/her. This way you ignore all the other players of which some could have outshone the gem if polished a bit better.
    One coach has access to a team or multiple teams in one club so with developing a coach you would develop a lot more players to their potential.

Similar Threads

  1. Richard Sadlier...
    By Roo69 in forum Premier & First Divisions
    Replies: 18
    Last Post: 11/08/2013, 11:06 AM
  2. Richard Sadlier
    By smellyfeet in forum Ireland
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 02/08/2006, 7:02 PM
  3. Richard Sadlier
    By centre mid in forum Drogheda United
    Replies: 13
    Last Post: 31/03/2006, 1:03 PM
  4. Richard Sadlier Training with Sunderland
    By Tenderloins in forum Ireland
    Replies: 23
    Last Post: 30/03/2006, 11:04 AM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •