Following a partnership between the MLS and La Liga (Spain), on top of a partnership already established with the Fédération Française de Football, MLS Academy directors and coaches with the EFCL (Elite Football Coaching Licence) licence have the opportunity to further their formation with a 10-day program, during which educators will visit well-known academies in world soccer. They will share information with coaches and sporting directors from big international clubs on topics like youth development, scouting and athletic development.
The Academy director Philippe Eullaffroy is representing the Montreal Impact.
Here is his diary.
Saturday, May 13 – Nice (France)
We leave for the OGC Nice stadium, the Allianz Riviera, built in 2013 by the same architect as Bayern Munich’s Allianz Arena. The stadium holds a business incubator for startups and is not owned by the club.
We start the day meeting with Alain Wathelet, the academy director, who highlights major points of formation at OGC Nice. It’s important to know that Nice is the youngest club in the “Big five”, with an average a little over 23 years of age and that in the past five years, 25 players developed at the club have made their professional debut.
We saw the new academy building, due to be completed August 2017. The cost of this new facility is the same as the income from a homegrown player transfer in 2016: 15 million euros for Jordan Amavi to Aston Villa. Player development is at the heart of OGC Nice’s project.
We note that before 2007, the team was more focused on athleticism. Since then, the technique and comprehension of play is the priority. Their reserve team is in CFA, with an average age of just over 19 years old. The team is currently fighting to avoid relegation. We will attend their last game against Monaco tonight. The team has to win at all costs to maintain its spot for next year. It will be tight, but I’ll come back on this later.
All in all, the academy and pre-academy have 450 players. Their rosters are pretty stable every year. They have 41 partner clubs.
We met Emerse Faé, an ex-player with the first team, now coaching the U17 team. He discussed the team’s training regime.
Later, we saw Nicolas Dyon once again.
The most interesting part of this meeting was the length of Lucien Favre’s training sessions, the first team’s head coach. His sessions last anywhere between 2 hrs and 2 hrs 45 min, even on the eve of game days.
Other than that, Dyon also talked about hamstring injury prevention. He made a DVD on dealing with hamstrings.
Tomorrow, I’ll let you know about the stadium visit and the important CFA game between the reserves of Nice and Monaco.