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This is for Glenn Ackroyd at VP

Discussion in 'City Talk' started by Brackenrigg, Jun 14, 2019.

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  1. Brackenrigg

    Brackenrigg Member

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    Glenn , I am sure this is a subject that your remit does not cover, but I would like you to pass this subject on to the
    best person at VP to respond. I am sure as you are a supporter, first and foremost ,you will be as interested as me
    to glean the club's position on this matter.
    I have just read on the T & A website this morning that a junior football club in the city of Bradford has been awarded
    a national award for voluntary service to the Community ( specifically junior football). The item covers the club's activity and sends you to their excellent website for more information.
    The football club in question is called Alpha United Juniors.
    The article also shows a photograph of the club's players which makes the numbers it caters for is substantial.
    Although I dont live in Bradford specifically I have never heard of this club and I certainly have never heard it mentioned in any coverage our club has in the district ,either in the press or in the match programmes, over the years.
    My underlying anxiety is that BCFC has no connection with this thriving junior football club.
    On their website there is clearly no connection with BCFC mentioned. There are photos showing youngsters wearing football kit and I cannot see a City shirt anywhere.
    It makes me wonder if we are really not connected to the local junior football activity in our city.
    This is inexcusible but to me not unexpected.
    I look forward to hearing or seeing the reaction from the club on this matter and in their response I would expect
    them to show their involvement with local junior clubs and leagues.
    I hope my worries are proved to be unfounded but I really am not expecting to hear that the club has it covered.
     
    Jay likes this.
  2. marshy77

    marshy77 Well-Known Member

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    Quick look on their Facebook page shows them having a game at Valley Parade.
     
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  3. BradfordBanter

    BradfordBanter Well-Known Member

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    Their website says exclusive partner of Real Madrid... WTF?
     
  4. marshy77

    marshy77 Well-Known Member

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    We can't compete with that.
     
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  5. SimonW

    SimonW Administrator
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    A lot of these independent junior clubs around the country don't wish to have tight links to a specific club in the region. If anything they are often more likely to have some form of link with a European club where the players may go for a training camp once a year. Their independence in the region is something they feel is important in the development of players. Most of clubs in the catchment area though will throw donations their way and do often send coaches to help out for a day or so here and there and may let them use their facilities from time to time. So I would imagine it would be the same with this club, City, Leeds etc most likely all drop some cash their way and occasionally share resources
     
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  6. Glenn Ackroyd

    Glenn Ackroyd Well-Known Member

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    HI,

    I am fully aware of the incredible work that the Community Foundation does, but I have no knowledge of the links or pathways between grassroots clubs and the Bradford City Academy.

    I am meeting the Head of the Academy late next week and once I've got a better understanding, I'll respond to the specifics of your post.

    Thanks,

    Glenn
     
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  7. BoingBoing

    BoingBoing Well-Known Member
    P.L. 18/19 Top 20 Supporter

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    It’s because of that attitude that we find ourselves in L2, right @Fordy117 ?
    ;)
     
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  8. Jay

    Jay Well-Known Member
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    That club is all hype, City have a great scouting network and..... if there is any good players they go to Manchester United or Man City
     
  9. QCFC BANTAM

    QCFC BANTAM Well-Known Member

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    Brackenrigg - Alpha were only formed 3 or 4 years ago. Have risen to the fore with Real Madrid Academy coaches doing a few sessions last year (don't ask me how they managed it), being awarded FA Charter club of the year and winning this Queens Volunteering award, which somebody has to nominate you for. This could be a parent etc. I didn't know this award existed so I may get somebody to nominate Queensbury as we have over 100 volunteers or so. There must be a good 10 or more long established junior football clubs such as Bingley, Salts/Shipley, Thackley, Bolton Woods, Queensbury Celtic etc that attract more regular numbers but haven't had the recent profile that Alpha have had.

    In terms of BCFC and scouting, over the last few years they have increased the number of scouts and they are active around the junior clubs. Craig has been up to Queensbury a few times to look at our U6s and several of our kids go down to the development centres and a couple to the academy. I have referred a couple of players to him and am about to refer a couple more this week.

    The Academy put on an open session down at Apperley Bridge about 18 months ago and all FA affiliated junior clubs could attend. They gave a display of an Academy coaching session followed by a session with Alan Nevison Academy Manager. Basically they said that they didn't have the numbers of scouts to compare with Man City, Blackburn, Burnley etc and were asking for clubs to refer player's to them so they could attend a development centre or they could be watched by a scout. Hence I refer player's - it's one thing that I joke about with the kids that I only want to see City shirts at my sessions!!

    Over the last 18 months they have also increased the number of development centres that they run. It used to be just down at Woodhouse Grove but this is now the Elite/Academy centre but there are Development centres in Dewsbury, Ilkley, Seacroft and at Southfield Grange thus increasing the number of kids they get to look at.

    From speaking to Craig they are aware of all the big local junior clubs and especially those that have kids at 5 and 6 as other clubs do come and look at them.

    Hope this helps, QCFC.
     
  10. SimonW

    SimonW Administrator
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    That's not completely true. It's obviously not the same as it used to be where clubs didn't really have teams under about the u13/14 age groups meaning youth clubs like this took on most of the early development but not everyone develops at the same rate and there are players who will slip through clubs recruitment at every age group from u9's to u14's and these clubs do provide that opportunity for such players. Sure such players are unlikely to every be Premier League quality but Championship and below is perfectly possible. They kind of fall into that same bracket as the Glenn Hoddle Academy and the Nike Academy did at the older age groups before they folded in that it gives those who fall through the cracks the chance of still making it as professional footballers.
     
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  11. Jay

    Jay Well-Known Member
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    Mason Greenwood
     
  12. QCFC BANTAM

    QCFC BANTAM Well-Known Member

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    It basically means that RM sent some coaches over to do a few sessions, not sure they can actually claim Exclusively to be honest. Likewise they say they are partnered with all these PL clubs but basically again off the back of the FA award these clubs sent them some merchandise to sell to raise funds....nice headline banners on the website though...
     
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  13. SimonW

    SimonW Administrator
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    And I didn't say that the best of them don't get snapped up by others as they progress between about 8-13. That doesn't mean though there aren't players who have been missed for reasons like developing physically slower than those around him or they just won't be PL quality but who might still have a career in football at the lower levels. If in the next 10 years you suddenly find yourselves at the top end of the PL then sure they won't be good enough but lets say you are League One again, there will be overlooked players who have enough potential to be players at that level within the ranks of these kind of youth clubs so it shouldn't be ignored.

    If anything Football, in general, is a bit guilty of throwing kids on the trash heap way too soon. If they haven't been signed by a top team by the time you are 13 they are written off, if they do sign with a top team by then but don't get offered academy papers at 16 or a senior contract by 18 you are also often written off. More support from everyone in football needs given to these groups that give those who are written off a home and a path to still make their dream come true. This support can simply be as fans being in favour of such groups or through clubs, players, coaches, FA's and the likes providing more infrastrcture and money to them
     
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  14. QCFC BANTAM

    QCFC BANTAM Well-Known Member

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    I agree SimonW. You only have to look at stats that many academies have something like 80% of players born between Sept to Dec simply because they are physically more developed than those born later. I have seen many examples of this in my coaching where the younger, smaller, more technically gifted kid has been overlooked for a bigger, stronger kid who can run past the smaller ones.

    Clubs don't care about the kids that they deem not good enough. A lad who played with my eldest up until 9 and had good friends at the club signed for BCFC and so could only play for BCFC. They dropped him at 15 and he no longer had the friends he once had and stopped playing altogether.
     
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  15. Glenn Ackroyd

    Glenn Ackroyd Well-Known Member

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    Hi, thanks for this.

    This is brilliant insight and really pleasing to see.

    Glenn
     
  16. Brackenrigg

    Brackenrigg Member

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    Glenn

    tks so much for your update and info supplied.
    Am looking forward to more info from the Academy as and when you have any more details.
    Have been delighted with the info supplied by you and QCFC and Simon the admin chap.
    QCFC obviously puts huge efforts into his club and I thank him sincerely for such.
    I am really keen to hear that the BCFC activity in junior football is really as comprehensive in its coverage
    of all communities within the city as I believe it need to be. It is my opinion that we are weak in overall
    effectiveness as I have been a season ticket holder for nearly 30 years and cannot recall if we have had a
    single player from the Asian community break through into the senior age groups and into the
    footballing staff at VP.
     
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  17. BradfordBanter

    BradfordBanter Well-Known Member

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    Strange point about an asian player breaking through, what good does having a token asain player do? We aren't the only City with a large asain population, London and Birmingham etc. They haven't produced anything either, is that really a clubs fault or it that the right level of talent isn't there yet?
     
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  18. TallinnBantam

    TallinnBantam Well-Known Member

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    The big European clubs have a network of road shows and training camps - even up here in Estonia. My son plays for the under 11s Levadia Tallinn team, and was offered a chance to join the Juventus training camp, not in Turin, but in Tallinn! It would have made the 400€ joining fee a little more acceptable if it included flights and accommodation over in Italy!
     
  19. Glenn Ackroyd

    Glenn Ackroyd Well-Known Member

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    To update on this.

    I met Alan Nevison (Academy Manager) yesterday at the training ground.

    Alan is a great guy with an enormous passion for Bradford City. His enthusiasm rubs off on you when he speaks.

    He was coaching the Academy kids at Manchester United but he's a City fan. His dad was in the player's lounge and he was sitting in the stand on the day of the fire. As he told me, "I'm here because City's part of my blood."

    Here's a rundown of our Academy:
    • Academy's are rated from Cat 1 to Cat 4.
    • Most Premier clubs and some Championships are Cat 1
    • The main difference relates to the number of coaches. A Cat 1 will have over 50 full-time coaches. A massive cost
    • If you have a Cat 1, you have more funding from Premier League from their 'Solidarity Payments' - but you have to contribute more as a club on a pro-rata basis. We could never contemplate this because, beyond the coaches, you need facilities like more 4G pitches etc. which cost £400k!
    • The 'Solidarity Payments' stem from a deal done by the Premier League to guarantee more Academy funding at a price... Set payments were put in place to allow bigger clubs to poach young talent for modest sums. This makes it harder to get the sort of deals we've had previously for the likes of Fabian Delph and Andre Wisdom for example
    • To put this into context, Huddersfield has moved to Cat 4 and now they only coach from under 16's up because they don't see any benefit in coaching kids 8-16.
    • City are Cat 3. We coach from under 8's to under 18's with 13 coaches across the age groups
    • Our Academy has 150 kids. Kids who are good are moved up age groups
    • They are accessed on talent and body development. You may have a 12-year-old who is a late developer in body size and one who is 5 inches taller who is ahead in body, but not chronologically. When they get to 17/18 it will equal out and they consider all of this when looking at talent and putting them into aged teams
    • Beneath this, we have 4 Elite Development Centres (DC's) at Southfield Grange, Ilkley, Dewsbury and in Seacroft
    • There are 350 kids in the DC's. They all train and wear the City kit.
    • These have a DC coordinator and more local coaches running them
    • The aim of these is to create links with local schools and clubs to provide a channel to the Development Centres
    • We have 8 scouts watching schools and local clubs. They will have the watched Alpha United FC players playing for the club and in their school's teams many times
    • Players who are identified as having potential are picked up by scouts and recommended to either the Development Centres or the Academy
    • Each year, they hold DC Select days to trial DC players and other local talents to bring into the Academy
    • The Academy brings in players from beyond Bradford. There is a lad who lives in Leeds who gets the train and was a Leeds fan. Alan said he saw his dad down at Valley Parade sheepishly buying tickets for City.
    • At 16 players are offered BTEC in Sports Science courses. This is where our links to the School become a big draw, even against top tier clubs.
    • The BTEC is equivalent to 3 A-Levels - For the majority of players who don't make the grade they have a pathway to University with many getting unconditional offers on sporting degrees due to the course and links to football
    • We also house out of area talent in the school 6th form boarding residency.
    • To put this into context, the fees to attend and board at a school like Woodhouse Grove are considerable. It's a magnificent school with beautiful grounds and brilliant facilities. Many parents are amazed at the opportunity this offers for their kids
    • From there, at 18 the best kids are offered their first pro contract, or released
    The aim is to develop players who progress into the first team. Alan identified several real talents that he felt had everything they need to make it.

    There are also players that are watched by other clubs who will move on. He said one boy will have been watched 20 times by scouts by one club before an offer will come in. These deals are done regularly but go unreported (they are minors). Because of the solidarity deal, clubs are powerless to stop players moving. Each kid can only be signed from year to year.

    When interest comes in from more than one club, our job is to try and create a dutch auction to broker a deal beyond the prescribed minimums to include sell on's and appearance deals etc.

    I spent 3 hours with Alan exploring ways to increase funding and to extend the reach of the DC's. In simple terms, the wider the reach, the more likely we are to find more talent which will, in turn, help us on the pitch.

    Thanks.
     
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  20. BradfordBanter

    BradfordBanter Well-Known Member

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    Gone above and beyond on this Glenn, a brilliant insight into things that we don't see. I appreciate it!
     
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