Wednesday , February 1 2023

K-League youth academies team up with LaLiga grassroots football!

Korean K-League youth football coaches have completed an intensive training camp in Spain with the aim of learning how LaLiga’s renowned youth academies work in order to identify and implement areas for improvement in the Korean youth teams’ set up. This project to promote grassroots football is part of the agreement that LaLiga has had since 2020 with the K-League, the official Korean competition, one of the most significant features of which is the importance it has given to the growth of grassroots football in recent years, one of the reasons why it has allied with LaLiga.

LaLiga Grassroots, LaLiga’s initiative to promote grassroots football globally, has trained more than 22,000 coaches outside Spain in the LaLiga Methodology since 2015 through projects such as Train-The-Trainers, LaLiga Formation Methodology in countries such as the USA and India. On this occasion, the LaLiga sessions focused on the model of play, physical preparation, scouting and talent detection, and game analysis. In addition, Athletic Club, RC Celta and CA Osasuna also gave the Korean coaches training sessions in which they explained the workings, philosophy and structure of their youth academies, as well as answering questions from the K League coaches.

Furthermore, the K League coaches extended their training with immersion days in the academies at Atlético de Madrid and RCD Espanyol de Barcelona: in addition to specialised sessions on data analysis in their youth academies, their own training methodologies, game models, structure and physical preparation, they have visited their facilities, training complexes and stadiums. They also attended several matches involving the youth teams and other lower categories of both teams, where they were able to observe the high level of grassroots football at LaLiga clubs.

All of the aforementioned teams featured in the CIES Football Observatory’s rankings of the best European youth academies last season, which were largely dominated by LaLiga clubs: Athletic Club, RC Celta, RCD Espanyol and CA Osasuna are among the Top 12 teams in the five big leagues in Europe that invest the most in players from their youth academies, with an exclusively Spanish podium (Athletic, Real Sociedad and RC Celta). Meanwhile, Atlético de Madrid joins Real Madrid, FC Barcelona and Valencia CF among the top 15 most productive youth academies in the five major European leagues.

“The youth academies of the LaLiga clubs have a lot of prestige outside our borders, but it should also be noted that there is also an openness to collaboration that has boosted their level in recent years, as contact and exchange between clubs is increasing, forming a network of collective intelligence through which we share experiences and knowledge, and this extends to other countries as well: clubs are aware of the importance of continuous training and the exchange of experiences at a national and international level, and this philosophy attracts those involved in grassroots football from other countries, who are looking to learn more in order to strengthen or professionalise their structures and training methodologies or approach,” states Juan Florit, head of the technical and sporting area of LaLiga Grassroots.

“This type of programme involves intensive training that encompasses the experience gathered from over 550 international sports projects for young athletes and coaches that have already been carried out in more than 40 countries. Running the programme in Spain ensures that coaches are in contact with the LaLiga ecosystem, which fosters a very high level competitive environment that helps both sides to get the most out of the experience,” says Francisco Javier Hernández, head of business and international development at LaLiga Grassroots.

In addition, some of the young players from its youth academies may be able to take part in group training or be awarded scholarships for the annual long-term programmes in Madrid, which are open to young footballers from all over the world: LaLiga Academy and LaLiga Talents. These programmes combine academic and sporting education at the ESC LaLiga & NBA Centre Madrid, where players live and study throughout the year, and are open to young people of all nationalities.

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