LaLiga has presented the National Plan for the Optimisation and Improvement of Youth Academies to its clubs, a plan that outlines the strategic issues and areas for improvement to take national grassroots football to a new level, for the first time with a structured plan arising from the collective effort from LaLiga Santander and LaLiga SmartBank clubs. The Plan was presented at the 6th Academy Meeting in Pamplona, with CA Osasuna as hosts at the recently acclaimed Best Stadium in the World 2021: El Sadar.
The Plan, a turning point in the history of Spanish grassroots football that marks the culmination of 6 years of work, has been designed around the work carried out hand in hand with the clubs. Areas for improvement have been identified, thanks to the knowledge-sharing networks that have been developed by the Youth Academy Meetings since 2016, with the aim of professionalising the teams’ youth academies. What are the keys? To design a joint project that bridges the gap between clubs, increasing competitiveness and standards collectively, and to achieve sustained growth by laying foundations that, together, will in turn contribute to boosting professional football in the long term, optimising resources and processes.
The National Plan for the Optimisation and Improvement of Youth Academies is linked to the Boost LaLiga Plan, which seeks to accelerate the growth of Spanish football and also emphasises aspects such as investment in technology and infrastructure, two essential aspects for youth academies. In this respect, many clubs will be able to accelerate some of the initiatives and actions planned for their youth teams thanks to Boost LaLiga, achieving their objectives much earlier, or even launching projects that would have not been otherwise possible.
“We at LaLiga are expressly committed and responsible for playing a part in the achievement of the clubs’ goals by establishing this project. We have identified a number of indicators for several strategic areas that have a direct impact on the work of the youth academies, and will work with each club to define the final targets based on their different circumstances, according to their strengths and weaknesses, as well as identifying opportunities for improvement for each of them. The areas and indicators that make up the plan are the result of several years of study and analysis, both individual and collective, carried out by LaLiga, and the achievement of the objectives is a long-term proposition, with an emphasis on qualitative rather than quantitative elements: We are committed to quality and sustainable growth through an ambitious but realistic vision,” says Juan Florit, head of Sports Projects at LaLiga.
“The visionary element is the key to the Plan: working collectively will achieve much greater growth for the whole of grassroots football by bringing together the strengths of all the successful individual initiatives that clubs have been undertaking in recent years. The clubs have also shown a great willingness to collaborate and share knowledge and ideas, because they understand that this is something that will benefit everyone and help Spanish football to grow as a whole,” says Luis Gil, director of Competitions at LaLiga.