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Sporting Lisbon

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I was reading on another thread about some of the Portuguese stars that came from the Sporting Lisbon Youth Academy: Paulo Futre, Simão, Sabrosa, Quaresma, Cristiano Ronaldo, J.Moutinho, Miguel Veloso, Nani to name a few well known talents.

It made me think about Finch Farm and EFC's programs of "Football Prince" and "Soccer Dreams" based in the far East and USA respectively. For those that don't know I don't want to sound patronising but they are aimed at developing young "local" players into Premier League quality players.

I think it would be beneficial to see about linking up or maybe even "Twinning" with Sporting Lisbon to see how they do things because they are obviously having major success.
Jay Harris, Liverpool     Posted 11/06/2008 at 23:59:51

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Alex Baker
1   Posted 12/06/2008 at 13:54:49

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Man Utd are already paired with Sporting, so it?s not a big new idea.
Dan Mckie
2   Posted 12/06/2008 at 14:02:43

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Even after that, Man U still have to pay through the nose to get these players, all it gets you is first refusal maybe!
John Lloyd
3   Posted 12/06/2008 at 14:27:36

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Arent Simao & Sabrosa the same person?

We have produced a few of our own over the years, whatever you may think of them now but Ball, Jeffers, Dunne, Vaughan, Hibbert, Anichebe plus a certain Wayne Rooney.

I know people will pick out Dunne for being Irish but he still came though our youth system & for Jeffers made us a pretty penny not forgetting he was an England international before snorting/partyin/pissing his career away. I will concede Hibbert as I dont rate myself but on paper he has played nigh on 200 games for us, and has been in Euro qualifing teams 3 times.

I just hope that Finch Farm leads the way in terms of coaching and facilities, if we can bring these kids through with a british workrate & spirit but technically sound & comfortable on the ball we will make our money back on that place in no time.
Erik Dols
4   Posted 12/06/2008 at 14:41:25

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You’re obiously right about them producing a lot of talent but still I’m going to nitpick: Nani was 16 when he joined them, that has little to with the youth system if you ask me, rather with good scouting.

I don’t see what we could gain from twinning with them, as has been said before we have pretty good youth setup already and they will not give us their biggest talents for free.
Sergio Ferreira
5   Posted 12/06/2008 at 14:50:31

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dont forget figo, hugo viana, boa morte,carlos martins and almost half of the portuguese players that play in the portuguese lueague
Sergio Ferreira
6   Posted 12/06/2008 at 14:50:31

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dont forget figo, hugo viana, boa morte,carlos martins and almost half of the portuguese players that play in the portuguese lueague
roy coyne
7   Posted 12/06/2008 at 15:51:21

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It must be worth looking into as even if it only produced one or two players at present day fees it would save a small fortune.
Adam Carey
8   Posted 12/06/2008 at 15:54:13

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With respect to the Portugese League they do not have the competition levels that countries such as England, Spain, Italy or France have in terms of top teams.
I’m sure if you looked at the academies of the Scottish teams, Celtic and Rangers would have the better prospects on their books. It’s not that Lisbon have a fantastic academy system, but that any hot prospect will want to play for them. A bit like that Ramsey lad going to Arsenal?
Russ Kavanagh
9   Posted 12/06/2008 at 16:55:35

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That is a good idea Jay. I think you mean look at their techniques and ideas, much the same as teams tried to do in the eighties with Ajax.

Our wastage of talent is big (as are most clubs) so if we could find some secrets to enable us to turn our rough diamonds into jewels, so much the better.
Art Greeth
10   Posted 12/06/2008 at 16:50:22

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Adam Carey, whilst you are right to one extent that the Portuguese league historically has been dominated by three clubs - Sporting, Benfica and Porto - I believe you?re comments about the academy system are way off the mark.

I live in Portugal and through my sons attending a regular local kids? footy team, I see the quality of the coaching on offer. Nationally, all the way down to grass roots level to kids of 4-5-6 years old (I?m not exaggerating), the emphasis from day one is on improving technical skills WITH a ball, not physical stamina without it. The training and drills are first class.

As for actual games, whilst kids? leagues exist, primarily they compete in occasional mini-leagues, in day-long or weekend-long tournaments playing 3-4 short games of 10-15 minutes each half, on smaller pitches. Coaches can and do rotate players as often as they like. That is, you don?t have players substituted and no longer able to enter the game and those coming on just getting a few minutes. Players can leave and re-enter the game 2-3 times each match. This way, each individual is kept fully engaged.

In tournaments my sons have competed in, I have had the pleasure of seeing all the top Portuguese sides? youth teams (of all ages) playing. Quite simply, I have seen 7-8 year olds with technical skills and a tactical awareness way, way beyond anything I ever saw of kids of much older years in the UK.

One other thing. I don?t know whether it is a cultural difference or not, but very, very interesting IMO is that parents simply do not interfere during training or matches, leaving all guidance to the coaches. This compares very favourably to the snarling verbal and physical abuse youth coaches in the UK sometimes have to endure.

Sporting?s youth academy clearly is doing something very right and anything we can and could learn from them, we should, irrespective of their existing agreement with Man Utd.
Connor Rohrer
11   Posted 12/06/2008 at 18:30:02

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Technically England is sadly lacking. We concentrate too much on tackling, strength, pace and workrate. Football is played on the deck and every player is perfectly capable of improving there technical skills and becoming comfortable on the ball. Our players are sadly lacking in these areas. We produce too many yard dogs and pace merchants who wouldn't have a chance of making it in other countries.

The under 21 tournament last summer summed it up for me. England v Holland in the Semi final. England where all about energy, workrate and defensive abilities whereas Holland where cultured, technically able, strong, hardworking and had the quality. England hung on in that game and where eventually and quite rightly beaten on penalties. I seriously wanted Holland to win. They played there football the right way, expressed themselves and deserved to win.

In countries like Portugal and Holland the youngsters play on 5 a side pitches with small goals. It pisses me off when I see our youngsters playing on full size pitches with full size goals. It encourages ugly football, end to end with no control. The likes of Holland and Portugal encourage short one touch passing, tactical awareness and clever movement. Once they?ve learned the basics and are a little older they move onto bigger pitches and are much better equipped.

People have accused foreign players of affecting the national team and I do not really see it like that. I agree with Arsene Wenger. If the English players are good enough they'll get there chance. At the moment there not which is why there's aren't enough breaking through. It all starts at youth level. Develop them in the right areas at the right age and they'll have more of a chance of making it in the future. More money has to be invested at youth level. That's the way forward.

Our academy is decent but there's definatly room for improvement. The likes of Rooney, Anichebe, Vaughan, Osman and Hibbert have all been produced and soon we'll see the likes of Rodwell and Baxter coming through soon. I'd like to see more technically gifted players coming through in all honesty. Players like Rooney, Osman and hopefully Baxter.

Say what you want about Osman but technically he is one of the better English players in the League, has a great touch, good footballing brain and is skilful. He's had the disadvantage of coming through a league and a country that concentrates too much on physical abilities. Osman's style is suited to the likes of Ajax, Arsenal and Sporting. Even if he'd have been at those academies he would have made it in my opinion. He would have been encouraged to use his ability, play his natural position (behind the front two) and wouldn't have been shifted to the wings where he's useless. I'm not trying to big Ossie up I'm just using him as an example.
Jason Lam
12   Posted 16/06/2008 at 09:52:40

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Twin all you want but if kids are being brought up with playstations, bangers & mash, fish & chips, football from 1966, you have no hope in hell. There’s a fundamental cultural and mentality difference between rich UK and free dole money, and countries where football is a means to a better life.

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