Youth Development Week | The coaches point of view

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Academy Coaching Manager – Dane Facey

Recently appointed head of coaching at the Academy, Dane Facey has started the current campaign as head coach of the youth development stage.

Starting the season coaching young players in their final stages before becoming academics, Dane reflected on the work done so far this season, before looking ahead to the future.

“As players develop physically in their teenage years, there is a shift in focus that we bring both on and off the pitch,” says Dan. “As we work on a program that supports a training and games model.

“What’s really important at this level is to look at all the disciplines involved in the development of young people. Working closely with the medical, sports science, education and player care teams , we get as much information as possible about the players and regularly look to see that the programs we offer are targeted in the right way for each person.

“This season, our program could not have functioned as it has without the support of a dedicated group of full-time and part-time staff. They have made it easier to work with the players, from a some way, whether face-to-face or remotely.

“That hard work means we’ve been able to keep the guys engaged, focusing on what they hope to achieve with us.

“Being flexible in our work has been important this season, especially with tracking development online if face-to-face sessions weren’t available. We’ve been lucky enough to get on the grass as much as we could this season, and with COVID hopefully we want to continue where we left off and keep striving to achieve the goals the players have set for themselves.

“It’s still a long journey from the U16 age group to first-team football, but moments like seeing players you’ve worked with like isaac davies scoring his first league goal and having the crowd chant “he’s one of us” gives you goosebumps!

“It’s great to see the Academy players doing so well, and I’m really confident we have plenty more in the pipeline who are just waiting for this opportunity to do the same.”

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