Often we are amazed at how easy it looks,the fluidity and grace a top player shows when confronted with a difficult situation.How did he/she see that pass? How did he/she know where the space was? How did he /she score that goal,intercept that pass …

The answer is very ofen in what has gone before.It is important to remember that this player was once a child and much has happened along the way.They invested many hours of dedication ,a lot of energy and effort with the aim of becoming the best player that they can be.

One very important component that is rarely mentioned is….. chance.Here I am referring to the identification of a talent that has the potential to become a top footballer.When looking at youth players especially those in their early teens it is almost impossible to predict any sort of long term success stories ie those who possess the potential to become professional footballers when they are older.More than often the successful footballers are not necessarily the ones who performed best in their early years in youth competitions.There are a multitude of reasons for this.


RATE OF LEARNING- Different learning curves.Different responces to different type of training.

ENVIROMENT-Type of training,Coaches,Parents,School,Competition structures.


In Youth football very often it is the more mature players that perform better or are seen to perform better.This is what I call a TEMPORARY ADVANTAGE because as each player nears the end of adolescence many of the factors stated above are negligible but very often much of the damage is done as Talent identification in football more than often takes place way  to early.The young footballer is being judged on his current performance rather than his/her future level of performance leading to a short sighted selection process for those elite /talent development programmes that are started way to early.This is a major fault modern talent identification systems,we fail to notice the real talent  who may at present not be the best performers but have the potential to be so in the future.The knock on effect for this “potential” group is that they become neglected and they dont get the standard of coaching and encouragement they deserve.

It should be understood that individual development curves differ from each other and that the coach should acknowledge and support the individual nature of the pathway that each player takes.



  1. Somewhat confused upon your articles. On the top of this page you indirectly critisize youth talent programs and give the early teens as an example for a too early age to be able to identify future performance. Further down the same page you comment on an elite tournament your own son participated in with Brommapojkarna in Spain.
    I beleive that players that show interest and will to spend training hours and effort in becoming skilled football players should be given tne opportunity and means to do so. Saying that I am in favor of you having your son with Brommapojkarnas first B98 team. I wonder though why you express doubts upon selection processes that you have exposed your own son to.

    // B10 team coach

    • If you reread the piece about the elite tournament that Bromma Pojkerna were playing in you will find that I didnt write it. The author Aidan Isherwood did however have his son playing in the tournament .I hope this clears up any confusion.

      • Ok, sorry thought this was your personal blog.

        // coach
        It is My blog But Aidan contributes Every now and them. He does have mixed feelings with regard to elite selection at BP but His sons happiness is what is important.
        Personally I feel that many of the elite models used by Stockholm teams do not work. Which explains why Stockholm Football forbundet are very worried about the lack of talent debeloping in the city. At present most of the talent is coming from smaller areas where the place of development is more natural. The Spanish FA and German FA knew this 20 years ago

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s