- Feb 25, 2014
Great post....I’m friends with one of the highest regarded youth coaches in Manchester. His innovative courses have been the subject of interest on sky sports and across terrestrial tv. He works partly for united coaching the youngest age groups, City are constantly approaching him for their academy. He knows the you coaching scene inside out. He tells me of our failings (investment) but also of our strengths (coaching innovation). United have the best coaches in the area, city’s strength is in their willingness to spend money and break rules and in their facilities.Bringing kids in under 13/14 is always a challenge for a bunch of reasons.
Historically we have always brought in kids at 15-16 and in percentage terms most don't make it. The maths don't allow it.
Once kids reach 17 it becomes a different story and our success at youth level 16-18 is unrivalled with 34% of players who play in the FA Youth Cup (an U/18 competition) reaching the first team and 38% having a career in the game with other clubs. So from a players perspective if they are with United at 17 they have a 72% chance of making it in the game. Much higher than any other British club.
It's been mentioned in this thread that the likes of Greenwood would have made it if the coaching is bad. I probably agree. There are certain players who will just succeed regardless of where they are and what standard of coaching you get. Whiteside, Morrison etc Even Matt Busby said not to (over) coach George Best.
Then there are other kids who will not make the grade even if they have the best coaches in the world. But you don't know that at the time. So coaching is often about maximising those players in the 'middle ground'. There are so many factors that's it almost impossible to identify whether poor coaching is responsible. But it certainly has to be one of the factors.
I believe a club like United should have the best coaches available. (Not just coaches but in every role). The point being made in this thread is that maybe we don't. I wouldn't necessarily disagree based on things I've heard and seen.
But the bit I don't get...is that if our coaches are not the best, and taking Greenwood out of the equation, why do we get such high results with poor recruitment and coaching? There is a disconnect somewhere. And I know it isn't 83 years of luck.
The final point is that every parent wants their child to make it. Every parent thinks their child is brilliant. 30 years of attending Academy games has taught me not to buy into every parents perspective.
Like every club Academy we probably have a percentage of average players, average parents and average coaches. As long as our % is better than all the other clubs we will come out on top.
I think what the parent on this forum was saying is that there is room for improvement.
I think there always is.
Their coaching focus is wrong, outdated but traditional.
I wouldn’t be concerned about the future of Uniteds academy, there’s some outstanding kids coming through and they are being coached for individual brilliance primarily and then to fit into a framework secondly as they begin to play matches. In basic terms, learning to play in a team is easy, Gary Neville could do that. Producing individual talent is more difficult and stems from skills development at the youngest ages.