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Tony Pullis youth reform

Discussion in 'General Football' started by Danishfurniturelover, 12 May 2022.

  1. Danishfurniturelover

    Danishfurniturelover the prettiest spice girl

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    Rolled my eyes when I read it was him but actually it is a good read.


    Tony Pulis has delivered a proposal to reform youth football to the Premier League and PFA.

    The former Stoke City manager has spent the best part of a year researching the junior side of the football industry, with concerns over the balance around education and sacrifice from parents. He has produced figures to show that up to 95 per cent of the 10,000 to 12,000 boys in the academy system will not have a career in the game. He has also been told that 78 per cent of players who turn professional at 18 are no longer playing football within three years.

    He has now drawn up a plan for a dual-scholarship programme funded by the Premier League but run by an independent body that focuses on preparation for an alternative career. He wants the UK to be divided into six regions with teams of mentors working with young players.

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    He said: “Having spent all my working life in the game, I have been shocked by the statistics that I have compiled through my research. Academy football gives false hope to 95 per cent of its workforce, and unfortunately it has done very little to address that. Young lads are used to service the system. Without the numbers, full-on coaching sessions could not take place, a games programme that incorporates over 90 per cent of all professional clubs could not take place, and the whole army of employed academy staff would be made redundant.

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    “As a young lad with unlimited hopes in life, the dream of becoming a professional football player is just so special. The opportunity given through the academy system drives his and his family’s hopes of achievement. Lads will spend year after year dreaming of that day, but 95 per cent of those lads will never experience that joy. In fact for most, the experience of total rejection and despair will be felt.”

    He added in an interview with The Times: “If (football clubs) are going to demand that commitment of players and their families, then football has got to provide some kind of a safety net. And the safety net is an education; a bespoke education that can lead to an alternative career. Some boys might not be academic. They could be better suited to a more vocational course. It would be the job of the mentors to help determine that.”

    Pulis has focused on youth football since his eight-year-old grandson started playing in a category one academy at a Premier League club. He lauds the facilities - "The academy my grandson attends is terrific, it really is.... I'm not sure there are better facilities anywhere in the world.” - but points out that “only 0.5 per cent of the players from that age group will make a living out of the game”.

    The 64-year-old suggests that the Premier League's education programme for 16 to 19 year olds - with a mandatory BTEC qualification - is inadequate. He has already held talks with schools, colleges and universities about a dual scholarship

    He said: “I’ve spoken to lots of relevant people. It can be devastating for a boy and his family when he is rejected. Some of these boys will feel they have let down their families. For some it might have been seen as a way out of poverty. It can affect the parents, siblings. It can lead to the horror stories we sadly hear about.

    “I’ve spoken to universities and colleges who would love to have these kids. There is a solution here, and I’ve presented my proposal to both the PFA and the Premier League. I’m now waiting to see how they respond but I hope they are receptive. I hope they understand where I am coming from. I hope they can see it from the point of view of the parents and families.”

    What do you think of Pulis's proposal? Have your say in the comments section
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