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Tuesday tit-bits

Haven’t done these for a while but hopefully you will like what I’ve found in the past couple of weeks or so.

Ajax youth academy

A piece in the New York Times a couple of weeks ago looks at the Ajax academy in great detail, describing the day to day goings on of some of the minor scouts as well as looking at the emotional roller coaster that the boys enrolled at the academy go through. The main comparison is with the US pay-per-play style system but the insight into things that happen at the academy and the things that scouts and coaches look for is still quite interesting and relevant.

“Like other professional clubs in Europe and around the world, Ajax operates something similar to a big-league baseball team’s minor-league system — but one that reaches into early childhood. De Jong, a solidly built former amateur player, is one of some 60 volunteer scouts who fan out on weekends to watch games involving local amateur clubs. (He works during the week as a prison warden.)”

I should warn you that it is a fairly long read, 10 pages, but it is well worth taking  a look. You can read the article here:

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/06/06/magazine/06Soccer-t.html

The greatest goal that never was

Have to give the guys at Match Pricks for this one, I’d never seen this before but I can’t stop watching it. The player is Borussia Mönchengladbach’s Hans-Günter Bruns almost scoring against Bayern Munich in 1983.

Capello as one of the boys

Giles Smith of The Times usually writes some great pieces that would be at home on the football365 fun area. In this piece he talks aboutthe escapades that go on when Capello tries to act like one of the boys and is buddied up with Ledley King in the team hotel. My favourite part by miles is the following: -

Day Two By clearing aside King’s iPod dock and PlayStation console, and some of his grooming products, Capello manages, during the afternoon, to make space on the dressing table to work at his laptop. King shorts the hotel’s electrics by trying to dry his swimming trunks on the Corby trouser press. Capello loses four months of research files on Slovenia.”

You can read the full week long diary entry here at the Times Online.


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