Everton U18’s 4 vs 2 Manchester United U18’s.
Everton U16’s 0 vs 1 Manchester United U16’s.
U/18 Premier League
Saturday November 7th, 2015
“Interesting Observations In Developing a Club Culture.”
The U14, U16 and U18 teams are grouped together. The group has it’s own Age Group Coordinator. Occasionally the teams will scrimmage each other. There is only one team at every age group. Everton also have U21 and U23 squads.
Each team has 16 - 18 players including 2 GK’s.
Each team has a head coach and an assistant coach. The Physical Conditioning Coach, Technical Director and Age Group Coordinator are, often, at practices and games. Academy staff spend enormous amounts of time with each other!
The Everton coaches rotate every 8 weeks. So the U14 coach moves up to the U16 team and then onto the U18 team then back to the U14 team. They believe this keeps their coaching staff fresh and keeps the players on their best footing. I have to check to see whether the assistant coach moves with the head coach.
Every game is videotaped. Practices are, frequently, videotaped.
Interclub player movement
Players move to an older age group freely between the U14 – U18 teams. Occasionally a player may be moved onto the first team squad – and will, sometimes, play for the first team.
The club has a distinguishable logo with a motto. The motto is on the club’s logo in Latin. The logo is on all game and practice uniforms, stationery and club wallpaper!
System of play
All 11 v 11 Everton teams play some version of 4-3-3 – e.g. 4-2-3-1.
All the Everton teams above the age of 14 use the same warm - up routine which is designed by the physical conditioning coach. The warm up routine is meticulously adhered to. I was told that there have been no self inflicted “soft tissue” injuries on any of Everton’s Academy teams for 5 years. A staggering statistic.
The coaches of the teams spend a phenomenal amount of time, meeting, to discuss the development of their players. They met at the end of these two games in their offices to discuss the progress of the players. Staff features many X Everton players. The discussion I attended featured 6 staff – 2 of whom played for Everton in the Premier League.
Head coaches write a report of the game which is delivered to the Coaching Director. Items covered included - Systems of Play. Who played well. Who played poorly. Critical moments in the game. Recommendations.
Use of Alumni and Older players
Everton’s corridors are adorned with historic and contemporary player and team photographs. A number of photos featured older professional players practicing with (soccer tennis)and coaching younger players (U8’s etc.) Some clubs bring in retired players to help train their more senior Academy youth players.