Interesting Observations on Everton Club Culture

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.”

Age Groupings

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.

Squad Sizes

Each team has 16 - 18 players including 2 GK’s.

Squad Staffing

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!

Staff Rotation

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.

Videotaping

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.

Club Motto

everton fc shield

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.

Warm Ups

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.

Staff Meetings

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.

Written Reports

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.