FITC Academy Syllabus

Every academy session (whatever the syllabus topic) will begin with individual ball manipulation and “Rondo” based pass, touch and move drills.

We will focus the start of every session on improving and sharpening up the player’s individual ability with the ball, ability out of individual possession, receiving skills, body shape and ability to move the ball.

The syllabus we have designed is heavily focused on our tagline “A player should never panic or look uncomfortable with the ball at their feet, no matter what the situation”.

The players will also do many topics and drills within a match format. This helps us translate the coaching points to realistic and easily identifiable situations that take place during a match.

In every session and every topic of the season we will focus on (1) in possession (2) out of possession and (3) transitional factors.

BLOCK 1: PASSING & MOVING/POSSESSION BASED

  • Short passes, long passes, driven passes, lofted passes, passing through the thirds, playing into the channels, keeping the ball moving, one touch/two touch, playing out from the back, breaking lines/penetrating, playing in behind, passing under pressure, body shape & safe side/ball protection.

BLOCK 2: RECEIVING THE BALL/SPACIAL AWARENESS/SUPPORT ANGLES

  • How to receive, receiving body shape, variation of receiving touches, receiving positioning, creating space/ showing feet, combination play/overlaps, third man runs, timing of runs and movement, isolations, player rotation, first line of support, backward options & checking shoulders/taking pictures.

BLOCK 3: TRANSITIONAL PLAY/COUNTER ATTACKS/OVERLOAD SITUATIONS

  • Defence to attack/attack to defence, forward options, 1v1’s, recognising overloads, creating overloads, exploiting overloads, speed and awareness & decision making.

BLOCK 4: SWITCHING PLAY AND RECYCLING

  • When, why and how, switch in 1, switch in multiple passes, recycling pattern, angles, & movement to make the switch/recycle available

BLOCK 5: DEFENDING

  • Pressing, unit defending/slide & screen, 1v1 defending, team defending, recovery, communication & shape, in balance/out of balance, facing overload, delay & deny.

BLOCK 6: CHANCES/FINISHING AND ATTACKING MOVEMENT

  • Creativity/innovation, roaming/rotation, 1v1 finishing, movement off the ball, spin runs, diagonal runs/passes, how/when to get in behind, finishing on the floor, finishing in the air, split passes, crosses, body shape, receiving skills/touch to shoot, shifting the ball & shooting under pressure.

BLOCK 7: MATCH PLAY/POSITIONAL

  • Match play, topical & position specific.

Lots of our topics cross over and many of the same coaching points will be relevant in multiple syllabus topics.

We aim to continue using and accumulating the coaching points and terminology of previous blocks throughout the season, to really cement the coaching points into the player’s heads.

For example, by block 7 (Match Play) we will be using the coaching points and terminology we have been using in the previous 6 blocks.

ACADEMY QUOTE

‘’You play at the rhythm you train. If you train badly, you play badly. If you work like a beast, you play the same way’’ – Pep Guardiola

FITC PLAYING STRUCTURE & SHAPE

We expect players to learn positional roles rather than formations. The reason for this is because players will find themselves in many different areas of the pitch during a game and it’s important they know what is expected of them in each position.

For example a player playing right full back will find themselves at right wing, right wing back, centre back and even the CDM position during a match. Each one of these positions has very different roles and the players need to know what they are when they find themselves in that section of the pitch.

The picture below shows the positions that we use and what positions the players will be expected to learn the roles of.

Summary of the positions trained at FITC Academy

I have designed a playing structure that will allow the players to adapt easily when they move up the age groups and to different formats.

With the new and current guidelines players will change formats 4 times in their playing career (5, 7, 9 and 11 aside).

Our structure philosophy will make these formats easily adaptable with the basics of the positional roles and responsibilities being the same throughout the age groups.

We will have the same playing styles, ethos and philosophies from U6-U18. All FITC teams will play exactly the same way regardless of age or format.

Another benefit is when a player is called up to play for the year above, they will know the style of play and the roles and responsibilities expected of them. This will make it a lot easier to adjust to playing in a different age group.

ACADEMY QUOTE

‘’Hard work without talent is a shame but talent without hard work is a tragedy’’ – Robert Half

FITC ACADEMY 5 PRONGED MODEL (OUTFIELD)

TECHNICAL

We aim to develop technically excellent players with the skills and attributes to excel in professional football. The players will have the ability to create, score and prevent goals through excellence in:

  • Receiving skills

  • Turning skills

  • Travelling with the ball

  • Passing over varying distances

  • Attacking and defending skills

  • Finishing skills

  • Aerial ability

TACTICAL

We aim to develop FITC Academy players with a comprehensive knowledge, understanding and experience of high level football. The players will be equipped with the skills, abilities and decision-making capability to tactically manage football games. We aim to produce players who can:

  • Recognise and adapt to the state of the game

  • Achieve winning performances by maximising strengths and exploiting weaknesses

  • Understand and apply individual, unit and team roles and responsibilities

  • Adopt varied playing styles and formations

  • Perform effectively against varied playing styles and formations

  • Deal with varied environmental conditions

PHYSICAL

We aim to develop FITC Academy players who possess outstanding physical and athletic skills in the following areas:

  • Agility, balance, coordination

  • Speed/Speed endurance

  • Flexibility

  • Power

  • Strength

  • Physical resilience

SOCIAL

We aim to develop FITC Academy players who display outstanding social skills across the following areas:

  • Behaviour

  • Reflection

  • Teamwork

  • Relationships

  • Accountability

  • Responsibility

  • Independence

PSYCHOLOGICAL

We aim to develop FITC Academy players who display psychological skills across the following areas:

  • Decision making

  • Confidence in their own ability

  • Understanding

  • Making mistakes and learning from them

  • Wanting to continually learn and improve

WHAT WE EXPECT OF ALL OUR OUTFIELD ACADEMY PLAYERS

MINDSET

  • To be confident in possession

  • To be confident in communicating with teammates and coaches

  • To never panic in possession, whether unopposed or under intense pressure. Stay relaxed

  • To arrive at training wanting to constantly learn and improve all the areas of his game

  • To be willing to accept that mistakes happen and learn from them

ATTITUDE

  • To have a sporting attitude, in which all players/staff/spectators are respected

  • To conduct themselves in the correct manner and represent FITC in the way we want to be seen

  • To listen to the coaches and attend all the sessions/matches fully prepared and focused

INDIVIDUAL

  • To be able to beat a player with both a skill and direct movement

  • To be able to pass and dribble out of any situation

  • To look to play forward and positive

  • To play at a high intensity and tempo

  • To be creative and play without fear of failure

  • To be quick, strong and technically gifted

  • To be able to pass accurately from a standing position and while on the move

  • To be able to take and cushion the ball with all parts of the body

  • To have good body positioning/shape and know how to shield the ball

  • To have an end product

  • To be comfortable defending 1v1

TEAM RELATED

  • To look to link up, combine and create overloads

  • To be able to identify when to cover and/or screen

  • To constantly be looking to take up positions to receive the ball (in tight areas and open space)

  • Have the ability and confidence to organise and instruct

  • To defend as part of a unit and as a team

  • The ability to keep the ball moving

GAME RELATED

  • To work hard out of possession

  • To be as happy with an assist or a clean sheet as you would be with a goal

  • To be able to look beyond the ball and think ahead

  • To demand the ball and not being a happy by stander

  • To take responsibility and lead teammates

  • To know the tactical roles and responsibilities of all the positions

SPEED AND SHARPNESS

  • To be quick in speed of feet, movement and thought

  • To be quick over 10-20 yards, with quick acceleration

  • All players’ first touches and dribbling techniques must be very sharp and directional

BOTH FEET

  • To be completely comfortable with both feet in all footballing techniques; control and distribution (along both the ground and in the air), shorter passing, receiving the ball in a variety of ways, finishing, dribbling, running with ball, ‘beat a player’ skills, turning and speed of play.