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Romania: Preparing youth players for their future lives

Based on its wide-ranging strategy at all levels of the game and also in areas closely related to football, the Romanian Football Federation (FRF) regards football not only as a sport but also as an important part of Romanian social life.

Romania's Under-21 team celebrates a goal
Romania's Under-21 team celebrates a goal ©Sportsfile

Education has a crucial role in this respect, helping youngsters to prepare themselves as future professional players at a high level, but also as citizens and reliable members of Romanian society today and in the future.

Since one of the aims and targets of the FRF is to develop football as a sport and also from a human perspective, the federation is launching a new project to raise new generations of players who are better prepared for life as a professional football player at the highest level. The project will enable young players to adopt the best possible strategies in order to ensure financial stability during their careers and afterwards, to apply the best practices in terms of media relationships, but also to have a healthy and well-balanced life and to build their careers by scrupulously respecting the values of fair play and integrity.

Starting with the Under-15s, whenever they are called up for the national team, whether for training camps, friendly and/or official matches, the players will have to study the FRF’s code of ethics and also follow mandatory special courses. The educational programme has seven modules: media relations and social media; anti-doping and nutrition; financial management; general education; integrity; mental coaching; and equality, diversity and social responsibility.

Each national youth team generally has a minimum of five meetings a year, almost all of them involving international matches or participation in international tournaments. With the support of specialists (teachers and others) in all the aforementioned areas, the FRF will ensure proper education for all selected players. If players have to miss any of the meetings, the FRF will send the modules to them care of their clubs and make sure they receive the same advice at club level.

This type of initiative is a first, and in the long term, it is hoped that it will produce players who are better prepared as sportsmen and women and who, if they move abroad, are able to adapt immediately to the new high standards that await them and, subsequently, to advance in their careers.

This article originally appeared in UEFA Direct 188