First football academy growing players

The Estonian Football Association (EFA) has started a football academy project  in which players are able to combine their studies with football.

©EJL

The Estonian Football Association (EFA) has started a football academy project together with local clubs and Tallinn Arte secondary school, in which players are able to combine their studies with football.

For years the EFA and Arte have cooperated in a programme offering 10th-12th grade students the opportunity to study in a ‘football class’. In addition to the usual school curriculum, the pupils train twice a week under national youth team coaches and are also taught football theory.

Now the cooperation between the two institutions has expanded and this year 22 boys from 11 clubs started training and studying in the 8th grade.

“The aim is to offer the best players in their age group a chance to develop by training and studying together,” said the academy’s director, Marko Lelov. “Every year 20 to 24 new students will attend the academy. The EFA can offer good training conditions, which are especially important in winter.”

The players study and train together on weekdays. At the weekend they train and compete in championships with their individual clubs.

“For the players to progress it is vital for every training session to be a challenge and for them to train against ambitious opponents,” said Lelov. “At the same time, the academy needs to ensure that the educational and athletic sides are properly balanced.”

This article was originally published in UEFA Direct 181

 

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