Developing Youth Football Academies in Greece: Managing Issues and Challenges

Chris Trikalis, Zisis Papanikolaou, Sofia Trikali

Year: 2014 Volume: 14 Issue: a

Pages: 1-20

Abstract: The present study investigated the goals and objectives of youth football academies in Greece, according to the sector that they operate (public, private, non-commercial / voluntary) and then created proposals for further youth football academies development. Research was conducted in Greece, the period of 2010-2011. The sample of the research included fourteen youth football academies. Each academy had a total of 960 youth / athletes that divided into three categories (5 academies in commercial sector, 4 academies in public sector, and 5 academies in voluntary sector). Goals and objectives in each Youth football Academy were recorded in three different areas: a) administrative, b) coaching and c) supportive services. Data were collected through interviews via open- and closed-question formats from 14 administrative and 14 coaching staff of the corresponding teams; qualitative analysis was applied. Results indicated significant differences in operation of youth football academies as a different body, as follows: a) the commercial sector academies attempted rapidly to improve the technical skills of child development, using their good facilities / services, b) the public sector academies administrations aimed primarily at increasing the number of children, c) the voluntary sector academies aimed mainly to identification of talents and excellent development of skills. Based on these results, the following proposals for the overall development of youth football academies in this geographical area were made: a) it is required immediate guidance of all stakeholders in a new management philosophy, b) scientific methods of training and cooperation with scientific institutions should be applied c) any action should be based considering on the recent economic crisis in Greece. In conclusion, youth football academies in the region in which the research was conducted, need more future research; but it is required to adopt new management styles and philosophies.