Nutrition Video - What should youth footballers eat to maximise performance

Posted 8 Jan 2019 09:00AM

What should I be eating as a youth footballer to maximise my performance -

Video - What the top professionals do to fine tune skills & touch over the off season

Posted 8 Jan 2019 09:00AM

Check out what the top professional players to do maintain their sharp skills and footwork -

How footballers improve endurance & core strength

Posted 8 Jan 2019 09:00AM

Some nice sets of sprints and core strength exericses that you can do to boost your pre season fitness -

2021 FDA Academy Trial Applications - Now Open

Posted 8 Jan 2019 09:00AM

U12 to U18 players can now register for FDA Academy Trials for our 2021 squads at -

Goalkeeper warm up & training exercises - Video

Posted 8 Jan 2019 09:00AM

A nice reference for young goal keepers. Great exercises and good technique. How are your German language skills -

Modern day football - Who's Business?

Posted 6 Jun 2012 10:00PM

With Deloitte releasing the wage figures for the Premier League 2010-2011 season it I thought it would be worthwhile having a look at where football clubs will need to get their future revenue from.

The figures are somewhat astounding. Clubs in England's top football league paid some 70% of their income on salaries for the first time. The Deloitte report says that control of wages "continues to be football's greatest commercial challenge".

The Deloitte report also shows the huge growth in revenues since the Premier League was created two decades ago. Premier League clubs' combined revenue reached a record £2.27bn in 2010-11. In the same season, the 92 Premier and Football League clubs' combined revenues were £2.9bn, with average Premier League club revenues having risen to £114m. "There is little doubt that the Premier League is a tremendous success in revenue terms," said Deloitte.

It is clear then that Premier League clubs have made impressive efforts to increase revenue. Average attendances were close to 35,000 in the Premier League in 2011-12, with more than 90% of seats sold.

However the growth in revenues has been accompanied by rising costs, especially players' wages. "With stadiums having limited capacities and broadcasting revenueslikely to deliver limited growth in advance of the next Premier League deal commencing in 2013-14, the focus will be on the clubs themselves to grow revenue in areas directly under their control."
So what are some of the areas they can turn to? Barcelona is a leading outfit on the pitch but it also appears they are one off it too. The club estimates it has 349 million fans or followers around the world. Barcelona is looking to use social media not only to inform those millions, stretching from South East Asia to North America, but to attract overseas supporters to become FCB customers too. However it is not as easy as just creating a Facebook and Twitter page and away you go. You have to know what to do with them, but firstly you need to attract the fans. Mr. Lankinen (Barcelona's business intelligence manager) believes that “it all starts with the sports performance, what happens on the field - The 11 guys are our brand marketers, they drive the attention to our club and create windows of opportunity by winning titles."


Barcelona is one of the most progressive in using new media and social media to reach those potential fans. Premier League clubs need to take note and explore revenue streams that can develop them globally.

A good example of this is GM’s new 5 year sponsorship deal with Manchester United who GM quote as saying "stand head and shoulders" above other football teams. GM obviously understands the global scale of Manchester United’s fan base and said it hoped the deal would help it "build global icon status" for Chevrolet. Manchester United is a textbook example of a modern day football ‘brand’ development. They famously dropped the ‘F.C’ from their badge to just become Manchester United. In addition to this they have always cleverly used a Manchester United ‘star’ to market products and the Manchester United brand e.g. Eric Cantona, David Beckham, Cristiano Ronaldo and now Wayne Rooney.

In summary, it appears that doing the business on the pitch draws attention and therefore further revenue opportunities. In addition football fans aren’t just fans anymore, they are consumers. Football clubs aren’t just clubs anymore they are global brands. Modern day clubs will have to explore further revenue streams to ensure that business can become sustainable. What might also help is reducing the alarmingly high wage bills but then how do you perform on the pitch? A tricky balance then it seems. Alternatively clubs just need to stay afloat until a rich Sheik comes in with an open cheque book!


Luke Thorp - FDA

Do tactics or players win matches?

Posted 22 May 2012 10:00PM

It seems odd in this age of English football, that the “system” chosen by a manager gains as much analysis, plaudits and criticisms as they players on the pitch. The sheer number of formations that are now employed by managers throughout Europe and the world of football seems to boggle the mind.

In past eras there were defenders, midfielders and forwards. While in these systems there were variations in the ways that teams employed the system, the premise was essentially the same. These formations held guidelines for players, however it was individuals who made their decisions on the pitch.

These times now seem gone with further restrictions on players. The 4-3-3 has now become a 4-3-2-1, 4-2-3-1, 4-2-1-3 or 4-1-2-3 and has seemingly “placed the handbrake” on the midfield. The decision is no longer between a 3, 4 or 5 man midfield but rather between a single or double pivot in the centre of midfield.

This is further emphasized on the decision to appoint Roy Hodgson, ahead of Harry Redknapp, as the English manager for Euro 2012. The debate was about the style of coach required: in Redknapp and Hodgson, the FA were choosing between two men at complete opposite ends of the football coach’s ideological spectrum. Redknapp is all about individuals. A wheeler and dealer in the transfer market, he is regarded as a good man manager. However Redknapp’s sides often have a sense of anarchy to them, with Bale, van der Vaart and Modric often moving where they want to. He’s perfectly honest about it his lack of regard for a system. “Whether it’s 4-4-2, 4-2-3-1, 4-3-3 – the numbers game is not the beautiful game in my opinion,” Redknapp once said. “It is 10% about the formation and 90% about the players.”

This follows the mantra employed by Guardiola during his spell of unprecedented success at Barcelona. Inheriting an extremely successful side, who were well versed in the traditional 4-3-3 under Frank Rijkarard, Guardiola went about revolutionizing the way the team played at the Camp Nou. Guardiola’s system moved further towards controlling the midfield battle and possession, once even fielding an unbelievable 3-6-1 formation against Santos, to negate the threat of Neymar.

Hodgson is the complete opposite, the ultimate ‘system’ manager. His teams are very simple – they defend the same way, with two banks of four supplemented with two outright attackers – either two forwards or a lone striker supported by a number ten. Whereas Redknapp employs an army of coaches to do his work on the training ground, Hodgson personally drills his players relentlessly in training so they’re completely at home with the zonal defensive system, going through the same exercises again and again.

While Redknapp’s Tottenham and Guardiola’s Barca have enjoyed great success in recent times, Hodgson’s most recent post in charge of a “big club” at Liverpool cannot be remembered so fondly. However the question remains, do tactics or players win matches? The answer will be found in England’s run through Euro 2012.

Blog written and posted by Andrew Dind, FDA.

Alan Pardew - Manager of the Year?

Posted 10 May 2012 10:00PM

Roberto Mancini may have nine fingers on the Premier League trophy, - but with the blank chequeshe has at his disposal - so he should. Sir Alex Ferguson is without a doubt the best manager the Premier League - if not world football - has seen, but the way Manchester United ‘threw away’ the league by losing to Wigan and conceding four goals at Old Trafford to Everton in that epic draw, even Fergie himself cannot claim the title. So then surely,the title of ‘Manager of the Year’ must fall to a man whose team may not even make the top four?!

When Chris Hughton was sacked in controversial circumstances not long before Christmas in 2010, it was assumed that Newcastle’s owner, Mike Ashley, had a manager of great stature lined up to replace him.Hughton had led the Toon to promotion with his first attempt, winning the Championship by a massive 11-points, and his popularity among supporters increased further as the Geordie’s flirted with the mid-table positions on their return to the top-flight.
So when the announcement that AlanPardew, who had been sacked by League One Southampton hardly four months earlier, would succeed Hughton at St James' Park, fans were arguably right to once again voice their concerns at the capabilities of the club's hierarchy.Prior to joining Newcastle, Pardew's most prominent position had been as manager of West Ham, while the former Crystal Palace midfielder had not managed in the Premier League since being relegated with Charlton in 2008.
Yet, little over a year on from his appointment, Pardew was being heralded as the man to restore Newcastle's place among the Premier League's elite, with the Magpies losingjust once from August until mid-November, 2011.Only five wins in 14 games from then on threatened to derail hopes of Champions League qualification but, with one game of the season remaining, Newcastle still have an opportunity to finish in the top four, possibly even third.

Regardless of where Newcastle do finish come May 13, Pardew is, without question, the candidate most deserving of the top managerial honour.Such have the consistent highs been for Newcastle over the course of the campaign, it is often forgotten that they were gutted during the summer months, losing their captain Kevin Nolan and, arguably, their best player in Joey Barton.
Nolan was allowed to join West Ham, who offered him the security of a long-term deal, while the arrival of YohanCabaye at St James' Park led Barton to believe that his days too were numbered.Barton turned out to be correct, joining Queens Park Rangers when Newcastle agreed to terminate his contract after a number of vintage Joey Barton twitter rants.
Newcastle had, of course, also lost top scorer Andy Carroll only a few months earlier, and Pardew was forced to beg the board to invest a sizeable chunk of the £35 million made from his sale into the recruitment of new players.But the investment never came, instead Pardew had to settle for signing DembaBa, who had been relegated with West Ham, on a free transfer to compensate for the loss of Carroll.

So then it seemed Mike Ashely’s tight purse strings, by either luck or judgement, transpired to be a masterstroke, and Pardewgalvanized a side missing their two biggest personalities into one cohesive unit.
The acquisition of Ba proved to be inspired, while Cabaye instantly oozed class in the centre of midfield, and the decision to appoint FabricioColoccini club captain instantly paid dividends.The return of Hatem Ben Arfa helped too, and Pardew must be praised for the way in which he has dealt with the wizardry Frenchman, who has thrived under thePardew’sguidance.
How much influence Pardew has in player recruitment is open to debate, but he can also boast to have completed the capture of the season in PapissCisse.The goalscoring exploits of the Senegalese international have been so impressive since his January arrival that, according to reports, he is now a summer target for Jose Mourinho and Real Madrid.
Pardew hasn’t had the luxury of spending to the extent of his closest ladder rivals. Although with the inspired signings he has brought in coupled with a now cohesive dressing room, Pardew has led a team to overtake the likes of giants Liverpool and Chelsea, whilst breathing down the necks of the North London neighbours, Arsenal and Tottenham, in search of a Champions League place. With third place still not out of the question, Alan Pardew has definitely stuck his hand up for the Manager of the Year award – and then some.
Blog post written by Jon Contos, FDA


Medical screening, who is responsible?

Posted 23 Apr 2012 10:00PM

The recent loss of Piermario Morosini in the football world was hard to take for many including myself. I thought it would only be right to look into how football as a game has reacted to the screeing debate due to the tragic loss of Piermario Morosini and also the near miss of Fabrice Muamba.

In the past there has been no real consensus about how often screening should be done. FIFA say once every two years, UEFA say every year, in Italy it is every six months. Maybe it is now time to implement a structure that enforces specified medical research and also more regular screening of players.

However when commenting on Fabrice Muamba, Arsene Wenger argues that "It is too early to ask whether it is a lack of control, does football need to go in deeper with research or deeper in control with heart problems to stop these kind of situations. Our medical team at Arsenal tell me that there is constant ongoing research in this area and that it must continue."
It appears then that Wenger believes clubs do what they can to make sure any underlying health problems are brought to light. He adds that "He (Muamba) had regular screens everywhere; here, at Birmingham and at Bolton as well."

Manchester City boss Roberto Mancini does not believe what is currently in place is good enough, demanding twice-yearly medical screenings. Peter Weissberg, medical director of the British Heart Foundation agrees with Mancini, he told The Associated Press. "In England, we don't have complete foolproof screening tests. I think if there were foolproof tests that identified everyone at risk, it would be better. It seems then that in England at least there is a lot of disagreement on what the standard screening procedure could be. At the moment it appears to me that it is the club who takes the initiative rather than because of the FA’s enforcement.
Looking to the future England's team doctor Ian Beasley believes the new St George's Park complex will be the trigger for even more detailed health screening of players in England. He claims that “The FA will be able to monitor players from a much younger age and in far more detail. We will have the capacity to view their skeletons, monitor their heart rates, give them cardiac tests, from the youngest teams right up to the national side.” This is positive news and bodes well for the future of the game. It would allow health conditions to be spotted at an early age and this can only be a good thing for the game and the individual in question.
Italy are pretty fastidious about health screenings. They make a pretty big noise about it. I would be amazed if Piermario Morosini hadn't have been screened regularly so it just shows that these things unfortunately happen from time to time. Eugenio Martuscelli, a cardiologist at the Tor Vergata hospital in Rome claims that it would have also been difficult to identify some potential heart problems beforehand to prevent it. He does however believe that the structures of sporting medicine have to be improved. Investing in the structures of sporting medicine would mean focusing on prevention. “Many lives would be saved."

This debate is truly food for thought and it will be interesting to see what is done by the individual football governing bodies but also by FIFA and UEFA in the near future. Either way one thing for sure is that with health, prevention is always better than cure.

post by Luke Thorp, FDA 



An intelligent footballer? You've got to be joking!

Posted 10 Apr 2012 10:00PM

A recent Swedish study has dispelled the worn out stereotype that professional footballers are unintelligent. This perception generally stems from the assumption that most footballers do not complete their academic studies, leaving school early to pursue their career in football. The media also play their part in supporting this perception by regularly publishing stories about Mario Balotelli’s latest escapades or Joey Barton’s latest rant on Twitter.

The study, conducted by scientists at Karolinska Institutet using players from Sweden’s first and second divisions tested the player’s executive functions such as creativity, response inhibition, and cognitive flexibility. The results show that footballers from both divisions recorded better results than the general population. Furthermore the results showed that players from the first division performed better than those in the second division. The results also showed that those players who performed best in the test tended to score more goals and provide more assists. The results of the study could be quite significant, as cognitive testing may be able to predict whether young players will go on to become top class footballers. You can be sure that some clubs will already be looking at implementing similar testing in order to unearth the next Messi or Ronaldo.

Hopefully this study will go some way towards changing this perception of footballers being dim-witted, and will allow more players to show their intelligence in the public eye. Footballers like Burnley’s Clarke Carlisle have gone a long way to dispelling this stereotype as well. Carlisle is the current chairman of the Professional Footballer’s Association and has appeared several times on the BBC’s ‘Question Time’, and also appeared on ‘Countdown’.

To see the full study, go to:

 To see Clarke Carlisle in action off the pitch, watch:

Now it’s finally proven that footballers are highly intelligent people. Well, most of them anyway!
written and posted by Ruairi Kelly