FC Edmonton Academy

FC Edmonton Academy

The FC Edmonton Academy began in January 2012, and since that time, I have been able to experiment quite a bit with training styles and philosophies. The intent of this page is to share pretty much everything that we do in the Academy; our playing philosophy, our training methods and our full year curriculum. In the Training Sessions page, you will find quite a few full sessions that we run with our U18 Academy. I have shared our full year curriculum on this page, and while this is what we have run this year, it is always evolving as we continue to improve on what we deliver to the players. As the game changes, so to must we! I will also add that I want our academy to be transparent. At the end of the day, I sincerely hope that we are all trying to push players on to a better level. If that is the case, then it only makes sense that we all help each other out, and I am hoping that this website can be a useful resource for you.

I am not suggesting that what is on these pages is the right way to do something, but it is one way of doing something and I am open to discuss anything you see on here in the forums section. Please feel free to question or critique any material on this page.

This page will continue to evolve, as we look to embrace tactical periodization as our training method starting next year. I would suggest that is predominantly what we currently do; however, we will look at the start of every session to see where we can get better and avoid some of the isolation training that we currently do. We will also be going back to the 6 week periodization model as we develop soccer fitness through soccer training.

I also want to take the chance to point out the academic commitment that our club has for each player in the Academy. Being a teacher myself, I appreciate the value of an education in North American, and especially for the North American player. With this in mind, we hold every player accountable to achieve whatever level they are able to achieve in school. Paul Kelly, who was hired the same time as me, is our Academic Advisor, and he is constantly monitoring our players attitudes and behaviours in school. While we do not expect every player to be an honour student, we do expect them to achieve what they can. We pride ourselves on giving players coming through our academy an opportunity for first team soccer, as well as chance to achieve an athletic scholarship, whether that be in the CIS, CCAA, or the NCAA.

Academy Style of Play

The document to the right highlights our style of play, and the key principles that we will encourage throughout the Academy program. The Academy is a passing program, and in each game played, whether a friendly or in league play, we have a goal of achieving 450 passes. We encourage creativity in the attacking fourth, but expect our players to understand when it is on to dribble vs when we want them to pass. Our passing goal really comes from a few thoughts on the game itself, and one is a belief that if we are passing that much, we should always have players around the ball. This concentration of players are then always in a position to defend with immediate pressure. Two of biggest deficiencies we see in young players joining our academy is both a lack of game intelligence; of knowing how to move off the ball, and an inability to play under pressure. Passing as much as we do is also designed to work on these areas of game and hopefully create players that are making decisions before they receive a pass.

FC Edmonton Academy Game Model

To the right is the Game Model for our Academy. I have created this game model based on the Tactical Periodization model and the four moments of the game;

Offensive Organization
Transition to Defending
Defensive Organization
Transition to Attacking

Set pieces is the fifth moment of the game, but I have not added that our our Game Model at this time.

This Game Model is based on the work by Vitor Frade and a fantastic book by Pedro Mendonca called Tactical Periodization, which looks at Bayern Munich under Jupp Heynckes. To create my own game model, I have used the template from this book.

I am posting our Game Model to provide you with a template to do your own, and to also show that this is really just coaching the moments of the game! The best part for me about creating this model, is that it now gives me a great road map to develop my training sessions, and my team!