Stevenage Football Club believes in developing players to support and enhance the first team squad and has a detailed Academy structure in place to help achieve this.
Academy Playing Philosophy
Stevenage Football Club believes in developing players to support and enhance the First Team squad. Our philosophy is not one of stipulation, i.e Playing through the thirds, but more guided to developing ‘Independent Operators’ - ones that can diagnose and problem solve during the ebb and flow of play. In its entirety this means that each player will be educated in being able to make the ‘best decision’ of when to play long or short, direct or methodical and patient or quick. The Player himself constitutes our philosophy through this process. Dependent on the individual and the system of play being implemented at that moment, the player/s will be able to make the following decisions:
Direction of Play:
Based upon the individual’s knowledge of systems and tactics, he can dictate the direction of play dependent on the numerical advantage of the system we are using.
- Tactic/Strategy of Play:
Due to the player’s enhanced decision making skills, they can determine what is required in terms of the teams strategy and tactics for that given moment. i.e. Does the goalkeeper play out through the defensive third or play direct into the attacking third? Only contributing factors and recognition of those moments will allow him to make the best decision.
From what the individual identifies he must be able to execute, whether tactical or technical (i.e. 4-3-3 vs 4-4-2) equates to a numerical overload in central areas both in attack and defence. Therefore the team must identify, diagnose and execute in order to gain an advantage. Players must also be able to deliver the right pass, touch or movement on time when needed/presented. Identify, diagnose, execute.
The Academies identity can be observed through all playing and coaching and is visible at all times within these areas of the game.
Players pressurise from a structured foundation at all times. Players win the ball as high up the pitch as possible. Marking players is prioritised over marking space. Creating 2v1 defensive overloads is the benchmark of this philosophy
Independently diagnose when and where to play short or long. Direct play through numerical overloads. Create numerical overloads in all areas.
Player retain the ball immediately upon regaining (First two passes). Player immediately disrupt play upon losing possession (Five yard fury). Players organise their shape with hast when regaining or retaining the ball.
Stevenage FC recognises its moral and legal obligation to ensure that, the coaches and volunteers who have a responsibility for young people within the Club provide them with the highest possible standard of care.
Through the implementation of a policy for the Welfare of Young People and the support of its coaches and volunteers, Stevenage FC will maintain the professionalism and safeguards of good practice which are associated with the game. The welfare and safety of every child will come before any technical or tactical philosophy of this Football Club.