Dear Readers, By opening this publication, you probably want to know more about Football Academy soccer schools. You are going to be positively surprised! On the pages that follow you are going to become familiar with all the branches of our expansive network, in the UK and abroad as well. To help you with this, one of our pupils, a teenager called Johnny, will be taking you on his childhood journey. Maybe your child will also follow in Johnny’s steps? Have fun reading!
From an early age little Johnny was very active. He loved running and jumping, everything fascinated him. But he enjoyed playing with a ball the most. His parents quickly noticed Johnny’s amazing movement and the curiosity he had for the world around him. Then for the next two to three years they started to get familiar with the game of football. Together, with Johnny, they decided to sign up for Football Baby. It was here in this colourful land of Football Baby where Johnny and his parents started their first football steps. Our coaching staff can still remember him constantly smiling his little head off!
After two years of training together with his parents Johnny was really eager to play football by himself. He also liked “to compete” with the coach. No wonder then as a four-year-old he got his first ‘calling’ – to move from Football Baby to Football Academy. Despite his parents’ anxiousness, little Johnny quickly settled into his new training group under the guidance of his new coaches. It turned out that he was ready to take part in football training without the active participation of his parents. Who would have thought that playing pirates, going to the zoo, flying to the moon could increase his footballing skills?
Johnny’s parents liked Football Academy so much, mainly because there wasn’t any selection process at the beginning of the training sessions. All enthusiastic children can sign up. A perfect environment for development was created as the coaches didn’t exert any pressure on the children at all. During the very first training sessions the coaches placed great importance on positive values giving ‘high fives’ with coaches and kids at the beginning and end of each training session. In this atmosphere Johnny quickly made new friends with the girls and boys, and made progress.
Johnny quickly got hooked on football and couldn’t wait for the next training. His attachment to FA was strengthened by his first football strip, of course in Football Academy’s blue colours, with his own number and name on his back. Johnny never forgot to pack his beloved football kit. Soon after, he also began collecting his first football stickers that all the little girls and boys received after each training session for excellent behaviour and progress. After collecting 50 stickers, Johnny was presented with his first real cup. This is what you call motivation!
After seeing how much Johnny fell in love with football, at the end of his first year of training at Football Academy, his parents began to think about attending the academy not only in the context of extracurricular activities for Johnny but primarily for his sports development. At the start of the next season, when Johnny`s training sessions took 90 minutes, they got to know the development path for a Football Academy player. Impressively planned they thought. It was then they realised that the internal training system of Football Academy was carefully planned. It covers the stages from Football Baby, through the subsequent Football Academy age groups and to Football Academy School of Excellence.
In Johnny's life, everything started to revolve around football. At training he had to be first. The greatest authority figure for him was his coach whom, after the training, it was necessary to help clear all the equipment away. The parents were happy that he had found a real passion at a young age and were pleased to see how the values passed on to their children by coaches positively influenced their development also outside of training. Johnny`s parents also cared about awakening this passion for football. An idea to spend the evening, watching the Champions League match together. Christmas gift? Of course, related to football. Birthday party? Only in our football centre, with a special guest ‘Julek’ the Lemur. Fun guaranteed!
It is said that home for every football player is the stadium of the team of which colours he plays. In the case of little footballers the same home is the training pitch where they started their football adventure. It also was in the case of Johnny. The Football Park training centre was a special place for him. It was here where he took his first football steps, scored his first goals and took part in his first friendly matches and tournaments. In fact, it was at Football Park that parents organised Johnny's birthday party! So, it goes without saying what Johnny`s favourite stadium is.
Johnny was becoming a more and more aware seven-year-old boy who became seriously interested in football. His favourite player was Robert Lewandowski, his favourite teams were Bayern Munich, and of course, the Polish national team. The matches of our "Eagles" were especially exciting for Johnny, he was counting down the days to the next match. Johnny also soon learnt that his beloved soccer school not only operates in his city, but also in many other locations in the country and even in the United Kingdom. He realized the power of the nationwide range of Football Academy when he went with his parents for the annual FA trip to a Lech Poznan match. There, he met many thousands of his peers who, like him trained at football in our colours!
There are certain stages in every person's life. This is also the case with a footballer of Football Academy. The start of school was the time when Johnny took part in his first day camps. During the whole week of meetings, the entire training group not only trains every day, but also visited many of the city's tourist attractions. The day camp was preparation for the first time away from home on a football holiday camp. Since then, Johnny has become a regular "camper" who through successive trips with Football Academy Camps, has even increased his football skills and, above all, learned self-independence and healthy eating habits. Sweets or fruit? The choice was obvious!
After several years of training, Johnny was not only an active young sportsman but also a more and more promising footballer. The coaches watched him closely, seeing a lot of potential in him. By reaching the age of the Lampard group (8-9 years), Johnny has already trained in the "football" group - regularly taking part in various competitions. Because Johnny started training at a very young age, he had already acquired many good habits, which his peers who just started training lacked. He was also a lot fitter than them. It was very noticeable during the first Football Academy tests, where Johnny was the best in his group.
Johnny's parents became his biggest supporters. By going regularly with their son to matches and tournaments, they were also a lot more aware of how to support young sportsmen. Football Academy coaches pay a lot of attention to the education of not only players but also parents. The effects were very obvious during the Football Academy Polish Championship, where Johnny`s team from the beginning of the season had done well to win two prizes in the grand final: the first for the parents for being the best fans and the players and coaches who got the bronze medal in our national championship competition!
Long-term training, regular progression, parental involvement, good performances in various local and national tournaments. All of these factors contributed to nine-year-old Johnny’s first big individual award. The appointment to the Football Academy Regional Team was a reward for the work done so far, as well as motivation for further efforts. As part of the FA Regional Teams, Johnny had the opportunity to test and improve his skills against the best Football Academy players in the region. Dressed in the colours of our Regional Team he also took part in the FA Polish Championship final!
Johnny was proud to represent the Football Academy Regional Team but as a true athlete he was determined not to stop there. The experience with the Regional Team gave him the motivation to work even harder towards a defined goal: to be a member of the Football Academy Polish National Team. What joy for Johnny when, one unforgettable afternoon, he learned from his parents that he’d received an invitation to the first camp of FA National Team in his year group! When he was three years old, wearing a kit with the national white and red flag on it had never crossed his mind.
For many years Johnny’s childhood adventure had been an amazing experience for him and his parents as well. From actively participating in the training sessions with Football Baby, to observing his first training experience with Football Academy, supporting him and cheering him on to his next stages of athletic development. The involvement of his parents was truly impressive! The parents themselves felt strong ties to Football Academy, attended matches and tournaments wearing our football shirts, participated in collecting gifts in the name of “Noble Package” and donated blood to our project “Footballer’s Give Blood”. I have socially responsible parents thought Johnny a few years later.
The thrilling emotional adventure of Johnny with the Football Academy Polish National Team lasted for three years. Thanks to regular trips to group meetings, camps and tournaments for the best players in the country, Johnny met young players from different parts of Poland, who held the same motivations and aspirations. Having become a prominent player at his age in the country he, along with his parents, had an important question: what’s next? Johnny was able to continue his football education at Football Academy through the FA Juniors project for players aged between 13 – 14 years old. He could also join one of the local clubs which trains players at apprenticeship level. Eventually, Johnny, in agreement with his parents, made another decision – he went to the Football Academy School of Excellence in Szczecin.
He was only taking his first steps not so long ago and today he is maturing teenager Johnny continuing his football education. Like many he dreams of becoming a professional football player. Of course, no one knows if that dream will actually become true. We are sure of one thing, thanks to the years of training at Football Baby and Football Academy, along with a balanced approach to education at the Football Academy School of Excellence, our pupil will be prepared for every path as: a professional footballer, an amateur player or a healthy active person. In each case, Johnny will be open, intelligent and consciously managing his adult life. Or maybe thanks to his passion for football he will become a coach or even edit the next edition of this brochure!