THE FDE PHILOSOPHY
Unlike some football schools, academies and indeed many of the pro-clubs we do not look to trial and analyse players before offering a place in our development system; instead we look for a passion and desire to play the game and a willingness to learn. We believe these attributes are the basis for all good footballers.
Many young players will not start to realise their potential until they are 12-13 years of age, some not until even older. Too many talented players are overlooked because they are evaluated too soon. In the early years, a desire to improve and come back each week better can often result in a very talented footballer, one discarded because they didn't score highly enough on the stats!
Is it right to always judge the player? Is that player being coached correctly? A coach may have endless certificates but does it make them good at what they do? To develop a player and help them to progress requires commitment from all sides; player, coach, parents and programme.
We develop what we have! Við að þróa það sem við höfum!
We use our experience and knowledge gained from a wide variety of levels within the game (including grassroots, pro-clubs, the FA's DNA, their Four-Corner Model and time with the youth structure of the KSI Knattspyrnusamband Íslands in Iceland) to produce a unique development programme.
The company has an Icelandic theme (which is evident from the logo); the standards set in Iceland for Youth Development are quite incredible and the success on the pitch in recent times has been clear for the whole world to see! Remember this? or how about this?
Whilst the English FA are now producing a lot of emerging talent, they have a huge pool of players to delve into, Iceland is not so fortunate! The population of the entire country is less than 350,000 (to put that into perspective; in 2018 it was estimated that the population of Essex alone was 1,800,000).
With so few numbers, it simply is not possible to 'wash' endless talent through the system. Giving young footballers such short windows of opportunity and often making decisions based on statistics and unrealstic match environments often results in the same outcome....... talent and potential being missed and overlooked.
In Iceland they have to develop what they've got and when you're in that position, the right coaching and commitment are vitally important.
Players such as Gylfi Sigurðsson, Eiður Guðjohnsen, Emil Pálsson, Birkir Bjarnason and such likes all came through the ranks of clubs in Iceland and therefore are products of the Icelandic style of youth development.
From such a small group, look at how many have made it abroad as professionals. Click here
At FDE, we use the spirit of that development and combine a number of their ideas and processes into our own style of coaching.
Our aim is to always deliver a programme that the players enjoy; we believe they will learn more and learn faster in that environment and it is acheived through engaging, thought-prevoking and well organised sessions.
We are not rigid tactically. Our football philosophy is not restricted to a particular system. It is all about principles of play that remain consistent but can be implemented through different formations and systems.
Our coaches have real and credible links to a number of professional clubs; whilst our aim is to develop your son or daughter's ability in a way that it can compliment their current commitments, we can, and do have the ability to offer scouting opportunities and where appropriate also trials.
FDE offers a genuine pathway.
We want to develop players so they have:
Match winning skills
An understanding of the importance of being a team player.
Football intelligence and strong spatial awareness.
The ability to make decisions under pressure.
Creativity with confidence.
The ability to keep possession under pressure.
The awareness to see and deliver forward passes, even in tight areas.
The confidence to be ‘on the ball’.
An understanding of controlling the tempo and being able to play with patience and speed.
The ability to play through the transitional phases.
We want players who:
Have a desire to be the best they can be and have the willingness to achieve it.
Are determined and disciplined.
Show a great attitude to learning.
Are enthusiastic about trying new ideas even when they don't work first time.
Are committed and loyal to the programme and their dedication to improve.
The Professional Approach
What do the professionals say?
Emil Palsson is an Icelandic international footballer currently playing for Sandefjord in the Norwegian Eliteserien. We spoke to Emil and asked him what makes coaching and youth development in Iceland unique and so successful.
It is this dedication to coaching that is incorporated into our philosophy. Our lead coaches are qualified, have studied coaching, the techniques and the psychology behind developing young players. This knowledge, combined with hands-on experience in Iceland and the many years as youth coaches here in England allow us to offer a unique programme.
To learn more about our programme click here.
Emil Palsson Icelandic International Midfielder
"In additon to having good role models in the National team, coaches in Iceland
at all ages are qualified and have studied coaching. The studying is key."