BANBRIDGE Town Juniors/Games Development Centre Director of Football Peter Watson spent a week in Portugal’s Algarve as part of an IFA Grassroots Fact Finding trip.
The group, who were based in Browns Sports & Leisure Complex Vilamoura, spent the week visiting Grassroots Academy’s training sessions in addition to the senior team’s matches and training.
The group was headed by Nigel Best - Coach Education Manager of the IFA in addition to analysing training and coaching methods spoke to coaches and committee members regarding the structure and funding of the Academys.
One of the Academy’s visited was Benfica’s - whose coaches put boys aged between 6 and13 through a very highly constructed coaching session and afterwards answered a variety of questions.
The group also visited Premier League side Olhanense and Portimonense from Division One who were very co-operative and their head coaches spent time with them in a Q & A session regarding their youth development and philosophy.
This was a highly informative visit to observe at first hand grassroots football in an European culture and make comparisons.