‘How come the Dutch are always in the FIFA rankings top ten? What is the secret of Dutch football and AFC Ajax?’
These are questions people asked FAD’s founder Edmond Claus wherever he went in the world. Each and every time, Edmond gave the same answer: it’s about understanding player development and about the quality of the educators/coaches.
This means that it´s more than possible for any football club to set up and maintain a quality youth academy. However, for ambitious football academies the ´secret´ of Dutch football is not really important. The Dutch situation is specific to the Dutch infrastructure, history and culture, and therefore, it´s simply impossible to copy it. What is important is that the process of learning to play football is the same for every child in the world. It´s like learning how to talk or learning how to walk.
With a quality youth academy in place, a football club will be able to supplement the first team with an inflow of young players with specific and outstanding qualities. This will improve first team success, save- and finally gain money. Besides that, it will prepare a football club for a future in which Financial Fair Play, FIFA- and UEFA rulings about homegrown players will be of increased significance.
This is how FAD will be of service. Drawing on decades of experience at Ajax’s world renowned youth academy, the Dutch national football association, and a myriad of short- and long term projects in countries such as China, South-Africa and the United States, FAD has all the skills and knowledge required for assessing and improving your football club´s youth academy.