First wave of junior development contracts signed
Brisbane City have signed up the first wave of selected players to long term junior development contracts at the Old Boys/Girls Day last Saturday night.
The club is offering junior players longer team deals with the main plan being to remove the need to conduct trials at the beginning of each season and put faith in the players and coaches that are currently in the junior development pathway at Brisbane City.
Tom Laxton, Brisbane City FC Technical Director said that removing the trial process and committing to the set of juniors at the Club is important for their development.
“We are furthering our commitment to players over a longer duration of time and removing the need for players to undergo short term trials that doesn’t always give a true reflection.” Tom said.
“We want to be with players for their entire journey and be patient over their stages of maturation and development.
“Adopting a long-term approach to player development is not new for City, but we have opted for this process due to the inadequacies in the process of short-term trials, so as to move towards something closer to a gold standard of delivery for our elite players.”
Four under 13’s, six under 14’s, five under 15’s and four under 16’s have been selected initially to be offered long-term deals at the club, with more to come before the end of the season.
“The players that we will be looking to secure on long-term agreements will have a sound technical base, developed from our SAP Academy program lead by Mitch Edwards, as well as having the potential to fulfil the City criteria to become a senior men’s player by the time they have graduated from our junior development pathway.”
This new approach being taken by Brisbane City is a long term plan, with the Club looking at a five to 10 years before this process bares fruit at a senior level, hopefully through FC Brisbane City in the A-League.
“We’re doing a similar thing for our under 9’s,” Tom explained, “so this will be a seven to ten year plan for some players.”
“Younger players have got more potential and we’re trying to avoid selection and tiering of players for as long as possible. SAP and TAS is still about getting young players to fall in love with the game and learning how to train.”
“We’re going to be looking after the individual needs of the players over team success in these young age groups.”
“This is a philosophy that has worked well with us over the past few years which has been reflected in the number of state team and national team graduates over the past few years.”
“Jordan Courtney (Joeys team squad member) was a player who was not in our top tier of teams when he was in the younger age groups, but is now a national team representative. So just because you’re not selected to be offered one of these programmes straight away, that’s no guarantee that you won’t ‘make it.’
“Far from it. We understand that players develop at different stages and at different paces. We want to be a part of all our footballer’s journey towards senior football and everyone has a different route to making it to the best of their potential.”