Re-set your football philosophy

What we are trying to do at PL-Football with our football activities is to influence your thoughts about football. To many times I hear that football is just a sport!


I think a sport needs to be played well and organized! At all levels the intention should be to enjoy and to play as good as you can! Reaching maximum potential as a talented football player or maximum potential of joy! Both happen with agreements and understanding between players and a coach at any level.


We want to assist in reaching this full potential of players and coaches by guiding you in your football philosophy. We will reset your football intentions for sure but we also want to make you aware of that football is not just football but football needs a serious approach to be successful!


Enjoy football, but don’t forget to reset yourself and your philosophy at certain moments! Stay challenged ….

Football without football

What kind of impression it gives you; “Football without football?”

Well, as a football academy manager, I can tell you that when football is your profession it still keeps you busy during the days of Corona.

Where the hope at first was that maybe we would still finish the season, we can conclude that the season of youth football will be finished for 99,9% in all countries. We have in israel also leagues to finish but that should not be the priority!

The premier league in all countries is what we have to spend our discussion time on. Will the league still consist of we don’t finish the league. For a lot of clubs the Television income is on the line. They need this income to stay alive.

Clubs should think ahead and still make their policy for the coming season. Luckily we have clubs that are the corona crisis not as something that should stop their development but will influence their development and to go over everything with a good look at the details of the development of their main team or the club.

Reading news about football in these times is influenced by the crisis but everywhere we have clubs that approach it from the positive side. They think ahead and say; we are ready when we are allowed  to play football football again and not start to think when they are allowed and will lose valuable time.

As all is difficult in these uncertain period, let’s keep looking for the positive!

At the Maccabi Academy we are ready and our coaches have daily contact with their players. Challenges for younger players, physical plans for the older players, assignments for coaches and management planning for when it all starts again and how we can make up for the time lost in football development.

For football players, football coaches or football management we are looking forward to the moment the ball starts to roll again.

Be safe, stay at home and take care of the persons close to you!



Goals and dreams

A new year started, a new season started or the second half of the season started but most important is that your energy will focus you on your goal for this year but also bringing you closer to your dreams as a club, coach or football player. We need to set goals this year that will improve us at the end of this season or year. The goal will motivate us and will make sure that our dream of success will be closer or achieved. After that starts the next step. Good luck this year in your football development.

Connection between the academy and First team

First team and academies need to connect,

Clubs need to add to their philosophy a clear movement of players from the academy to the first team. When is a player ready? When should he be ready but most important does the club create opportunities for these young talented players that are the future of the club?

At this moment clubs wake up when they have financial problems or relegate to a lower league. The philosophy of the club will only be changed when something bad happens.

Why we don’t think ahead and fore come this kind of problems and make it a structural , but more important, a club philosophy!

Investments done by a club (or club owner) in academies, trust in your academy management and coaches will then have more value for the long term.

Only like this you will have future ahead of you and not an unclear future but something for years to come!

Amazing future ahead

I thought the changes that I have created, together with all coaches, for football clubs by influencing their thoughts about the academy philosophy , the players that they produced and the level that those players are performing at gave them a foundation for the years to come.

The Champions league, europa league and national team qualifications for EC or WC have given these players gigantic platforms to perform. These changes were difficult to accept by people that worked for years at the club. At the end they saw the progress a system brings for the future of the club.

That is an amazing change that people undergo and then become honest enough to acknowledge it.


Development compensation is common in most of the European football countries. In all countries it is clear at what age it starts. If clubs start their serious development from the age that compensation start, they could lose a lot of quality development time. Therefore, is it not honest that if you invest early, you should be compensated from the moment you start investing?

What is the best way to start the development compensation?

I think it should start from the moment a player enters a professional academy. The academy should be able to prove their investments. When an academy starts from 7 years old, 9 years or 12 years old with organizing a professional program they should be secured. Every federation has her own rules for allowing to register teams in the club’s structure connected with strict criteria to a team at professional level. Criteria such as stars, levels or any other distinction they could use to reward clubs for their development efforts should be used to set rules for development compensation. These criteria should be related to number of fields, coaches, players and another specialist to evaluate an academy. The clubs can not be rewarded when they have nothing to show; increase not only the budget but also demand investments of these clubs in facilities and coaches. It could even be related to the number of foreign players that a first team maximum could register. THERE SHOULD BE AN ADVANTAGE FOR THE CLUBS THAT DO INVEST FROM AN EARLY AGE!


My personal journey in my coaching and management career brought me to different countries and I had to deal with different circumstances to keep players secured for the club I was working for.

In one of the countries it was at first that you had to pay according UEFA / FIFA ruling, from 12 years old compensation started, then after a few years it changed into a regulation that players could leave but when they signed a professional contract with another you would be compensated for the years he was playing in your academy. In another country it was from the beginning clear that years in a professional academy were counted but that it only would be paid when a player signed a professional contract with your club or that you had to pay another professional club if you scouted a player from them. A third example is that players could move freely from club to club until their 15thbirthday and that the club would not be compensated for the years he was in academy before that age.

So different thoughts in federations or the influence of local sport laws regarding club decisions to invest in football development.

Club decision

In all example’s clubs tried to sign a professional contract with the player at an earlier age to secure the talent for the club. It is not perfect because at some moments you have to take to early a decision, which you would prefer to take a little later in the players development path.

The best solution is to create a system (preferably universal) that protects clubs from losing players they invested in or to receive a good and fair compensation. However, at some moments you are more or less forced to sign a contract with the player because you want him to be at your club.

All the explanations above related is more related to professional clubs but should also count on amateur level. An amateur club that is organizing a quality academy should also be protected.

Let’s hope agents, intermediaries our lawyers support your development path for the player and not that they try use it and profile themselves and your player at other clubs!


What do we mean with the words “Tactical flexibility”in football?

One coach thinks it means that a team should be able to play different systems in a competition; the second coachwill say that he wants his team to be able to change systems during a match; the third coachwill say that he wants his team to be able to be flexible within the same system in every game. For an Academy Director it could be the same; one, leave it up to coaches; two, decide it for the coaches to play different systems and three, decide one system and teach them all within that system.

So, the meaning of the words “tactical flexibility” can be differently explained by each football coach or Academy Director on any level.

This is what makes football interesting and which makes it possible to have different opinions within the same sport at professional level but also at academy or amateur level. Each coach wants to prepare his team according his thoughts about football.

Within the three options mentioned above every possibility can have it variants. That is why they have in professional football; scouts or specific match analysts, at opponents matches to inform the coach about the tactical plan of the team. This information is very useful for a coach to prepare his team and individual players with the coming opponent in mind and make them aware of the opponent’s football philosophy.

From the three options I feel personally more for the third option as a coach and as an Academy Director; where within one playing philosophy you are teaching, preparing and coaching your players the different opportunities to reach the highest level during that particular game and dominate while attacking and defending.

The opportunities within one system are to perform your tactics on different parts of the field in attacking and defending. To move your players, within your system, 5-10m inside, outside, backwards or forward can make a huge change in your playing style. In this I believe; to become a specialist in one system but knowing all of that particular playing philosophy and being able to influence players quickly.

Teaching football, educating coaches or managing a club or academy demands choices. These choices have to be made to keep clarity in your playing philosophy, to give direction to your coaches and players but the most important is that it needs to be checked by managers so that team coaches cannot change the culture, playing philosophy and playing style of a team, academy or club.

Be clear from the first moment, be strict from the second moment, share information for progress and correct when needed!

Coaching the coaches

How to coach the coaches, is something that is important when working as an Academy Director or Sport Director. As club management your director has a role of following the philosophy and maintain the direction that has been set by the club, with the intention to strengthen it. The club can also give the Academy Director or Sport Director the opportunity to create a structure and philosophy that is connected with the culture of the club.

The director will then be responsible for coaching the coaches and instruct them and keep them thinking in the same direction as the club. This coaching of the coaches will be done off and on the field.

Before starting to coach the coaches, it needs to be clear within the club that the philosophy is approved and that nobody will interfere in this process that. When the final approval has been given by the owner or president of the club the journey starts. At some moments owners or presidents of clubs don’t understand how much difficulties and problems it can give to make the changes. Personnel complains, coaches complain and when this leads to too much discussions then the club was not ready for these changes. An owner needs to support fully and let the professionals work if he wants progress in the football part of his club.


Explaining the new philosophy to your personnel in the club or academy is the first thing that should happen. This together with the new organizational structure that will lead to progress in football development or growth on professional premier league level.

Everybody needs to understand his role within the club philosophy and support.

Football development

Leading in a football club is always the philosophy that will influence the teams play football and the coaches to train the teams to get to the desired level. The football development can be explained by the use of manuals, video, presentations and master classes on and off the field.

Influence and support 

To influence the coaches to use the philosophy correct you need to be on the field as an academy director, or as a sport director influence and regularly meet with your academy director. The coaching of the coaches will have the most effect if they are influenced daily in training or match situations. After that the best influence will happen in individual meetings with the coaches which gives them an opportunity to ask questions and for the academy director to explain and correct them personally.


Of course, this is a short description of the process that coaches will enter when they have to start working with a new philosophy. Not all coaches are used to being corrected and that will take time and needs an individual approach.  Every coach will get used to it and coaches hopefully will also start to correct and to assist each other.

Reserve teams; U21; u23?

Whatever the name of a team is that comes after the academy but before the first team is not the most important in this discussion.

That you have a team in the age between 18-21 is what counts. This important step, before a player really makes it is as a professional, will give so much to the career of most players. The opportunity to get used to a higher level surrounded by other and older professionals adds a lot of stability, experience, knowledge and confidence to a players final phase of development.

In a known environment (your own club) making your final development and receive a chance to train or play with the main team is what you are aiming for when you start playing football.

Several countries in Western and Eastern Europe had a closed league with only U21 teams that played weekly a match against the same age group (like in the youth leagues). Some countries gave an opportunity to play in a second or a third professional league and to play against adults.

The second option has been copied now by some of the leading football countries, this gave clubs the opportunity to enter a professional league. This in some countries gave such a boost for talented players; that they made a secure step to their first team. Another effect was that those “U21-23 teams” became leaders in the second or third division by playing in the top of the league and at some of them became champion.

For me that is a confirmation that a long-term development plan should not end after u19, but it should still continue for one or two years before a player or players are ready for the highest level.

Exceptions we will always have, players  that reach the first team faster but for the majority of our players a reserve(U21-23) team is the best solution for having a chance to become a professional player and reach their personal top!

Should it be a discussion?

Maybe a federation, the clubs and the professional leagues should simply sit together and organize an opportunity, so that talented players get a real chance after years of investing in their football career?

Coaches development; club policy or the responsibility of a coach?

A short holiday break in your weekly activities as a football academy gives coaches a chance to rest or to develop themselves. To develop themselves a coach has several ways: by the activities of the federation, activities organized by the club or the coach can organize his own activities.

The federation needs to take care of the official Licensing of every football coach, the club is responsible for a specific club cultural development and the coach has the possibility to be responsible for his own development by deciding to visit clubs, favorite coaches or select specific courses related to his work as a coach.

I want to write about the part where the club is responsible and were the coach is responsible. The club has to have a plan how they want to further develop their coaches. With a clear plan you can strengthen the work of your coach by selecting clubs with a philosophy similar or not similar.

When a “top” academy has a similar plan as your club then they will get a confirmation that they are on the right path. If they however visit a “top” academy with a different philosophy, then they have the opportunity to compare their own job (to follow a philosophy) with this club: both opportunities give your coach a lot of information to think about.

An individual coach has the opportunity to decide his own plan and ideas about his development. To visit a congress, to visit a club, to visit a specific coach or to follow a specific master class or course are some of the opportunities.

As a coach you need to know “how you want to develop yourself “and then find the possibilities that fit your philosophy or the philosophy that your club believes in.

Either way; the development of a coach can never stop, responsibility is with the coach to raise this at all times with his club management or to take care of it himself!

Personally, I like to find an element at a club, a team or a coach that will strengthen my philosophy and add a new challenge to my existing plan or philosophy. It needs to be an addition because you have to believe in what you are doing!