South United has continually been devoted to setting up successful pathways for sports professionals through its sustainable sporting ecosystem. As a part of this endeavour, South United is building a state-of-the-art, international standard, Football Academy in the heart of Bangalore. At the Academy, students will have access to an 11-a-side turf, a 5-a-side turf, an AV Room, a Steam Treatment Room, and a Gym.
The Academy aims to provide a top-notch programme which enables both on and off the pitch growth and development of every student. South United will deliver a dynamic development program for its players at each phase – the Foundation Phase, the Youth Development Phase, and the Professional Development Phase.
The Foundation Phase:
During the Foundation Phase, South United aims to promote creative, free-thinking footballers who make their own decisions with guidance from the staff. To promote this kind of environment, the staff take absolute care when dealing with young children. The priority is to make every child feel comfortable to explore their talents and try new skills. However, dedication and commitment are expected from all players every step of the way. The staff chosen are experienced in working with young children. During this phase, the aim is to first introduce players to a professional setup and then integrate them into the system with their coaches and teammates as smoothly as possible. Once this has been achieved, the objective is to achieve footballing excellence through well-planned coaching sessions, which are fun and rewarding to all involved.
The Youth Development Phase
The Youth Development Phase is the second stage of a player’s development at the Academy. Here, players are introduced to 11v11 football and are educated on the tactical aspects of the game that will help them in their progression to the Professional Phase. To take their ball mastery skills learned in the Foundation Phase to the next level, high-tempo sessions are conducted in tight areas to challenge the players. Players are taught how to analyse their performance and are given ideas on how to overcome challenges. The development of individuals and the team are put before the result of the game.
The Professional Development Phase
The Professional Development Phase works differently from the Foundation and Youth Development Phases. The programme is flexible, adaptable, and reactive as players in this phase are focused on winning and achieving targets. While students still follow a curriculum, the weekly plan is determined by previous matches played and upcoming games. The aim is to provide young players with the skills and attributes needed to play in a professional team. It is a continuation from the previous phases where players are now ready to be taught how to apply their skills to win football matches in a professional setting. Here, players are exposed to constant challenges – technical, tactical, physical, and mental. The programme also focuses on each player’s career in the game. The programme is meant to have an impact on each individual player to maximise each player’s potential.
Most importantly, however, South United is working towards developing well-mannered, all-round individuals who treat each other with respect and can communicate well with their peers and adults, both in the football environment and in their general lives.