Cambuur fans give their team an incredible send off at training !



Cambuur were due to play arch nemesis Heerenveen so the fans gave them an amazing send off with this pyro show,unfortunately their antics got a steward seriously injured by a firework.


Brain Training, Is it the answer to England’s playing and coaching problems, A very interesting Article!, what is your view ?


(this is the link to the interesting brain training link if you would like to see)


This is an interesting view on the way we think about what kind of development we prioritize to our players from when they are academy players all the way until they reach the peak of their professional careers.Over the last 10 years UEFA A Licence coach Michel Bruyninckx has been training young players with a concept of “Brain Centered Learning” and to remarkable effect, some players he has coached has come out of his program a new player and being able to achieve techniques they were never able to do before such as the story of  Faris Haroun, who was sent to work with Bruyninckx and the Belgian International returned to his club being able to use his left foot with enough ability his club thought he was a natural left footed player.

“Based on the premise that the brain is at least 1,000 times faster than any computer, Bruyninckx’s intention is to make sure the young players he trains are programmed to take full advantage of the body’s “hard disk” and become more skilful and intelligent footballers” (John Sinnott- BBC NEWS)

Many reasons have been given for England’s failures in major tournament and their lack of credibility to compete on the world stage. In the summer of 2010 there could have been a million reasons and every English man,woman and child had an opinion on England’s downfall. Questions have certainly been asked and for the first time in my life in which i can remember past tournaments i saw and still see a collective disbandment of belief in England in tournaments, people get worried when we play Algeria and there is a new culture of  a thought process that defeat and underperforming is the accepted characteristic in English football and i find it hard to disagree as we build ourselves up in our minds and through the media to be the all mighty all-conquering world-class England but in actual fact we are decades behind any other half decent national team, outplayed by everyone in the world cup and the germans with a new team of youngsters humiliated our national team.

Michel Bruyninckx believes that England have a lack of a football brain which hinders our ability to move with the modern times of world football and that the old belief in England of “on your head son” is now culturally detrimental to the state of the game in this country.I t is no surprise that Bruyninckx has had so much popularity recently when he has Barcelona as his personal bibliography and the way they play using his and professor Wolfgang Schoellhorn learning policy. England apparently develop physically strong and quick players but they aren’t very clever players or receptive to phases of play in games which means they miss opportunities in those phases and their brains don’t allow them to see those creative opportunities where as Barcelona,Mainz and other european nations adopting this modern training will be able to see those opportunities.

“With his methods endorsed by ex-Belgian national coaches Paul van Himst and Robert Waseige, Bruyninckx estimates 25% of the 100 or so players that he has coached have turned professional or are in the women’s national squads.Compare this one-man Belgian football academy’s success rate to England where, according to the Professional Footballers’ Association chief executive Gordon Taylor, of the 600 boys joining Premier League and Football League clubs at the age of 16, 500 are out of the game by the time they are aged 21.”  (John Sinnott- BBC NEWS)

“We need to stop thinking football is only a matter of the body,” the 59-year-old Bruyninckx commented. “Skilfulness will only grow if we better understand the mental part of developing a player.”   (Michel Bruyninckx -BBC NEWS)

“Cognitive readiness, improved perception, better mastering of time and space in combination with perfect motor functioning.”   (Michel Bruyninckx -BBC NEWS)

“Bruyninckx points out that in Spain there is no 11-a-side football before the age of 15. He also believes that if you want to produce technical footballers then forget the idea of competition.”I create players that can play to win at the right moment, but firstly you have to explain that learning is more important than winning games”    (Michel Bruyninckx -BBC NEWS)

The reason i have put this last quote in Bold is because i think that is a very important aspect for us to remember and if you look at my coaching theory and go down to small sided games you will see that this is something i believe very strongly in. I think we have been massively let down by the FA as far as this is concerned. Children should never be thrown into competition at the ages that they are in this country and its been a fundamental structural issue since the beginning of organised football in England. Football should always be a small sided until they reach 15 this is where they learn to deal with certain phases of play and the improvement of their technique before boring them to death with tactical formulas

I believe there is one main reason for England’s failure in tournaments and the failure to produce enough players with ability to be world-class in order to win tournaments and that is the fact that the standard of coaching in England and the structure and hierarchy is appalling.England is far behind other European nations in respect to coaching standards, i am not sure whether it is pure arrogance from the heads of the FA that govern the coaching qualification procedure or whether it is incompetence to have let us get into this dire situation, but you will never hear that from the top they will always tell you it is being worked on and things are looking up but the stats and the facts behind the disaster and failure speaks for itself.


“There are 2.25 million players in England and only one Uefa-qualified coach for every 812 people playing the game. Spain, the World Cup favourites, have 408,134 players, giving a ratio of 1:17. In Italy, the world champions, the ratio is 1:48, in France it is 1:96, Germany 1:150 and even Greece, the Euro 2004 winners, have only 180,000 registered players for their 1,100 coaches, a ratio of 1:135. ”  (Matt Scott – The Guardian)

This statistic is pitiful and as a coach fighting to achieve mine , and that is what it feels like a fight to get that in England i can assure you it is tough, it is even tougher when the instructors don’t turn up. In the last few months i have heard of countless stories where instructors have not shown up for key parts of modules leaving no explanation, a friend of mine who was due to take a Futsal coaching course through the FA didn’t turn up and then when they have finished the course the applicants aren’t hearing feedback and then face another fight to retrieve their certificates which they have paid for and earned. This malpractice is huge in respect to the reason why our ratio is so poor when it is so very difficult to climb the ladder here.

“three years ago an official report concluded that coaching is the “golden thread” leading to international success, but new Uefa data shows that there are only 2,769 English coaches holding Uefa’s B, A and Pro badges, its top qualifications. Spain has produced 23,995, Italy 29,420, Germany 34,970 and France 17,588.Between them those four nations have provided eight of the 12 finalists at all the World Cups and European Championships since 1998. England, meanwhile, have not appeared in a tournament final in 44 years.”  (Matt Scott – The Guardian)

This is atrocious reading for people are trying so desperately to gauge a career in the game, to know that if they were in any other european country they would be at the top of the game right now.What this has done is drive aspiring coaches to leave England myself included i am looking to leave and go back to the USA or anywhere there are more coaching opportunities. The price is also an issue, considering we have one of the weakest numbers in B Licence coaches why on earth do we pay so much more for our’s ?, you would think they would be dropping the price and the ridiculous pass rate.The fact is european nations have B Licence coaches creating programs for their children and their local communities giving young children an avenue from the bottom to the top to train at an elite modern level and the children of England get the Jose Mourinho wannabe on a sideline kicking a ball in the middle for an hour and shouting at young children teaching them to be rude with the language they use rather than intelligent and progressive sports people.Now i don’t mean every coach is at that standard in England but the trouble is all of those B licence coaches are at professional clubs and those professional programs aren’t available for the normal local community so how are we supposed to develop a team capable of winning tournaments when we can’t even have the intelligence to accept the structure is wrong and needs changing.

Because of the above issue id tend to believe that it is the neglection of football development in this country rather than we possess unintelligent footballers which is the reason for our downfall although that doesn’t mean that i don’t think Michel’s Brain training is essential as it is a new modern development in coaching and one we should adapt too and who would argue with his references from the way Barcelona play.I will leave you with this revelation ……

“At the current rate of progress it will take 123 years for England’s resource of Pro-licensed coaches to match Spain’s today.”

Brain Training, Is it the answer to England’s playing and coaching problems, A very interesting Article!, what is you’re view ?.




The players are split into two teams.8 cones are set out with a ball rested on top (the coconuts)

  1. Team A have to try and shoot their ball and hit the coconuts off of the trees (the cones)
  2. Team B has to defend the trees (cones) by attempting to get interceptions of the shots and block off the target areas
  3. How many coconuts can they knock off the trees?
  4. Add time limits
  5. If a target is blocked off then accelerate away and look for a new striking opportunity

Coaching Points

  1. Perfect 10 technique
  2. Point at the target (if needed)
  3. Head up
  4. Awareness
  5. Strike through the ball


Alien Attack !


A circle of cones is set up in the middle of the grid, this is called the Alien Space Station/Ship

  1. Players get into pairs and hold a pinny/bib between them which acts as their energy source so they must not let go of the energy source
  2. The fighters (players) start with 3 lives
  3. The Alien shoots his special lasers (balls) at the fighters
  4. When all lives are gone they join the Alien race
  5. The new Aliens can fly from the Space station to attempt to destroy the remaining fighters!
  6. The winners are the last standing fighters
  7. Remember if the players let go of their life energy source they also become aliens

Coaching Points

  1. Awareness
  2. Head up
  3. Communication is important to move in the same directions to evade lasers

Alien Attack !.

Sheep Dog Competition !


This is a larger game

5 boxes are set out with 2 cones acting as “the gate” to the sheep paddocks

  1. Players are put into teams (make it fun by giving them sheep team names)
  2. Players dribble their footballs around the main grid
  3. Each team has their own paddock at the beginning
  4. A “sheep dog” is picked for each team which changes each turn
  5. The sheep dog herds the teammates back to their paddock upon coaches command
  6. First team back in the paddock wins
  7. Make it more difficult by adding that the sheep must stay still until the sheep dog dribbles their ball to them and passes their ball into the sheeps
  8. Make it even harder by taking away a paddock with each turn and changing the position of  the gates for each paddock challenging them mentally to keep aware

Coaching Points

  1. Awareness
  2. Head Up
  3. Ball close to feet
  4. Acceleration

via Sheep Dog Competition !.

Sheep Dog !


Players Pretend to be sheep and dribble their footballs through the gates on the farm

  1. Coach becomes a sheepdog and attempts to round the sheep up (barking accordingly)
  2. Coach becomes the Angry Farmer and attempts to stop sheep going through the gates.Sheep have to turn away from the Farmer and look to go through another gate

Coaching Points

  1. Keep your head up so you can see where the sheepdog is
  2. Keep ball close to you and shield it from the sheepdog
  3. accelerate through gates

via Sheep Dog !.

Football Tennis

Football Tennis.

Football Tennis


Players are split into small teams.Mini Goals are set up in front of the participants to act as a tennis net although pretty much anything can be used so if you have benches or chairs then you could use them also just as long as there is a divide

Object of the game is exactly as tennis one team would serve allowing a bounce on the opposing side before the ball is passed back

Teams can have a points maximum and the teams that hits that maximum wins

There are a variety of different rules which can be applied to this activity to make it more challenging such as when the ball bounces you must control the ball on your knee and then head before trying to win a point on the opposing side

It can be made as easy or as difficult as the coach wants and is a very nice activity to break up your session and let the younger players have abit of fun mid session to break up the technical practices which will keep them focused

Coaching Points

  • Awareness
  • Control
  • Shoulders between ball
  • Move in lines
  • On your toes
  • Focus

Cruyff Turn 1

Cruyff Turn 1.

Cruyff Turn

  • Session starts with players in the Skill Squares upon arrival

Inside Hook,Outside Hook,Bounce Juggles,Drag backs and combinations of all

1. Unopposed 15 mins

Allow the players free roam of the grid practising the Cruyff Turn at they’re pleasure letting them figure it out for themselves without being spoon fed.The Coach ghost coaches around the grid making sure each player is comfortable with the skill enough to move on to the next stage.Remember to practise with both feet and remind them that the skill is designed to be a feint of a shot or pass and turn away.

Sub Routine Of Skill

  1. Approach the ball ,standing foot next to the ball
  2. Shape your body as if you were going to pass or cross the ball as a feint
  3. But then drag the ball behind your standing leg with the inside of your foot.
  4. Turn your shoulders and your hips so that you are back in line with the ball
  5. Positive touch
  6. Explode

2. Unopposed Competition/Pulse Raiser 15 mins

Cones are placed all over the grid.The players have to perform Cruyff turns at each cone in the grid and accelerate away.Players see how many cones they can turn away from.The players must now perform double Cruyff Turns and alternate which foot is used to perform the skill.How fast can they perform the skill ?.Now try to add different skills to the Cruyff and really challenge the participants to express themselves, some players will learn slower than others so if needed set them individual challenges to achieve for example can they perform a double Cruyff Turn followed by a double drag back or can they achieve a Cruyff Turn into an Inside Hook.Give time limits and challenge them to be better.

3. Opposed 15 mins – Cruyff Ghost Busters 

Split in to smaller groups and mark out the grid with a box in the middle which will be “the haunted mansion”, the players must dribble they’re balls into the house and perform a Cruyff Turn away from a defender “ghost buster”  to score themselves a point and then dribble back to the grid lines and perform another Cruyff Turn on the line.How many points can they score against a defender in a set time ? how many Cruyff turns can they perform in the selected time? Can they perform a double Cruyff turn inside the house to beat two opponents ?

Progression – The defenders can leave the house and challenge for the ball forcing the attackers to perform a higher volume of Cruyff Turns in a faster and more unpredictable situation.

 4. Conditioned Skill Related Game

Small sided 3v3 match, A very simple game which encourages the players to use the Cruyff turn and express themselves in many 1v1 situations.Players must perform a Cruyff turn and then look for an end product such as a pass to a team-mate or dribble into space or to shoot.If a player loses the ball during the completion of the skill or during the end product phase then the ball is turned over and the point given to the defending team.Double points given to a successful Cruyff move completed by the attacking team.

5. Final Match – Skill Match 30 mins (finish at around 27 mins so that cone pick up finishes on time for parents arrival)

  • Normal 1 point for a goal
  • 5 points for an Inside Hook anywhere on the field
  • 5 points for an Outside Hook anywhere on the field
  • 5 points for a Drag-back anywhere on the field
  • 5 points for a Cruyff Turn anywhere on the field
  • 10 points for beating an opponent with a Drag-back
  • 10 points for beating an opponent with an Outside Hook
  • 10 points for beating an opponent with an inside hook
  • 10 points for beating an opponent with a Cruyff Turn
  • 15 Points for a double hook that beats a number of opponents or combination of any skills together

6. Cone Pick Up

When the final game finishes.Have the players quickly take their balls back and dribble to every cone on the field and perform an Inside Hook and an Outside Hook, picking up a cone as they go, Once there are no cones left the players will dribble they’re balls to the coach or coaches assistant and place the balls in the bag and the cones in a pile.This will demonstrate a great level of respect and install responsibility to the children.After a few weeks you will find that the players will instantly seek out they’re ball after the game to be the quickest back to the coach with his/her ball and cones.
  • Have the balls placed all together just before the end game starts so it is easy for the players to collect at the end.

Outside Hook 1

Outside Hook 1.

Allow the players free roam of the grid practising the outside hook at they’re pleasure letting them figure it out for themselves without being spoon fed.Coach, ghost coaches around the grid making sure each player is comfortable with the skill enough to move on to the next stage.


Skill/Dribble/Technique Season


It is very important that when a season is started that it is followed through to the end of the season with the same topic.The reason for this is because you cannot possibly learn all about certain techniques in one session and then move on to another session with another topic in the next session for example, you cannot possibly teach passing in one session and then go onto something else the next considering how many different styles of passing and the complexities of the harder styles of passing

via Skill/Dribble/Technique Season.