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FIFA Talent Development Scheme experts share insights at annual FIGC Youth Academy Directors seminar

FIFA, 08 Mar 2024

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FIFA Talent Development Scheme (TDS) experts Hannu Tihinen and David Pauwels were invited by the Italian Football Association (FIGC) to their Technical Centre in Coverciano for their annual Youth Academy Directors Seminar.

Tihinen and Pauwels delivered a presentation primarily focusing on the main development challenges in elite youth football, highlighting the TDS , complemented by information about FIFA Performance Insights, the Ecosystem Analysis as well as the FIFA Training Centre, showcasing FIFA’s wide range of tools for talent development worldwide. 

"Our movement has always promoted broad participation at grassroots level. This is thanks to a specific federal governance of the youth sector, which has been part of the tradition of Italian football since 1947," said FIGC General Secretary of the Youth and School Sector Vito Di Gioia. "This attention to grassroots and the territory has fuelled participation over the years, emphasizing a player pathway that carefully avoids premature development and mitigates dropout phenomena. Keeping children in environments capable of providing continuity of experiences is the basis for participation," Di Gioia continued. 

The day continued with a round table discussion on the topic 'Academies and Talent Development' that involved, among others, Italy’s Coordinator of the Men's National Youth Teams, Maurizio Viscidi, as well as FC Antwerp Academy Director Jean Kindermans.

"At the youth competitive level from 14 to 18 years old, our system allows for the constant development of talents through a progressive competition framework at both regional and national levels, which is managed in great synergy between the Youth Sector of the Federation and the National Youth Teams. This constant and detailed work is the starting point for the success of our national youth teams, which have consistently ranked among the top four in every international competition for years. Unfortunately, as the data we have analysed indicates, we do not have the same success when it comes to the transition and production of players towards the first team," Di Gioia added.

"Towards this objective, we work with the support of FIFA through the TDS project, aiming for international benchmarking and continuous improvement. We also conduct sharing and training sessions, such as the one planned today in Coverciano for our academy managers, with the support of Hannu Tihinen and David Pauwels."

"We work with the support of FIFA through the TDS project, aiming for international benchmarking and continuous improvement."

FIGC General Secretary of the Youth and School Sector, Vito Di Gioia

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