RochdaleAFC.co.uk

Philosophy

The philosophy of Rochdale AFC Academy is to play: 

“Possession based, fast attacking football”

 

In order to achieve this, we will endeavour to develop and produce players who are highly competent in Attacking, Defending and the Transitional aspects of the modern game.
We will encourage all teams to “Control & Dominate” Attacking & Defending situations.
We will utilise the Principles of Attacking & Defending.

In order to achieve this, we will endeavour to develop and produce players who are highly competent in Attacking, Defending and the Transitional aspects of the modern game.

 

We will encourage all teams to “Control & Dominate” Attacking & Defending situations

 

We will utilise the Principles of Attacking:

Dispersal

Penetrate

Movement & Support

Creativity

End Product

 

We will utilise the Principles of Defending:

Press or Delay

Balance

Depth

Compact

Self-Control & Restraint

Concentration

Attacking

We will encourage all teams to play fast attacking football using the traits of the football club, body shape, soft touches and fast passing. Constant Movement is a fundamental trait of the Attacking play and practices, formations and individual roles are designed to encourage players to:

  • Run to Receive
  • Run to Deceive
  • Run To Retrieve

 

All Academy teams will try to play out from the Goalkeeper, who will be the focal pivot of the start of our attacking play, highest pass first, and try to penetrate through the thirds. On entering the middle third of the pitch we will look to create over-loads, utilise rotation and play through central areas. This will also provide a base for balance and security. We will look to create space throughout our play with multi-movements and support; players will be encouraged to drive and slide, drive and shoot, and the players have the licence to express themselves and ‘come alive’ in the final third where end product is a must.

Defending

All Academy teams will be encouraged to deny the opposition space and time pressing the ball when possession is lost. This emphasises the constant movement philosophy, especially:

  • Run To Retrieve

 

With the attacking philosophy of overloading central areas, we will look to regain the ball as quickly as possible. In the attacking and mid thirds areas of the pitch we will encourage the players to show the opposition inside, in the defending third show away from goal. If the opposition play though the press the next phase of our defending would be to recover, deny, delay, control and restrain the opposition’s penetration with the emphasis on regaining the ball.

 

 Transition

All academy teams will be encouraged to play with a high intensity in the transitional period by looking to regain possession as quickly as possible in order to counter attack with an end product (Try to: Regain the ball in 4 seconds, get an attempt on goal in 6 seconds). Constant Movement is a fundamental trait of the Transitional play and practices, formations and individual roles are designed to encourage players to:

  • Run to Receive
  • Run to Deceive
  • Run To Retrieve

 

Our Academy Football Philosophy will be broken down into the 3 Phases but will always have a consistent thread to link them together and even up into the 1st Team.

Foundation Phase – Learning to Love the Game

We believe the foundation phase is a fundamental stage in the Player Performance Clock and this is where we can nurture players to prepare them for the bigger and more complex game as they get older.

Therefore, we believe academy foundation players need to have the following mix of Technical, Physical, Psychological and Social attributes:

  1. Good, quick feet
  2. A good bank of skills
  3. Good passing & receiving skills
  4. Good A-B-C’s
  5. Be confident and comfortable on the ball
  6. Good Decision Makers
  7. A desire to learn
  8. A desire to be the best
  9. Professionalism

 

To help players develop these key traits, we must develop and work to an enriched, flexible curriculum, with resources and sessions to nurture future first team players through their individual and collective journey.

The Rochdale AFC Foundation Phase Age Specific Coaching Programmes, and more importantly the Individual Learning Plans, incorporate the”4 Corner Development Model” and will always refer back to the reference point of Attacking/Defending/Transition. However, this is the key stage for “Windows of Opportunity” and therefore the Physical, Psychological and Social Corners can be truly developed.

This can be done in the Foundation phase, however, it needs to be broken down to align to the age group characteristics and development of Key Stage 2 children (U8 – U11), and Learning Objectives must reflect this.

To add to that, we also believe in order to develop players who are confident and comfortable in possession, players should be exposed to all situations and areas of the pitch and not be position specific in the foundation phase. That said, some players will excel in a certain position or unit and should be nurtured to enhance their development. Also, players must be prepared for the bigger game, and this can take place mostly at U11 & U12. (Our Under 12’s are mainly supported through the Foundation Phase but through our Phase Transition Strategy we also plan for their development into the Youth Development Phase).

In the Foundation Phase, the coaching programme should provide the framework for coaches to source challenging sessions to enable players to develop and put their learning to the test in 5 v 5, 7 v 7, or 9 v 9 development games.

Sessions should be motivating for all, enriching and productive. A high proportion of contact time of each session should be made up of Technique – Ball Mastery – Passing, Receiving & Possession, with the remaining time used for game understanding and maybe reviewing the previous game.

 

Game formats in the Foundation Phase are usually 5 v 5 and 7 v 7 at Under 9 and 10, and 9 v 9 at Under 11 and 11 v 11 at Under 12.

In the 5 v 5 game we would usually play 1-2-1 rotating. This gives players the basic shape and backbone of the team with a Goalkeeper, Centre Half, 2 x Central Midfielders and a Centre Forward.

In the 7 v 7 game we are flexible with formations but we tend to play 2-3-1 adding another Centre Half and a Midfielder to build up to the 11 v 11 game with the Right and Left Midfielders acting as wing backs. In the 9 v 9 games we add another Midfielder and Centre Forward, or Number 10 to make up a

2-1-3-2.

 

This philosophy provides the opportunity for players to develop their Technical attributes, to develop a Tactical understanding of the game which in turn requires Psychological skills, and develops a Physical aspect to prepare players for the modern game.The philosophy is aspirational and is not prescriptive, as we will encourage players to make decisions based on the situations and areas they find themselves in.
This philosophy provides the opportunity for players to develop their Technical attributes, to develop a Tactical understanding of the game which in turn requires Psychological skills, and develops a Physical aspect to prepare players for the modern game

Youth Development Phase – Learning to Compete

We believe the youth development phase is the core stage in the Player Performance Clock and this is where we can further nurture players to prepare them for the competitive element of the game.

Therefore, we believe academy youth development players need to further develop their mix of Technical, Tactical, Physical, Psychological and Social attributes.

 

To help players develop these key traits, we must develop and work to an enriched, flexible curriculum and syllabus, with resources and sessions to nurture future first team players through their individual and collective journey.

The Rochdale AFC Youth Development Phase Coaching Programme incorporates the”4 Corner Development Model” and will always refer back to the reference point of Attacking/Defending/Transition.

This can be done in the Youth Development phase, however, it needs to be broken down to align to the age group characteristics and development of Key Stage 3 & 4 children (U13 – U16), and Learning Objectives must reflect this.

(Our Under 12’s are mainly supported through the Foundation Phase but through our Phase Transition Strategy we also plan for their development into the Youth Development Phase).

To add to that, we also believe in order to develop players who are confident and comfortable in possession, players should be exposed to all situations and areas of the pitch and start to refine position specifics in the youth development phase. That said, some players will excel in a certain position or unit and should be nurtured to enhance their development. Also, players must be prepared for the bigger game.

In the Youth Development Phase, the syllabus should provide the framework for coaches to source challenging sessions to enable players to develop and put their learning to the test in 9 v 9 and 11 v 11 development games.

Sessions should be motivating for all, enriching and productive. 30% of each session should be made up of Technique – Ball Mastery – Passing, Receiving & Possession, with the other 70% used for themed game understanding and maybe reviewing the previous game.

 

Game formats in the Youth Development Phase are 9 v 9 and 11 v 11. At Under 12 we utilise the same formation as at Under 11, 2-1-3-2. At 11 v 11 we add the 2 Full Backs and our vision is to play 4-1-3-2 to mirror the first team, but the formation can change depending on the personnel we have available and can also be 4-3-3, 4-4-2, 4-4-2 Diamond and 4-2-3-1.

 

Professional Development Phase – Learning to Win

We believe the professional development phase is the most crucial stage in the Player Performance Clock and this is where we can enhance the development of players to prepare them for the competitive and results driven element of the professional game.

Therefore, we believe academy professional development players need to enhance their mix of Technical, Tactical, Physical, Psychological and Social attributes.

 

To help players develop these key traits, we must develop and work to an enriched, flexible curriculum and syllabus, with resources and sessions to nurture future first team players through their individual and collective journey.

The Rochdale AFC Professional Development Phase Coaching Programme incorporates the”4 Corner Development Model” and will always refer back to the reference point of Attacking/Defending/Transition.

This can be done in the Professional Development phase, however, it needs to be broken down to align to the age group characteristics (see 3.4.2a/b) and development of Key Stage 5 students (U17 & U18), and Learning Objectives must reflect this.

To add to that, we also believe in order to develop players who are confident and comfortable in possession, players should be exposed to all situations and areas of the pitch and pin down their position specifics in the professional development phase. That said, some players will excel in a variety of positions and should be nurtured to enhance their development. Also, players must be prepared for the professional game.

In the Youth Development Phase, the syllabus should provide the framework for coaches to source challenging sessions to enable players to develop and put their learning to the test in 11 v 11 league games.

Sessions should be motivating for all, enriching and productive. 30% of each session should be made up of Technique – Ball Mastery – Passing & Receiving, with the other 70% used for themed game understanding and maybe reviewing the previous game.

In the Professional Development Phase our vision is to play 4-1-3-2 to mirror the first team, but the formation can change depending on the personnel we have available and can also be 4-3-3, 4-4-2, 4-4-2 Diamond and 4-2-3-1.

 

This philosophy provides the opportunity for players to develop their Technical attributes, to develop a Tactical understanding of the game which in turn requires Psychological skills, and develops a Physical aspect to prepare players for the modern game.

 

The philosophy is aspirational and is not prescriptive, as we will encourage players to make decisions based on the situations and areas they find themselves in.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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