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Stoke City FC Partner Club Video Launched

Coerver® Coaching and Premier League™ club Stoke City FC are today delighted to launch a new video that documents the Partner Club programme that has been running at the club since July 2011.

To mark the launch of our new Stoke City FC Partner Club video, we will be running a series of posts over the next 4 days. We will be hearing the thoughts of the people involved in the partnership which includes, Coerver® Coaching UK Director Scott Wright, Stoke City FC Youth Development Director Terry Robinson, Academy Manager Dave Wright, Club record signing and former Coerver® kid, Peter Crouch, First Team Manager Tony Pulis, Academy Coaches Earl Barrett and Rich Walker and academy parents and players.To date, the partnership has seen Coerver® Coaching Co-Founder Alf Galustian and UK director, Scott Wright (seen in the above image with Dave Wright) working closely with both the coaches and players at the club. The partnership was initially put into place by First Team manager Tony Pulis (see below image with new signing Michael Owen) as a key component in the clubs development plan towards achieving Premier League™ category 1 academy status under the new Elite Player Performance Plan which has been introduced this season to improve standards in youth development across the country.

Stoke City FC are one of only a handful of clubs in the country to achieve Premier League™ Category 1 academy status (granted July 2012) and at the time of writing have scored the highest grade in the country from independent academy assessors, Foot PASS.

Stoke City FC chief executive, Tony Scholes said of the club achieving category 1 academy status “This is fantastic news for the Club because we are committed to establishing an Academy that is ranked among the best. The Elite Player Performance Plan is all about ensuring that the best players get the best coaching in the best facilities (see the below images of the clayton wood training facility). It is important to our hopes of future success that we are now recognized as an elite Academy”.

Stoke City FC Youth Development Director, Terry Robinson added “This Category One status and high points score is all the more remarkable when you consider our starting point. Productivity accounted for 800 of the 5,000 points in the assessment process, so the club didn’t score well in that section because of the limited number of players who have come through the system over the past 13 years. What was a big advantage to us, however, was that we had the excellent training facility which has been created at Clayton Wood and that gave us a platform on which to develop additional facilities to ensure that we met the criteria. We have put those additional plans in place and have managed to secure planning permission (see below image of the new youth academy to be built at the clayton wood first team training facility).” He added: “The key to scoring so highly in other aspects of the assessment was making sure we recruited nothing but the best in terms of expertise available to us, the aptitude and skill of people holding important positions within the Academy, including Coerver, has made a big difference.”

Stoke City FC Academy manager, Dave Wright, said of the partnership “We think Coerver have added a lot of value to the programme we already had in place here at Stoke, they have helped to structure things in a better way, and have provided CPD for the coaches (see below image) and we are delighted by the progress that we are making”

We think it is important that the technical programme has a direction, it links to the philosophy that the club want and we feel the Coerver Partner Club programme pulls all of that in line. The club have made a significant investment into the academy in the last few years and it is brilliant to see how serious we are as a football club now in terms of long term player development and pushing players into the first team. The Coerver programme is helping massively with that in terms of the technical development and the competencies that they need to play at the top level and we are delighted with the partnership that is in place and helping players to achieve their aim of making it into a professional footballer”.

Coerver® UK director, Scott Wright said of the Partnership to date “Since 1984, Coerver Coaching has been at the forefront of youth player development and our aim is to continue this here in partnership with Stoke City FC. Our philosophy over the years has been proven to develop players who are masters of the ball, are confident, creative and ultimately effective game players. It was on the basis of this philosophy that first team manager, Tony Pulis, initially invited us to the club and we are now delighted to be working so closely together through our Partner Club programme which provides specialist support in a number of areas. This includes Technical Coaching for the players, Coach Education for the staff, Age specific session planning and a cutting edge website that supports the education of all players and coaches.”

“Stoke City have now firmly established themselves in the Premier League with this season being their fifth consecutive year following promotion in 2008 which is a fantastic achievement. This stability has given the club the foundation to really push on and the club are looking to develop almost every area possible with the academy being a focal point for development/investment. Getting category 1 academy status really shows how serious the club are about youth development and I am delighted that we are playing an integral part in the process.”

Scott added “The club are working hard towards delivering one of the most innovative and progressive academy programmes in the country and we are excited about working with the club both now and in the future. Our aim is to turn the clubs long term vision for player and coach development into a reality and to support Stoke City FC in their goal to become one of the leading developers of young footballers in the country who have all the attributes, both on and off the pitch, to succeed in the modern game”.

In addition to our current Partner Club relationship, our histories are also connected through Stoke City FC legend, Sir Stanley Matthews, who formed a close relationship with Coerver® Co-Founder Alf Galustian in the early 1980’s (see below image). Alf said “I first met Sir Stanley Matthews 30 years ago, he is a true legend in world football who was known as the worlds best dribbler (1 v 1 player) of his time, in fact one of the most famous Coerver Moves “The Drag Push” Set is dedicated to his memory. We worked together in Canada, USA, South Africa and England, and became close friends during this time. It was Sir Stanley who first gave the quote that Coerver Coaching was the Worlds Number One Soccer Skills Teaching Method.

Alf added “Sir Stanley played for Stoke City for many years, and when in his 80’s a Statue was built in Stoke, he invited me to be his special guest when the statue was unveiled. It is this background history that makes our work here at Stoke City so special. Sir Stan was very special in my life; he guided my football career to a great extent so when we were invited to come and work with Stoke City, it was an honour to accept”.

In our post tomorrow, we will be hearing from former Coerver® Kid and current Stoke City FC & England Striker, Peter Crouch, make sure to check it out.

To view the Coerver® Coaching / Stoke City FC Partner Club video, click here www.coerver.co.uk/partnerclub






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