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Dario: "Kids Need To Train More"

14 May 2014

Dario agrees with Arsenal boss when he suggests that young players do not train enough

Dario Gradi says he is in full support of Arsene Wenger’s theory that promising young players need more time training than they do playing. Dario shares the same view as the Arsenal manager that young players are thrust into a competitive environment too soon meaning that training techniques and development is often sacrificed.

After the announcement of the FA Commission’s findings into trying to improve the England national side, The Arsenal manager said: "The time kids spend on the training pitch between the age of eight and 17 is too short, while their time spent in competition is too big.

"The time kids spend on the training pitch between the age of eight and 17 is too short, while their time spent in competition is too big."

"For me, competition has too much importance and training has too little. To add more competition doesn't make sense. It makes sense to increase training and reduce time in competitions.

"To develop young players in England you have to balance their training and competition. I see too many kids at 17 or 18 who cannot take a ball, or they have no left foot, because they haven't practiced enough.”

Dario Gradi who was a part of the FA Commission, mainly due to his expertise in coaching methods and developing young players couldn’t agree more with the Frenchman.

Dario told “I read what Arsene (Wenger) said about the young players in this country not training as much as they should and he is absolutely right. I agree with him.

“The young ones are asked to play too much. Of course, you have to develop that winning mentality but that can come later. If a young player misses out on developing techniques before the age of 13 or 14 then he has no chance of getting it back.

“I remember working with Alan Hudson at Chelsea and trying to improve his left foot. I spent hours with him and he did improve it but when it came to the game he never, ever used his left foot. It was an ingrained habit and you were never going to change it.

“He just continued doing what he had already done and it was a valuable lesson for me as a coach. I knew that if you don’t get them early then you have little or no chance.

“When you look at the EPPP structure, it has received mixed feelings and I have mixed feelings about it as well. I am happy to be in it and I am sure in the long run it should improve the coaches and the facilities and then the players.

“What you do find is though is that the young players don’t have an opportunity to train. The Under-21 team is often made up of young players who didn’t play on the Saturday or were on the bench. They play Monday, don’t train Tuesday, college Wednesday, train on Thursday, lighter day Friday in preparation for Saturday just in case they are needed or are playing for the Youth team.

“So when you look at it they perhaps get one full day of training in. I would prefer them to play on a Saturday but that isn’t going to happen. The FA Commission have suggested B teams playing in the league and that is a revolutionary idea. No-one knows if it would really work but Greg (Dyke) is just exploring a possible avenue.

“The fact remains that not enough English players are being produced to play in the Premier League, they are finding it hard to come through but how you actually solve that is very difficult.

“Greg and the commission didn’t want to just look at things and adjust one or two things and hope for the best. They came up with a revolutionary idea. Do I think it would ever happen I don’t know.

The Director of Football added: “All I do know that from a club point of view, we do what we do to give our young players the best chance of having a career out of football. “



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