"Hi everybody!" (in my best 'Dr. Nick' impression)
So, I've got some "bandwidth" today and was reading the Q&A with the Dynamo's James Clarkson about his recent trip to Clairefontaine in an MLS partnership with the FFF regarding player development...and I gotta say that I'm stoked about it. Hardcore.
Its been mentioned here in Fuzion's "Be The GM" series and elsewhere about how to develop players, and of course the best examples are likely from Spain and France: they have consistently developed some of the best players in the world, and its not an accident. After reading the article, you see that the development and implementation of this program is probably a good 4 years or so from really finding its sea-legs, but once it gets going...wow. We're spoiled living in the Houston metro area in that not only do have a large population (read: talent pool) at around, what 5+ million, but also its the composition of that pool that is equally salivating. We are fortunate to have one of the most diverse, multi-cultural, multi-national population areas; to wit, just on my Sunday league team alone I play with guys from Egypt, France, Mexico, Spain, Vietnam, China and other parts of the world. And guess what: they all have young kids who play as well. This is a microcosm of Houston. Now imagine all of this young, local talent - and then some - being plucked and placed into the newly-revamped Dynamo academy to learn techniques and methodologies from one of the greatest developmental academies in the world. If this all plays out, friends, the next 5-10 years in our club could be heady times, indeed.