SIA’S FIRST CONGRESS ON METHODOLOGY AND FOOTBALL COMES TO A SUCCESSFUL CONCLUSION
Three intense days. Football has once again shone brightly at the Soccer Inter-Action High Performance Centre. After an outstanding season in terms of the development of its Football School and International Football Academy, SIA brought the curtain down on one of its most eagerly awaited events this June: its 1st Congress on Methodology and Football.
With the presence of prestigious speakers – both nationally and beyond Spanish borders – these last three days the Soccer Inter-Action High Performance Centre has become the nerve centre of football training, especially at the level of coaches and technicians of the beautiful game. The public present, coaches and trainers of football clubs, did not want to miss the opportunity to listen, discuss and learn from professionals with an incredible career in elite clubs, from FC Porto to Real Madrid, Valencia, Villareal, Levante, At Madrid, through exotic but historical entities such as Changchun Yatai, from China and other foreign football teams. In addition to enjoying the services of the SIA Center and its International Football Academy, these professionals provided the participants with intensive training on the organisation and management of an elite football club, focusing on and specialising in their squads, both those of the first teams and those of the subsidiaries and youth teams.
Which speakers were present on the 1st day of the methodologies congress?
The youth academies were represented on stage by speakers from Villarreal, Valencia, FC Barcelona, Atlético de Madrid and Levante, among others. These clubs have professionals who have been through a thousand battles in world football and who put their knowledge at the service of the public, detailing the methodology they use in their respective clubs. After a first inaugural day full of excellent presentations by Juanlu Martínez, Enric Soriano, Xavi Mocholí and Juan Monar-Ángel García, the second day arrived and with it came the challenge of having to take another step to match the sensational level of the previous day.
Which speakers were present on the 2nd day of the methodologies congress?
And what better than FC Porto to open a day of sky-high expectations? The prestigious coach Sérgio Ferreira, from the training department, presented the methodology of the Portuguese team to the audience, and, through numerous training videos of his teams, complemented what was an intense talk, full of surprising facts. The methodology by FC Porto developed from the old Tactical Periodisation – the one used by the coaches of the SIA International Football Academy in Spain and its FC Porto Dragon Force Valencia Football School – gives a lot to talk about, and that’s why they tried to squeeze every last second out of it. Many football academies in Spain implement a derivative of this methodology. In the football campuses in Valencia that FC Porto develops, the methodology is also implemented along with a caching clinic to make it known to coaches in the area.
After this presentation, there was a well-deserved Coffee Break to get the strength to listen to the next two figures to appear in the Soccer Inter-Action Congress Hall: Óscar Cano and Elías Martí. The Granada-born coach of CD Castellón and his assistant coach -a native of La Llosa de Ranes- left all the attendees completely speechless with a superb presentation of his way of working, which has helped the Albinegre team to stay in the Second Division B after a turbulent start to the season. A season that has ended in success for Cano and Martí, who arrived in Castellón at the end of December and revolutionised a club that has two real diamonds on its bench. Supported also by videos of their training sessions and official matches, both Óscar Cano and Elías Martí demonstrated their incredible knowledge and glimpsed a very promising future for their careers.
Héctor Font’s track record is already more than a veteran. The former Villarreal CF professional player was in charge of resuming the Congress after the lunch break and he did so in the best possible way: explaining Villarreal’s ambitious project and its powerful youth academy, which is one of the most productive academies in Spain. Font, who also defended the colours of the Spanish national team in categories below senior level, had the invaluable collaboration of Jordi Benavent, who synthesised everything said by his colleague to explain it in greater detail. Jordi Benavent is one of the great technical figures of the Villarreal youth system. A connoisseur of how training football works in the Valencian Community, Jordi has become a fundamental pillar in the development of Villarreal C, one of the most important teams in the Third Division thanks to his very young players and the way they play when they have the ball at their feet.
Once all the ins and outs of Villarreal had been uncovered, it was the turn of Valencia CF, curiously enough one of the great rivals – in sporting terms – of the Blue and Whites. Jorge Manteca, coach and important member of the Methodology Department, gave those present the opportunity to enjoy the footballing vision of the current Copa del Rey champions, an entity that has found stability in recent years and whose youth system is, even more so, on the rise. South Korean Kangin Lee has been the latest player to make a splash, putting the ‘ché’ factory in the spotlight of elite football. Manteca, who has a long history with Valencia CF, gave a visual and very attractive lecture that delighted the entire audience.
But the day did not end with Valencia CF’s presentation; there was still dessert in the form of two true professionals in a key area of football: medicine. Juan Albors, accompanied by sports physiotherapist Jero Benavent, organised an extensive discussion and resolved all the doubts of the coaches present at the Congress. The general and specific physical condition was approached from different disciplines. Albors, with a great experience in the sector after working for elite entities such as Villarreal and Valencia, did not mince his words and answered all kinds of questions, thus discovering some curious and surprising anecdotes. Very surprising.
Which speakers were present on the 3rd day of the methodologies congress?
Villarreal, Valencia and Levante. The ‘granota’ team still had a lot to say in this 1st Congress on Methodology and Football of Soccer Inter-Action and their moment to shine came on the last day of the congress. Saturday morning began with a presentation by Luca Troilo, Levante’s goalkeeping coach. The young coach did not want to miss the opportunity to explain to those present his way of working with goalkeepers and before travelling to Italy he delighted the audience with a very interesting presentation, as the goalkeeping position is vital for a team to achieve success. In this way, Luca Troilo explained and explained all the workings of the ‘granota’ goalkeeping area.
And what better than Ximo Requena to talk about another area of football that had not yet been exposed in depth? That’s right, Women’s Football. Ximo Requena is one of the ‘veterans’ of the Granota club who, given his knowledge of recruitment and women’s football, has been able to successfully coordinate a large part of the Granota youth academy. Women’s football is booming and Soccer Inter-Action could not miss the opportunity to give it an important place in its programme. In fact, the FC Porto Dragon Force School of Football in Spain is one of the entities that is betting the most on the development of the young stars of the future, having an Infantil-Cadete team that is causing havoc with its level and good play in all the summer tournaments. Ximo explained the differences between coaching men’s and women’s football and helped coaches who are not so specialised in women’s football to understand all the key details for a team to succeed, something that Levante UD has achieved with its first women’s team.
Another figure who has undoubtedly earned the respect of the football world for his work and success is Óscar Fernández. The Valencian coach’s presentation was one of the most eagerly awaited and he did not disappoint. His approachability with the audience, visual details in the presentation and his skills on stage were more typical of a presenter than a coach. Óscar Fernández, who has led projects such as Valencia CF, Asteras Tripolis, CF Gandia or the U16 national team of Qatar or At Madrid, showed that the recent news about his signing for UD Almería was not a coincidence, but that he has earned his place as coach of an important and historic team in Spain’s second division through hard work and effort. However, Óscar Fernández explained his way of working at his last team, Atlético de Madrid B, the club where he has spent the last few years and which has made him grow even more.
Óscar Fernández’s sensational presentation was the culmination of a Congress that was about to come to an end. And it didn’t because there was still the dessert, the final blow. The presentations came to an end and in the Assembly Hall of Soccer Inter-Action a Round Table was organised in which the past, present and future of football at all levels were debated and discussed. Important and renowned figures such as the President of the Valencian Football Federation, Salva Gomar, the Sports Director of the International Football Academy in Spain of Soccer Inter-Action: Rui Tomé, the former Argentinian player of Numancia Dani Mayo and currently in the coaching staff of Oviedo and the Peruvian coach Roberto Mosquera were present at the round table. Gomar thanked the work done in the organisation of this Congress and explained his vision of football in the Valencian Community, a region in which many of those present were involved in representing their various clubs.
Closing of the methodologies conference?
Once the aforementioned Round Table was over, these coaches received a certificate of attendance at the congress of methodologies to endorse their training and interest in continuing to grow. Rafa Navarro, Training Director of Soccer Inter-Action, handed out the certificates and thus put the finishing touch to a Congress on Methodology and Football that is already thinking about its Second Edition.