In the summer of 2021, Dundee FC Youth Academy will embark on a monumental partnership with St John’s RC High School by hosting its first ever Performance School. The school will be committed to the optimal holistic development of players.
The success of our programme is based on our combined principals with the aim to offer the most comprehensive football and education programme in Scotland via optimal player development.
Managing Director, John Nelms highlights, “Finding, developing, and providing opportunity for our next generation of footballers, in a city as passionate as Dundee and its surrounding areas, is not only our mission it is our obligation.”
The school will provide the best possible environment for the players to achieve excellence. The players will receive optimal training, education, nutrition, and recovery. It will support their development by increasing the number of hours of training (10,000 hours by the age of 20) with increased productive touches on the ball.
Head of Academy, Stephen Wright is passionate about this prospect, he said “To have the opportunity to spend more time with our young players at a well-established performance school will greatly benefit the players academically and on the football pitch for their future prospects wherever their careers take them.”
Players will be monitored using a number of testing systems to ensure training and recovery levels are at an optimum level, whilst the mental welfare of the student athlete is crafted and monitored. The programme will cover the following aspects:
- Mental Conditioning – Provide mental fortification to give the players clarity to reach their goals, handle stressful situations, and compete at their best on any given day. Develop self-awareness, social interaction, and overall communication in football through real world exercises.
- Skills – A focus on mastering skill on the ball and taking the initiative to dominate the opponent. The program provides 10,000 hours of football skills instruction to go from good to great.
- Physical Conditioning – A balance of football-specific strength, power, movement, speed, agility, flexibility, and conditioning while preventing the potential of injury by integrating a balance of appropriate recovery, allowing for optimal training as well as a disciplined approach to the wellbeing of the developing cardiovascular system of the youth.
- Tactics – Train athletes in team concepts, characteristics, and game intelligence to empower them to become effective members of a team in football and in life.
- Nutrition – Optimal everyday nutrition with specific meal plans to meet football-specific demands, body composition, growth, energy balance and body weight issues. Includes dietary supplements, hydration strategies and nutrition maintenance while traveling.
The programme will follow on the success of the Scottish Football Association’s Performance School Programme. This programme has been based at St John’s RC High School since 2012, with the full support of the school’s Head Teacher Fiona McLagan.
Mrs McLagan said, “It is our responsibility to provide an inclusive environment where all young people have the opportunity to develop and grow into confident individuals, successful learners, responsible citizens and effective contributors.”
The programme will be complimented by the players accessing some of the best facilities in the city including two grass pitches maintained by DFC groundsmen, a synthetic pitch, sand pitch, four sports halls, a strength and conditioning suite, swimming pool for fitness and recovery, classrooms, and a dedicated office and locker bays.
Dundee FC’s Technical Director Gordon Strachan believes this will only enhance the development of players in the Academy. Gordon said, “This is a chance for us to take the Dundee FC Academy to the next level. We can now provide top class facilities, opportunities and a platform. Then it’s up to the young players to provide the drive to progress to the next level.”
For more details on the Performance school – click here