Academy of Football plays host to J-League youth bosses


Academy directors from Japan’s premier football league have visited West Ham United’s Academy of Football to gain an insight into the setup at Chadwell Heath.
Bosses from some of the J-League’s top academies spent their time in East London learning about many different aspects of the club’s Category One academy.
Terry Westley and Liam Manning offered their expertise in a number of coaching sessions throughout the week and West Ham’s Head of Academy Coaching and Player Development said the week was a valuable one for both parties.
“We had a visit from their (J-League’s) technical director a few months ago, who was visiting Category One academies in England,” said Westley.
“We showed him some of the work we’ve been doing, in particular individual plans for players, plans for staff and development. He liked the concept and chose West Ham as the base for their visit.
“The coaches have been looking at our club right the way through from operations, our vision and the strategy of the academy to how we coach the players for nine to 23 year-old”
The visit of some of Japan’s top academy coaches has been a worthwhile experience for the Academy of Football.
As a return of favour for West Ham’s hospitality, the Hammers’ U17 side have been invited to Japan for a competition against some of the country’s top clubs next year.
“The week has shown them what our structure is, compared to theirs, and our full-time and hybrid programmes for younger players
“They have also been able to see what our U23 players are like and what their league is like. The Premier League have also done a talk and they’ve been able to watch a Champions League match at Leicester City.
“They’ve had a packed ten days but from a teaching perspective it’s about the learning observations that they’ve had as well.
“We’ve been able to learn from them as well; we’ve asked them lots of questions about their teams, players and league and it’s been a great experience.”