I just returned from Switzerland where I had the pleasure of participating in a football camp done the traditional way. A five and a half day camp away from parents, at a sports campus approximately forty minutes away from their hometown of Pratteln, Basel. This was a great bonding experience for us all, and even the communication barrier was no issue between the players and I by the end of the camp. Football training was scheduled twice daily, fun activities were available at other times and breakfast, lunch and dinner provided.
I was very impressed with the organisation of everything, and the status of the academy in Basel. It is clear that this is a business that is driven by passionate people with an honest objective to help young players develop, and it runs through the veins of the organistaion.
The name reflects perfectly the philosophy and nature of the academy. Their dedication to providing the perfect and most comprehensive football development is something I experienced first hand when I spent a full day in their office, discussing the football model for all three age groups. We debated, shared ideas and created new material over hours of discussion and work. It was evident to me that nothing we do at justfootball academy is an accident, and that no stone is left unturned. Neither are they too proud or closed off to new ideas, and views, they are in fact a progressive organisation, always evolving and staying ahead of the game.
It would be understandable if you were to think that we were focused on just football. What I came to learn is that it’s just football, they are just kids, and we should remember what we loved about the game at their age. I was taken down memory lane, and street football was the topic. The academy model is molded around street football, combined with structured learning, to achieve the desired development objectives.
The biggest thing I would experience is the strong values and principles that are embedded in everything they do. The child’s personal development was something that was at the forefront of everything. Responsibility, punctuality, manners, team work etc. was always monitored and enforced. Just a football school, NO, a school of life.
Switzerland share many similar challenges as we do here in Australia, with many kids denied a comprehensive football education, justfootball academy provide that service. At justfootball academy we provide more than just technical skills training, we provide a complete player development program. Our curriculum covers technical training, tactical training, physical training, and everything is focused on individual progress. All coaching is age specific and designed to provide the necessary learning at the right time of a player’s football journey.
Behind the success are great people, trailing all the way to the top of the tree. Led by the founders Fabian Erny and Daniel Widmer, justfootball academy consists of numerous qualified coaches and fantastic players. It is the non-tangible elements and the bloodline links that make this organisation special. Partner and close friend of both founders, Matthias Maeder, was so kind to give up his bed and entire apartment to accommodate me whilst in town. Daniel’s mother cooked me dinner, breakfast and even chauffeured us into town, and Fabian’s grandparents were such a delight when I visited Grandpa at the nursing home. I was made to feel very welcome by everyone I met, from parents of players, coaches, family members and friends, all of whom were extremely giving and respectful.
What I learnt was that the values that have been handed down to these two young men, who have given the world their passion through their YouTube channel, is present across every aspect of their business. It is reassuring to me that this energy that flows through this organisation has reached across oceans to connect with me.