Lessons Learned

ARGYLE’S Academy players have been given the opportunity to see how the club’s first team and Under-18s operate up close and personal.

The young Pilgrims’ two-day watching brief started with a chance to watch the first team conducting their strength and conditioning exercises at the Devonport end of Home Park. 

Soon after, they made their way to the Harper’s Park training-ground, where they were greeted by first-team manager Derek Adams, who talked them through the morning’s training session and exercises that he had completed with the first team. 

He also answered questions from the Academy staff, who were keen to pick up any information they could apply to their own training sessions over the summer holidays. 

Derek then turned to the young players, who fired a variety of absorbing and thoughtful questions at the manager on an array of football-based topics. He took pains to answer everything in great detail, and it was fantastic to see our players take on board some key messages and ideas. 

The Academy players then met with the Under-18 squad, who had been tasked with planning a 30-minute training session, followed by a competitive tournament for the young players to enjoy and learn from. 

As well as aiding the young Academy players in their development and helping to form strong bonds between players in different age-groups, this was an ideal opportunity for our Under-18 apprentices to implement their Level 2 coaching skills, providing a chance for them to put into practice all that they have been learning. 

It was more of the same for the Young Pilgrims the following day, when, instead of watching the first team train as a unit, they were instead tasked with observing a first-team player who played in the same position as them. This exercise was a great success, as all of the players engaged excellently and provided some quality feedback for our Academy boys. 

The afternoon continued in the same vein as the previous day, with the Under-18s’ squad taking control of training once more. This time, the Under-18s were split into defenders, midfielders and attackers and then paired with Academy players who played in the same position – an exercise which we hope will create a long-term mentoring partnership for players in the Academy.