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Team FFD: From honing the skills of Jadon Sancho and co to a full fledged academy



Team FFD: From honing the skills of Jadon Sancho and co to a full fledged academy



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By Alex Bysouth
BBC Sport
Jadon Sancho, Callum Hudson-Odoi, Tammy Abraham, Reiss Nelson… millions of pounds worth of talent that would find some Premier League academy boss purring.
Cast in Tottenham winger Ryan Sessegnon, Leicesters Demarai Gray and Manchester United starlet Angel Gomes and now there is the base of a England side that is future that is strong.
These kids have one thing in common – their very first taste of the spotlight was showcasing their abilities duringroad abilities sessions with friends in west London.
Dan Gayle is that the guy who began capturing the prodigies on video since they honed their technique among the best youngsters in the nation.
He did so through his sociable networking channel FFDTV, which he founded to showcase a free-spirited style of soccer, with an emphasis on personality and flair.
Seven years he has built on the first group of celebrities success by opening an academy that intends to provide the chance to sign contracts to other young hopefuls.
FFDTV ballooned into an internet sensation and began with partners meeting up in parks to do abilities and tricks.
Gayle would bill videos of his buddies and the clips began to get traction, but the channels big break came when future celebrities Nelson and Sancho began attending sessions.
It just blew up from there – everyone began talking about it, the video reached about 60 nations, said Gayle, 31.
As word spread gamers from throughout the nation needed to get to showcase their talents in front of the FFDTV cameras.
This was a particular calibre of player and everybody understood what they were in for if they came , said Gayle. In case you get nutmegged, you receive nutmegged and it may go viral – thats just part of it!
It was skills-based sessions, only three v three or four v four in which you state yourself. No rules street football – they learned to perform with.
Theres nothing like playing at the park with your mates, but competitively – and you know that the cameras are there and then you do not wish to get embarrassed. It is so different to being at the academy.
in the country, since the stable of players who participate in the sessions of Gayle have become known, brought together a number of their players Team FFD. The essence of the football on show meant most were technically gifted flair gamers.
And they were starting to enjoy success in the area as well – a lot of the Under-17 World Cup-winning team in 2017 of England had been to some FFD session at a certain point.
Its like a football familyoff the pitch that the boys are extremely near, said Gayle. Theres a team of us today who believed years ago that the English match would shift and you would see a whole lot of youthful, skilful players. Thats what we thrive on.
When we started, we wanted to demonstrate England have players that people more frequently than not you would associate with South American nations or Spain – which has been a particular time because that age group has been just world class.
This Under-17 World Cup-winning side boasted Team FFD celebrities like Crystal Palace midfielder Nya Kirby, Sancho Gomes, Manchester City playmaker Phil Foden and Monaco defender Jonathan Panzo – that the very first player born in the 2000s to appear in the Premier League.
Sancho has been a regular in Gareth Southgates recent England squads and has excelled both at the Bundesliga and Champions League because his move to Borussia Dortmund.
Chelsea winger Hudson-Odoi, significantly linked with a move to Bayern Munich in January, also made his Three Lions debut before suffering an Achilles injury.
Forward Abraham, back together with Chelsea after numerous advance spells, is another to have been capped by England, while Foxes winger Gray has a Premier League winners trophy and left-sided participant Sessegnon featured regularly from the top-flight for Fulham last term before linking Spurs in the summer.
Meanwhile, one of those members of Team FFD, along with childhood friend of Sancho, is Arsenal forward Nelson. The teenager impressed at German facet Hoffenheim season and has emerged as part of their Gunners squad this year.
Co workers and Gayle workers have set about attempting to create a path to the game for other kids, with lots of the first members of Team FFD now fledged professionals.
They set up an academy two years ago to train and enhance their own players, and provide them a chance to put themselvesin the store window with matches against professional clubs; there is also a intelligent phone app where scouts can trace their progress.
Its proved successful, also.
After whittling tens of thousands of applicants into a pool of gamers they felt comfortable working with, the academy staff have observed two of their fees sign professional contracts in Championship costume Derby County, many go on trial together with Premier League sides along with others earn moves to Portugal and Sweden.
We enjoy having the ability to recognize and develop young players, said Gayle, who has established good connections with a lot of specialist clubs.
The principal aim is to show you could play totally free, which being yourself is the best method to be. Youve got to understand your own strengths although you dont have to worry skilful.
Everybodys journey is different – some players are in clubs since before they are 10 years older and a few arrive afterwards. We are offering something different, something additional. That is something I take in a whole lot of pride. That represents us.
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