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A visit to Bangkok Glass FC academy

Off the pitch - Report BGFC academy press conference

BGFC press conference
image: thai-fussball.com

Two weeks ago, a big press conference with many little curious kids took place at Bangkok Glass. It was about the clubs new under-12 and in addition, for the first time we had the opportunity to meet Hans Emser the academy director.

Good things come to those who wait. So as well in our case. For the last time in 2011, an agreed appointment with Hans Emser had to be canceled due to illness. A press conference couple of days ago suddenly allowed us an unexpected meeting. Beside Mr. Emser, vice president Supasin Leelarit, BGFC coach Surachai Jaturapattarapong and Yoshiaki Maruyama were present in the big Bangkok Glass hall where everything took place.

The reason for calling up the media were about 300 children under 12 years accompanied by their parents. All them, applying for no less than  the clubs new under-12. Under the direction of Hans Emser, the BGFC academy is recognized as one of the best in the country.

After the 'old class' is now playing on a higher class of age, Bangkok Glass FC is looking for new promising youngsters to replace them, which in same way marks the foundation of the clubs youth work. Over the next four weeks everybody of the 300 is taken under the magnifying glass with 50 kids to be selected out of the total. Those remaining ones are to be trained for a period of one year under the intense eyes of the academy coaches. Another cut, will see 35 remain and forming a new under-12.

During the press conference the parents were encouraged to ask questions. And in detail German Hans Emser, as well as the others on the podium, answered them. Amongst other things, it was explained that it is not important to hound the kids over the pitch for four hours and train them in condition. Rather it is important to have a training for no more than one hour per unit. It is proven that kids at this age would lose a lot of concentration. Passing the ball and technical skill training would be in the foreground and all exercises would be done with the ball. The clubs close collaboration with Bayer Leverkusen enables the coaches to compare the data of all players to those in Germany at the same age, and to uncover possible deficits. Another plus of the cooperation with the German Werkself, the best of the best may travel to Germany and train with the side like this was the case in the past already. As a motivation Siwakorn Saengwong, which stayed last year with Bayer and will do later this year, was present. He is also one of the most promising talents in the BGFC academy.

Mainly responsible for the new under-12 will be former Thai Port and Chonburi FC player Yoshiaki Maruyama. He also has been involved in bringing forward Bangkok Glass latest partnership with J-League side Cerezo Osaka. As well as with Leverkusen, there is going to be an active exchange in all areas of youth development.

On the edge of the press conference we briefly had the opportunity to speak with Peter Laeng. The Thai-Swiss is not quite contented with his current situation at the club. As he told us, he himself is fit as never before and did not missed a single day of season preparation. But so far appeared only for ten minutes (against Pattaya United, Ed.) in the present season. Peter still has a valid contract till the end of 2013. Unfortunately he had to reject our invitation on an ice coffee, indicating fitness training is waiting for him. For it, Hans Emser invited us in his office to have a coffee.

On our way we spoke about how his cooperation is with Thai national team coach Winfried Schafer, which he called distinct well. Schafer, now also overlooking all Thai national youth and senior teams, thinks about introducing a U15 as we got informed. Asked whether Emser would do the job, he told us he would with pleasure besides to his duties with Bangkok Glass. Though only with his coaching staff and of course his employer would need to agree, which is unlikely to happen.

At Emser's office

At Emser's office
image: thai-fussball.com

Arrived at the office we could caught a small insight into the work of a youth academy. On the desks various training plans, tactics sketches and formation plans for each single age class was to be seen. Besides, we could have a look at the player's data bank which aforementioned and are there for comparison with the age groups of Bayer Leverkusen. In the course of our conversation the remaining youth coaches joined us.

While we enjoyed our coffee, the academy director with his team discussed the approach and the plans for the 300 children. Interesting, the German was setting the framework and advised his coaches to discuss the plans in detail and to work them out independently. In addition he informed them he himself will sit only in the stands and will let the coaches do what they have worked out and discussed. Quite good as we found, because this would give his young trainers the possibility to fulfill oneself and the learning effect might not be insignificantly.

Unfortunately, an imminent downpour caused us to leave the office immediately. Still it was an extremely interesting insight granted to us. However, at a suitable opportunity, we would like to return for a next visit.
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