We have a long history in using International Coaches throughout the year to bring the latest innovative practices and reinforce professional standards. A few years ago it was an international coach who spotted the talents of Hayden Doyle and through PFA’s management enabled Hayden to achieve his dream of playing professional football. A couple of years ago Spencer Prior the former Manchester City player and ex Fox Sport analyst was used and in Season 2009 an English coach named Lee Waddington conducted a clinic in Victoria so all players had an opportunity to be coached and spotted.
Signing Players to European Clubs
At the end of our junior development pathway is the opportunity for the most talented players to be signed by overseas clubs. Season 2007 was our most successful in this area with the following graduates all signing with professional clubs:
Robert Stambolziev (Bristol City), Hayden Doyle (Niki Volos), Vjorn Sultana (Watford) Ash Dean (Luton Town), Billy Konstantinidis (Pae Veria), Foti Hatsivalsamis (Lamia)
When our players reach the standard needed to take part in one of our Elite Tours to the UK, it is crucial that we have the contacts to alert the clubs to the potential of the players. Then once a club is interested in a player we need to be able to enter into contract negotiations with that club. To achieve both these ends we use a player management company which has enabled us to have much greater access to clubs all over Europe increasing the chances of our players being signed.
While this was set up primarily to look after our junior players it has resulted in several senior players signing with our player management arm. From this group we have signed the following players to new clubs;
Alex Le Andrew a Brazilian has moved to Iracklis (Greek Div 1) on a three year contract
Andreas Tatos a Greek junior International has signed to Egaleo (Greek Div 2) on a two year contract
Pele Fripong the Ghanaian International has moved to Chaidari (Greek Div 2)
In addition we have several players currently trialling with UK clubs including one who we have had an agreement from Arsenal to return to them.
Other players we have taken on include Errol Bulut who was part of the Championship winning team at Olympiakos, who has just moved to Metalurh Donetsk in the Ukraine Premiership and Justin Harber the Maltese International goalkeeper.
The PFASA believe that during the player’s period of their partnership, players receive the maximum possible benefit from the training program and a high level of player development is achieved by PFASA’s conduct and commitment to excellence and professionalism.
The PFASA have in place a training program intended to develop technique, game awareness and fitness systematically. It provides a coaching syllabus supplemented by the inclusion of the latest innovative practices as experienced by the founder Michael Kathopoulis whilst playing professionally overseas. The curriculum aims to prepare players for the transition to professional football. Players are also expected to adopt a professional attitude of desire and commitment in a manner consistent with the expectations of European clubs. The Code of Behaviour relevant to all aspects of player conduct whilst at PFASA encourages players to be as professional as they can be off and on the park.