FCV Academy head to Belgium
The Erasmus+ programme is a European exchange project aimed at enhancing the educational and sporting experiences of students.
Last year, FCV International Football Academy visited Sweden for a period of football training in a professional environment, and this year the Academy is once again heading abroad, where students will work alongside coaches from various Belgian clubs for two weeks.
Based in the city of Beringen, the group will undertake intense daily training sessions and develop their skills in a new environment.
They’ll be joined on the trip, which commences on Sunday 8th and concludes on Saturday 21st April, by FCV coach, and former Northampton Town manager, Ian Sampson and Facility Director & Welfare officer Ann Dyte.
“For us, it’s about giving the boys an opportunity to experience other football and cultures,” said FCV director Martin Harris. “Our players train with different coaches and clubs in another country, it will give them a new experience of European football.
“At the same time, they’re going to be seen by these clubs; going into their environment with the aim of performing to the standards expected at those clubs.
“It’s two-fold. It gives them another feather in their bow in regards to development, but at the same time giving them a platform to showcase themselves.”
The small group traveling out to Belgium will receive different advice and tactical points from those who’ll be conducting sessions at the camp.
As well as having input from voices outside the training complex, Progress Sports, who are responsible for the coordination of events, will also provide coaches of their own. Guy Peeters works for the Belgian coaching company, and has helped plan FCV’s training schedule.
“The past times we have had only one coach but, now on advice from Martin [Harris], we brought in a couple more coaches,” explained Peeters.
“All are UEFA A licensed and working for first, second or third division teams, and they will work with the boys and help them.”
It’s not only training either and, given the matches penciled in with KESK Leopoldsburg, Sint Lenaerts and Lommel SK, the FCV International Academy players will test themselves against teams with diverse skill-sets, compared to those on English soil.
This is all part of the development process in Peeters’ eyes; taking in new adventures and growing as a result of them.
“It’s a good experience for the players to go abroad,” stated Peeters.
“For people of that age, first of all, it’s an amazing adventure and, also, getting to know other football cultures is very good for them.
“Belgian football is pretty similar to the English game. The only difference I believe is that in Belgium, things are a little more technical — especially in lower divisions.”