How To Get Into A Football Academy

Read our advice on how to get into a football academy

December 8, 2023

Having a football career is a dream shared by many across the world. But with competition so high, becoming a professional footballer is a tall order. Several factors come into play when determining whether a player can make it at the highest level of the sport. Access to a football academy is one such important factor.

Here's some information on why joining a football academy is important and effective tips to get into one.

Why Joining A Football Academy is Important

Football academies are important because they serve as the primary way to get into the professional game. Academies offer an unparalleled environment for nurturing talent. Through access to highly qualified coaching, state-of-the-art facilities, and structured development programs.

They often serve as direct pathways to professional football clubs, increasing exposure to scouts and coaches. Thus, increasing chances of securing professional contracts.

Beyond developing technical skills and tactical understanding, they offer an opportunity to compete against peers of similar abilities. Additionally, football academies enable players to adopt a proper and healthy approach to physical fitness and injury management.

Essentially football academies help players transition faster from raw talents to developed products. However, the competition to get into these academies is high.

Nevertheless, there are a number of ways to stand out and improve your chances, as we shall now show.

Effective Ways to Get into A Football Academy

1. Join a Local Team

The first place to start when trying to get into a football academy is to join a local team. Academies scout for talent in local leagues. By playing for a local team, there’s a good chance you will find yourself in these scouts’ line of sight.

To attract academy scouts, you will need to impress. To do this, you’ll need to demonstrate your quality by making valuable contributions to your local team.

To join a football club, search for local teams in your area and request a trial.

2. Attend Open Trials

Occasionally, football academies organize open trials to evaluate a wide array of talents and identify promising players. Thus, participating in such trials can be a great way to get into your desired academy.

You’ll, of course, need to check what open trials are available for academies near you. You can search online as well as make direct enquiries to various academies.

If you manage to attend an open trial, you will need to convince scouts and coaches that you're worth a shot.

3. Apply Directly

No doubt a long shot for most of the biggest club-affiliated academies, but nevertheless an option to consider. You can contact academies directly to pitch yourself and convince them why they should consider you. Try sending an email or letter through the post to showcase your talent.

Important information to include is your age, skills, playing history and motivations for joining. You can even send video highlights of your best performances.

4. Network with Coaches & Agents

Like most professions, sometimes it helps if you know the right people in the industry. This is not to diminish the importance of actual skill and talent. Nonetheless, do not underestimate the power of making yourself visible to key decision-makers in the game. No set of persons fit this description in football better than coaches and agents.

Whenever you have an opportunity to make a new connection in football, take it. Whether a trial or a local game, it's crucial to build relationships with coaches and agents. This requires leaving a lasting first impression.

With coaches, for instance, you need to demonstrate good coachable qualities in your game to even catch their attention. Furthermore, you must learn how to start a conversation and sell yourself convincingly.

5. Stand Out as a Player

As detailed so far, for any of the above to work, you must first be a talented footballer. This means constantly working hard to hone your skills as best as possible with the resources available. Ensure you maintain high levels of physical fitness, have a healthy diet, and train to improve technical skills.

To truly stand out, however, you will also need to explore ways to gain an edge over your peers. So in addition to your usual training, why not explore the latest football technology.

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Final Thoughts

Getting into an academy of a professional club is an accomplishment for any young footballer. The selection processes of most academies are quite competitive and rigorous. However, with the tips we’ve provided in this article, you will have a better chance to achieve it.  

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