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The factory process of the modern academy system

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Lifted this from my local free paper about an 8 year old lad trying to get into Notts County's academy system.

"Frasier is 8 years old and has been playing up an age group with Eastwood Athletic FC under 9s this season. He's just completed a six week trial at Notts County and has just made the last 24 places after an initial intake of 80. He now has to complete another 3-4 month trial which will hopefully lead to a place in the top 12 intakes and sign his first ever contract. This is the first step on the ladder to hopefully becoming a professional footballer."

Although they've a decent academy it's still a National League set up and 8 year olds are having to go through this. County hold semi open trials, in that your JFC has to nominate you and send in video clips to get a chance of being one of the 'lucky' 80 who start the process. They don't look at kids who just play for school. 

This is not an isolated process either. 8 year olds will go through 6-9 months of trials and training to be told they're not good enough. How will that make the kid feel? 

I'll not work with age groups lower than 13s as I think that's when they get a knowledge for football. I've seen kids overcoached and burnt out by they get to me and I have to reset their whole system. 

Academies at u12s downwards are just money making machines for the clubs. Kids will get just as good coaching joining a decent JFC and it'll probably cost half as much. 

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