DFB vice-president shares Germany's recipe for success
By Tapan Mohanta
Kolkata, Oct 19 (PTI) Four-time defending world champions Germany are number one for a reason.
The German football association (DFB), which starts grooming players at a tender age group of under-11, ensures that their studies are not affected with on board teachers during a tournament, their vice-president Hans-Dieter Drewitz said.
By doing so, the DFB not only ensures that their supply line is in tact, but also makes sure the education is not hampered if a player does not make the grade as a professional footballer.
With an annual budget of Euro 10 million, the DFB runs 366 talent centres across the country not only in first and second division clubs but in non-professional clubs as well.
The budget allotted for the non professional and elite schools is 30,000 Euros a year to support and keep them running, Drewitz, who is also the head of football development, said about the Germans who recently won the Confederation Cup in Russia.
Explaining their recipe for success, Drewitz said: "It's a huge cooperative system and it starts with under-11. The talent centres run in cooperation with the clubs."
"We know not all of the boys will end up being professionals so we have 39 elite schools of football or sport who take care of the boys.
"Not only sport but education is looked after. In case they're not able to make it, at least they can have decent school education," he said giving example of the Euro U-17 Championship in Croatia where they secured qualification."
During the championship, some of the team members even appeared in their final exams.
"We had two teachers travelling with us in Croatia, one was doing the home work with the boys for linguistics, covering German and English and another for Science, Maths and Biology."
Even during their group stage in Goa and Kochi they had teachers to assist in home work.
"We focus a lot on education even when we travel to the final tournaments. We had two teachers who stayed with us in Goa for 14 days, so boys were doing home work."
"We start with Under-16 and in two years we develop our team. The first competition match start with qualifying rounds at the Euro Championships."
"We spend more than two years together. We have sessions, friendly matches. We meet once every four to six weeks on an average as we don't like to take away the players from the clubs too often."
But he admitted that he faces problems at U-19 and U-21 stage when the players become busy with professional clubs.
"It's easier to prepare for U-17. But it's a very big problems in assembling our players together for U-19, U-21 European Championships," he concluded