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“They are trying to do something similar to Ajax. They bring top youngsters through and they are a big source of money. In future they will try not to sell all their young stars, but balance it out by selling one youngster and buying good players to win trophies.
“They have the best school for youngsters, far better than any other team in Portugal. In fact, I don’t know if any team in Europe has the same conditions.”
Stuttgart’s Portuguese international defender Fernando Meira, formerly of Benfica, admitted: “Sporting put more into youth development than other clubs. The players go straight from school to the team. Of course Sporting get the benefit from that.”
“Portugal has great players at youth level. Portugal have regularly won tournaments at under ’17 and under ’19 level and have won under ’20 World Cups. It’s just a shame that the national team hasn’t gone further.
The best young players who progress to the ‘B’ team can join in certain training sessions with the first teamers in order to learn from playing with them, and this is usually extended to pre-season tours. It also gives the head coach a chance to see just how well those youngsters are progressing.
All coaches must have a solid foundation. Some are recruited from outside. Some continue their formation within the club. Jean Paul, for example, is qualified in physical education with specialisation in football. The scouting department is co-ordinated by Paulo Cardoso who attended the African Cup of Nations, as Sporting like to spread their tentacles far and wide.http://www.sabotagetimes.com/football-sport/the-cristiano-ronaldo-factory/