BURTON Albion Academy’s Professional Development Phase Lead Coach Sam Rose talks to us about his job role and what his focus is when training the players.
The Professional Development Phase develops players as part of a full-time, two-year apprenticeship. The apprenticeship is delivered through the English Football League and League Football Education, in-line with the Elite Player Performance Plan (EPPP) and the Academy's own performance plan.
Sam said: “Our job is to upskill the players, to develop and support them with the aim of them becoming professional players, as we have seen in recent seasons with Joe Sbarra, Reece Hutchinson, Ben Fox, Marcus Harness, Matty Palmer and Callum Hawkins, who have all successfully made the transition from Academy to First Team.
“They’re doing what they’ve wanted to do since they started kicking a ball and it can be a real journey. We take them from when they leave school, and have been promoted from the Youth Development Phase at 16-years-old. When they leave us, our hope is that they will be first team professional players, and importantly, that we've helped them to develop as both people and players along the way.
"We point the boys in the right direction, and we try to give them as much as we can to help them improve and develop. It is important we set the boundaries and they understand our values, that they're hard working, that they appreciate the opportunty that they have, and that they show commitment and put everything into it."
One key part of being in the Professional Development Phase is that the Young Brewers get to integrate with the First Team, with both sets of players being based at the Pirelli Stadium and training at St George's Park.
“It’s important that the young players get exposure and that the First Team staff are involved in their development. The players have an opportunity and it's our job as coaches and support staff to get them to a point where the manager sees enough in them to give them some time as a young professional, and to take them into the first team squad."
Being with the Under-18's on a daily basis, Sam loves his job and understands the important role that he plays in supporting the young players at the club.
"I enjoy working with people, I really enjoy working with the young lads, and I enjoy seeing them fulfil their potential."