Everton Football Club has launched an International Academy Affiliate Programme, expanding the knowledge and expertise of the Premier League side’s player development processes to new territories across the world.
The affiliate programme, a key part of the Club’s international growth strategy, will provide clubs with access not only to the finest coaching knowledge but also sporting and business best practice to improve their sustainability and aid growth – a level of support that sets the Everton international Academy Affiliate Programme (EIAAP) apart from more traditional football camp models.
The first clubs to join the programme are Joondalup City FC (Perth, Australia), Columbus United (Ohio, USA) and Schulz Academy (Florida, USA).
Coaching staff and players of all ages from each club will benefit from year-round assistance and guidance from coaches at Everton’s world-renowned Academy – which has produced a host of elite international players including Wayne Rooney, the English national team’s record goalscorer.
Everton coaches will travel to Joondalup City FC, Columbus United and Schulz Academy to assist in implementing the Everton Academy curriculum, while players and coaches from each club will make annual visits to the UK to train at Everton’s state-of-the-art USM Finch Farm complex.
Joel Waldron, Everton’s Academy Director, said: “We are delighted to announce the launch of the EIAAP. This programme allows us to showcase and share the strength of our Academy globally. It has been specifically designed to ensure our relationships with affiliated clubs will run much deeper than traditional models from other programmes. That includes year-round support on all aspects of Academy management and, in the longer-term, providing a viable pathway for our global affiliate players to come and train here at USM Finch Farm.”
Richard Kenyon, Everton Director of Marketing, Communications and Community, added: “This programme is something we have been working hard on for some time. It is a key component of our international engagement plans and focuses on sharing to a wider global audience what makes Everton so special.
"Being able to share the range of sporting and business knowledge we have, combined with the proven expertise of our exceptional Everton Academy staff, will provide significant benefits to our new affiliate clubs – and the clubs we will welcome into the programme in the future.
“Our focus as a Club is always on people – and building lasting bonds that allow us to share what sets Everton apart. That is our aim for the players and coaches at these affiliate clubs.”
While Columbus United and Schulz Academy are beginning their journey with Everton, Joondalup City FC was chosen by Everton as the first international club to pilot the affiliation process – and has reported a sharp increase in interest and registrations from talented young players as a result.
David Clayton, Director of Coaching, Joondalup City Football Club in Perth, Australia, said: "The Joondalup City Junior NPL trials for the 2020 season have been a huge success. Close on 300 players registered for our trials, an increase of 47% on last season’s registrations, resulting in us having very strong squads for our Junior NPL teams.
"The Everton factor has been huge, with lots of parents very interested in the programme, and being keen to potentially offer their child a pathway to the highest level of football."
Each affiliated club will be underpinned and supported by Everton to ensure they deliver on their ambitions and growth objectives.
The EIAAP also has structures in place to deliver its programme remotely during the coronavirus pandemic, via its digital platform which allows clubs to access resources and maintain contact with Everton coaches.
Richard Kenyon added: “We have a loyal, passionate fanbase in North America and Australia, which we appreciate immensely and are eager to build on. In the face of the current pandemic, we have worked hard to put processes in place that ensure the programme delivery is not impacted.
“Our aim is to grow the number of affiliates in the Everton Family, bring our unique Everton ethos to clubs around the world and create opportunities for our network of clubs to connect and even compete against each other.”
The EIAAP, which is part of Everton’s wider international strategy that includes the growth of international supporters’ clubs and the development of strategic partnerships, is available to grassroots teams, professional sides, youth academies, girls’ and women’s teams, as well as colleges and universities.
To find out more or enquire about joining the EIAAP, please click here.
Columbus United – more information and how to register:
Established in 1988 as a Men’s amateur team, Ohio’s Columbus United has expanded into youth soccer, offering competitive teams for both boys and girls, and now has more than 400 players across the club. It has gone on to win a raft of trophies, State Championships and Regional Leagues, and established a reputation for developing high-class footballers.
Players are being advised to register by Monday 25 May to be considered for Columbus teams for the 2020/21 season. Players will be selected for Under 8 to under 18 teams for male and female players. Columbus United will reach out to applicants regarding a try-out opportunity after they register.
Schulz Academy – more information and how to register:
The Schulz Academy was founded by former Austrian footballer and administrator Dr Josef Schulz and is based at a first-class training facility in Boca Raton, South Florida. Dr Schulz enjoyed significant success in the professional game and was general manager of the Rapid Vienna team which were beaten by Everton in the European Cup Winners’ Cup final in 1985. Dr Schulz sadly passed away in 2013 but his legacy continues at the Schulz Academy, which he established in the mid-1990s. The institution boasts a track record of developing talented young footballers with notable alumni including USMNT forward Jozy Altidore, who has seen action in the English Premier League, La Liga, Eredivisie and MLS.
Players can register to train with Schulz now: www.evertonfc.com/schulzacademy
Joondalup City FC – more information and how to register:
Joondalup City FC is a non-profit community-based sports organisation aimed at fostering and developing the game of football at all levels. Founded in 1989, it now has more than 750 players based in a modern sports complex in Joondalup, Western Australia.
For more information on Joondalup City FC: www.evertonfc.com/joondalupcity