Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Learning the Game the Man City Way

The Galaxy Academy teams were back at training today when they went through a pair of sessions at Manchester City’s Platt Lane training ground. Located just outside the city center, the complex is a grass oasis in a surrounding sea of concrete. The first team no longer trains here, but that does not take any luster off the facility, which featured a series of grass and synthetic fields, as well as all of the offices, locker rooms and facilities for all City Academy teams.

Former City captain Paul Power and former Premier League midfielder Scott Sellars put the kids through their paces in two separate sessions, with Power working on the club’s defensive shape and tactics. Power played more than 500 times for Manchetser City, including serving as the club’s captain during the 1981 FA Cup Final against Tottenham and the game’s subsequent replay. He used that experience to work on a series of drills with the players, all of which was engineered to work on the player's defensive shape and positioning, both individually and as a unit.

After a lunch in the Academy lounge around noon, the Galaxy players made their way back out to the training ground, where they were met by former Premier League midfielder Scott Sellars, who put the team through their attack paces. The former Bolton, Leeds and Newcastle midfielder joined the City Academy in October as the U-18 coach and used the experience of his 20-year professional career to challenge the U-18 squad in a series of dynamic attacking drills, focused on keeping possession of the ball.

During those two sessions, the U-16’s worked with additional City Academy coaches, playing a number of different games that got the players plenty of touches on the ball, while also forcing them to work on both the offensive and defensive sides of the ball.

But the day was not done then as the full squad returned to the hotel in time for a quick recovery session in the pool here at our hotel, rounding out an exhausting but educational day.

The Galaxy players will not have to wait long in order to put their new lessons into work as a collection of U-16 and U-18 players will face the Manchester City Academy at Platt Lane on Wednesday afternoon in the second game of their tour. The players who do not dress for that game will once again train with the Academy coaches, getting in a one-hour session before watching their teammates play.

After the game, the complete party will make the drive to Norwich in East Anglia. There, after a day of training, both Academy teams will take on Ipswich Town on Friday afternoon.

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