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Two-day course at AS Monaco: Maria Sakhinova on the innovative strategies of European academies

 Pyunik has taken part in the Youth Football Scouting Strategy two-day course at the Academy of AS Monaco organized by the European Club Association (ECA).

The coaches of our academy studied what innovative and interesting strategies are applied in the top European academies. The press service of our club spoke with coach Maria Sakhinova, responsible for the development of Pyunik women's football, who had returned from Monaco.

-Hello, Maria, what are your impressions from Monaco?

-We have returned with positive impressions and new ideas as we had the opportunity to learn about the internal structure of various European clubs and understand how they work.

- The Exchange programme of the Youth Football Scouting Strategy consisted of two stages, will you open the brackets, what was this two-day program about?

-Our team was introduced to the internal structures of the clubs, detailing how they manage their academies step by step. At the same time, we were shown the results and successes they have achieved, with Kylian Mbappé’s progress at Monaco as an example and his constant growth after leaving their club.

-And did they reveal any secrets; which strategies helped them bring him or other alumni to the international level?

-Of course, they didn't reveal any secrets, they just explained that the main strategy is to treat every player as an individual, they constantly worked on understanding if the player was ready to progress from one stage to another. The most important is that all this is implemented by a whole system, and subjective decisions are almost excluded there. This is called a progressive work.

-And who were the speakers?

-They were the representatives of famous clubs, such as the directors of the Tottenham, Sporting, Monaco Academies. The French club gave us the most complete information, especially on scouting.


-Is there anything you would like to highlight from their speeches?

-There were teams that valued rates, some valued human resources. They are very meticulous in the selection of employees. They said they would rather hire specialists that enjoy their work than someone with a lot of knowledge. They kept stressing that one person cannot make a decision. When it comes to making a decision about the future of a football player, all scouts participate in the process.

-Besides the course, you also visited the AS Monaco Academy, what was special about it and what surprised you?

-I was surprised how much resources they spend on one individual. Teenage footballers live in the club's academy, parents have the right to visit them only 5 times a year, and they are given a short vacation on holidays. Another interesting thing was that besides daily trainings, every player depending on his position was given a special coach to work with. For example, forwards had their specialized trainings, midfielders had another training and so on. We also learned that after the end of every match, each footballer watches his game on the computer, analyzes it and compares his notes with the analyst's work.


-I wonder if there are things that we have been practicing in our academy for a long time.

-Of course, we have been practicing the scouting and selection systems for a long time and we have recently added the physical training. There are definitely some differences, because, as I mentioned, besides the actual football training children live and even attend school in the Monaco Academy.

 -Maria, you talked about so many new ideas, what did you bring to our academy that we should try in the future?

-The priority is how to work with the structure of the club's academy from a scouting and selection point of view. We have also learned that the qualities and technical characteristics of a footballer should be considered taking into account the age and management principles. In the near future, we will give a presentation to our academy coaches about the knowledge we gained there and organize discussions on how to adapt these ideas here.

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