Juventus
    J|Academy International

    Imagine being a young boy or girl from overseas and travelling to Turin to take part in training sessions and friendly matches against local children of the same age, also wearing the famous black and white stripes of Juventus and coached according to the same methods and principles that have helped make the club stand out in the world of sport?

    Throw on top of that the opportunity to delve into the Bianconeri’s spiritual home on a Juventus Stadium and Museum tour, to visit Juve’s training base in Vinovo, while also getting to sample the sights and sounds of the city and you have a truly unique concept, otherwise known as a Juventus Training Experience.

    That is exactly what 200 young Juventini from across the world enjoy doing every year, with several special tales to tell so far in 2016, not least that of three children from Lima, Peru, relishing a week in the city, as well as a party of 35 Cypriots in an experience that the director of Juventus’ Academy on the eastern Mediterranean island, Savvas Sokratous, explained they would not be forgetting in a hurry.

    "We’re not just developing footballers here, but also football fans, who form part of a bigger Bianconeri family.”

    “The training methodologies used at Juventus Training Experiences are exactly the same as those applied to our sessions in Cyprus. The coaches are doing more or less the same job.

    “What changes for the children is that they get to feel part of a bigger team, a greater idea, meeting other kids of the same age that train the same way, wear the same logo and support the same club. We’re not just developing footballers here, but also football fans, who form part of a bigger Bianconeri family.”

    Juventus’ commitment to developing children’s interpersonal skills and not merely their technical, tactical and psychological qualities within the game is being enriched by the introduction of a “Soft Skills Manual”, devised in collaboration with UNESCO, which aims at offering the best possible education both on and off the pitch.

    The Manual, which refers to the UNESCO International Charter of Physical Education, Physical Activity and Sport is being distributed to all J|Academy coaches across the world and provides essential guidelines, which promote youngsters’ social and emotional skills alongside physical literacy as laying the foundations of either lifelong recreational participation in sport and physical activity or the pursuit of a professional career in sport.

    Meanwhile, Juventus has extended its ‘Gioca con Me’ (‘Play with Me’) sustainability initiative to the shores of Lebanon, Tunisia, Guatemala, Peru and Colombia. The project, which has enabled young people of disadvantaged backgrounds to partake in J|Academy programmes in Turin since 2012, will now also be of great benefit to a total of 60 children aged 5-17 across the five aforementioned countries, who will have the opportunity to participate free of charge in J|Academy activities there.

    J|ACADEMY'S POSITION IN THE WORLD

    The Juventus Training Experience is just one of three different programmes that exist within the world of Juventus Academy International.

    The most common kind is that of the Academy, which is aimed at children aged 5-16 and typically runs for between nine months in a calendar year, during which the participants’ skills and attributes, whether technical, psychological or social, are developed via the Juventus training method (the details of which will be explained fully later).

    During the 2015/16 season, there were 2,500 boys and girls subscribed to Juventus Academies in 15 different locations split between 12 foreign countries across the world, namely Madrid (Spain), Torun, Bydgoszcz, Silesia (Poland), Pafos, Limassol (Cyprus), Kosice (Slovakia), Tunis (Tunisia), Beirut (Lebanon), Dubai (UAE), Miami (USA), Guatemala City (Guatemala), Bogota (Colombia), Lima (Peru) and Melbourne (Australia).

    Over the course of the 2016/17 season, the number of international Academies is set to hit the 20-mark, with agreements reached to open new centres in Tirana (Albania), Mons (Belgium), Sarajevo (Bosnia), Athens (Greece), Baku (Azerbaijan), Shanghai (China), Tokyo (Japan) and New York (USA).

    Meanwhile the project remains immensely popular in Italy, with 4,100 children enrolled on courses across the country, 1,100 of which located in Turin.

    The second type of programme is that of the Juventus Camp, aimed at children aged 5-17, where participants are immersed in the Bianconeri way of training and playing the beautiful game over the course of a week.

    Juventus Camps are divided into three groups:

    1)      Residential – the children are allowed to sleep at the site

    2)      Non-residential – the children return home in the evening

    3)      Elite – teams of children have the opportunity to perfect specific areas of their game

    On average, 4,500 children take part in Camps across 61 foreign locations split between 23 different countries, with a further 10 nations set to open their arms to the project as illustrated in the map below.

    As with the Academies, Camps continue to thrive too in Italy, where 3000 participants are enrolled on these action-packed, week-long courses.

    Last but not least, there’s the aforementioned Juventus Training Experience, which involves a total of 900 children per year.

    Two hundred of these are subscribed to foreign Academies across the world and visit training centres in Turin, whilst a further 700 Italian youngsters benefit from week-long courses in Sardinia, Sicily and Ireland.

    THE MEN BEHIND THE METHODS

    The J|Academy International programmes are fundamentally run by two different types of coaches.

    Firstly, there is a team of 50 Italian Head Coaches, who divide their time between Turin and overseas. In addition, there are four Area Managers, who are each responsible for Academies and Camps pertaining to a given continent.

    While based in Turin, the Head Coaches run training sessions for local children aged 5-13 in local facilities included under the Juventus Scuola Calcio Torino programme or attend meetings held at the Bianconeri’s training base in Vinovo in order to stay up to date with the latest methodologies as applied in the club’s grassroots and youth sector.

    While abroad, they take full and exclusive responsibility for the running of Juventus Camps, whilst also making periodic visits to the Juventus Academies, where they supervise the training sessions held by local coaches who stay permanently on site for the full duration of the nine month-long programmes.

    These represent the second type of coach, who are employed directly by the local clubs or partners affiliated to J|Academy International, but receive training and advice from their Italian mentors when they come to visit or via online means when they are no longer present.

    The Head Coaches typically remain for approximately 15 days at Academies based in Europe and a month at those situated in other continents, although partners can request to extend their stays or make them more frequent in order to bring about greater continuity at a given centre or ensure increased support during busy periods or when a partner has just signed up to the project.

    While some coaches are predominantly based in Turin, others can expect to spend over 200 days abroad in up to 10 locations per year – a figure likely to continue rising as the number of partners keeps on growing.

    Switching country on such a regular basis can present certain challenges, not least the need to adapt to differing cultures and ways of living among the children.

    According to Area Manager Marco Degortes, who spent three successive months abroad earlier this year at Camps in Brazil as well as visiting Academies in Colombia and Guatemala, this flexible approach on the part of coaches is absolutely crucial for the success of the J|Academy International programme.

    WHAT IS THE JUVENTUS TRAINING METHOD?

    The methods applied during training sessions at the Bianconeri’s international Academies and Camps are exactly the same as those in existence at the Juventus Scuola Calcio Torino and are adapted from those carried out in the club’s youth sector in Vinovo. In order that the Italian Head Coaches ensure that such consistencies in the training methodologies are maintained, they devote a great deal of time teaching local staff, as Area Manager Lorenzo Grossi explained.

    “An absolutely fundamental aspect of our job and something we’ve done now for many years is that of educating and developing local coaches. The main thing we need to get across to them is how to manage groups of young footballers.

    “How a coach relates to his players is paramount and so we teach them about leadership, communication and the child protection policy among other things. It’s crucial that they cover all the bases in order for us to provide each and every youngster with the best possible service before a ball has even been kicked.”

    Thereafter, the focus switches to the technical aspects of coaching, including all areas from foot-eye coordination to specific game situations, from building up the play from the back to finishing in front of goal.

    J|Academy's all-encompassing vision ensures that children also develop their tactical, mental and interpersonal skills, helping them grow not only as footballers but also as human beings.

    While children can expect to work on the skills illustrated above at J|Academy International programmes, they also benefit from an extremely thorough, in-depth monitoring process centred around the sharing of files online, where both Italian and local coaches note all of the exercises carried out and reports on the performance of each player both from training sessions and matches.

    In this way, the Head Coaches are able to keep tabs on a player’s progress even when they are no longer physically present in that territory.

    A HELPING HAND FROM HQ

    Besides benefitting from coaches who provide the tried and tested Juventus training methods, J|Academy International partners also receive constant support from the Bianconeri headquarters in Turin.

    Under the guidance of Brand Development Manager Luca Adornato, J|Academy Technical Support and Business Development officers Davide Fornaca and Carolina Chiappero are at hand to help each and every affiliated club around the world throughout the year, not merely in terms of organising and promoting activities on and off the pitch, but responding to all manner of requests from the various Acadamies and Camps on a daily basis.

    “The requests are numerous and varied, ranging from the organisation of activities on and off the field to the provision of communication tools, which allow partners to sell themselves in the best possible way in their respective territories.” opened Chiappero.

    A key way of ensuring that the Bianconeri’s international Academies and Camps receive full recognition as official Juventus partners has been the creation of a J|Academy style guide that maintains uniform brand patterns and logos on anything from flyers and posters to the billboards surrounding pitches. Meanwhile, a new section within the club’s official website has been created where each partner can post news, photo galleries and videos, which helps them to promote their activities and any upcoming events.

    “We’re well aware of the fact that all affiliated clubs represent a kind of ‘Bianconeri outpost’ in each location,” Chiappero continued. “So it’s our job to help them enter the market and to optimise their commercial potential within the Juventus brand.”

    Whilst a strong association with the Bianconeri in itself represents a considerable boost to the partner’s own brand and core values, Juventus is also in the business of enhancing merchandising potential, having created a J|Academy retail line exclusively for partners, which allows the children attending their courses to acquire Juventus-branded products. Furthermore, each partner has the chance to introduce J|Academy concepts, such as the Camps and Training Experiences, within their own territory.

    Such has been the success of the project, there is no shortage of applications from prospective partners both in Italy and overseas wanting to embrace the J|Academy programme in earnest.

    “We receive requests daily,” admitted Fornaca. “The real challenge lies in identifying the best partners for exporting our brand in a given country, while enabling the highest possible number of youngsters to play and train the Bianconeri way.”

    CYPRUS

    Many of Juventus’ international partners are local clubs, who decide to affiliate themselves with the Bianconeri for the various reasons illustrated above, but some start completely from scratch and have never known anything other than a close association with the Old Lady.

    That is precisely the case with the J|Academy in Cyprus, which originally operated under the former Juventus Soccer School project in Greece and now runs its own independent, nine month-long programme between September and June in two training facilities in Limassol and Paphos.

    Whilst in the latter city, they are renting a second division standard stadium, the centre in Limassol is privately owned, which gives the partner greater autonomy over training hours, tools, equipment, etc.

    There are approximately 115 children subscribed to the J|Academy in Cyprus and director Sokratous underlined how interest is very much on the rise, despite notable competition from other football institutions on the island.

    “There are lots of soccer schools in Cyprus, probably over 500 in the whole country. However, through our association with Juventus, we have managed to stand out as a truly internationally-minded place for children to improve their game.”

    Sokratous emphasised how there was no shortage of work undertaken in enabling the Academy to thrive and went on to illustrate the nature of his daily job, backed by the constant support of the Bianconeri.

    BRAZIL

    Brazil – a country synonymous with football, five-time world champions who, of course, staged the most recent World Cup in 2014.

    Now the nation is playing host to something else very special, namely Juventus’ very first all-women’s Camp, held at the iconic Ipe Club in San Paolo.

    Despite only being launched in December 2015, the initiative has been a big hit already with the locals, constituting over 15 per cent of the total of 500 youngsters attending Bianconeri Camps in the country (there are two further locations based in Campinas and the southern city of Porto Alegre) in the Brazilian summer months of December and January.

    No small feat, when one considers the competition in a nation already brimming with historic teams alongside the presence and popularity of several elite European clubs. 

    So what is it that makes Juventus stand out from the crowd? Ilana Leeberman, director of Brazil’s summer Camps, explained how the opportunities to train the Bianconeri way had captured the enthusiasm of many boys and girls in the country.

    “As everyone knows, Brazil has a very rich footballing tradition. Everybody loves the game, but it’s also important to open up the children’s minds so that they can appreciate different approaches to the sport.

    “The Juventus Camps in Brazil do just that, teaching the kids new training methods and how to behave properly within football. Giving them fresh experiences such as these can only be a positive thing and we’ve seen a lot of interest and enthusiasm on behalf of the children to learn the Bianconeri way.”

    DUBAI

    From one country with a football-rich history to another where the appetite for the sport is growing all the time.

    Juventus’ Academy in the UAE’s second-largest city of Dubai now trains 170 youngsters per year – a figure that has risen rapidly against the face of extreme heat, which restricts the times at which sport can be played.

    Despite these challenges, Dubai’s J|Academy director Mohamed Lajam stressed that the multicultural nature of the city’s population had helped to make it a success story so far and one which had unusual beginnings.

    “More than three years ago I spotted a tweet that someone wanted to set up a Juventus fan club, something official,” Lajam began.

    “The guy would become my business partner as we formed what would become the most active fan club in the UAE. From there, we took it to the next step with the Academy. It really is a project born out of passion for the sport and particularly the Bianconeri colours, and we’re very proud about that.”

    TUNISIA

    The Bianconeri tale in Tunisia represents one of the most significant J|Academy success stories.

    To think that within just over a year the country has kicked on from hosting a trio of Camps in three separate locations, reaching a total of 350 children per year, to an already well-established Academy offering training across nine months of the year between September and June.

    While the longstanding appeal of Italian football and especially Juventus in Tunisia can be seen as one of the main catalysts in this rapid development, the Academy’s director, Aziz Toumi, emphasised how the high-level training sessions carried out by coaches have proved to be one of the major selling points for the ever-increasing number of subscribers to the J|Academy programmes.

    “The success of this project owes itself in no small part to the professionalism of those who run it. Even when we started off with the Camps, the people took note of the high quality of the coaches and so we won over their trust that way.

    “Furthermore, the youngsters have seen clear results in terms of their footballing development, so there’s plenty of enthusiasm for the continued growth of the project in Tunisia.”

    This has brought about a truly unique success story, with Toumi keen to stress the risks involved in entering a country that had only recently witnessed a serious revolution in 2010-11.

    The Bianconeri story in North Africa is far from finished there, however. The next exciting chapter will see a second Academy opened in Tunisia in light of the new season as well as further projects to be run in other countries in the region.

    SPAIN

    The development of Juventus’ presence in Spain has also been a success story of considerable scale. Starting off three years ago in the small town of Quer there are now two J|Academies even closer to Madrid, in Alcorcon, attracting a total of 160 youngsters annually during the standard nine-month period between September and June.

    Despite facing competition from two world-renowned football institutions in Real and Atletico Madrid, children in the region have certainly bought into the Bianconeri way.

    “We’re seeing here that people really like Juventus and Italy,” explained Madrid J|Academy directors Antonio Giron and Javier Gil. “Both have always been popular in our country and the method is well received too. What fills us with particular optimism for the future is the positive feedback from the parents whose kids have been with us for a while.

    “The Juventus programmes are unique as they give primary importance to the children themselves: their education, their base training and the values that they aim to instil within them.”

    With the popularity of the Bianconeri projects in Spain on the rise, Giron and Gil confirmed that the minimum ambition over the next year is to open a third Academy, which would almost double the total number of subscribers in the country.

    COLOMBIA

    There are further examples of Juventus’ ever-growing appeal in the Hispanic world both in South and Central America.

    In Bogota, the success of three Camps run last year (attracting 200 children overall) led to the opening of an Academy at the start of 2016, which has brought about an increase to 250 children in total across all four current locations in Colombia’s capital city.

    Shedding light on the reasons behind Bianconeri growth in the country, Bogota’s J|Academy and Camp director, Nelson Javier Diaz Carreno explained: “We’re lucky to be the only official Academy attached to a European club of Juventus’ stature. We have local competition, but we stand out for being the only licensed soccer school in Colombia."

    “What makes Juventus’ programmes so appealing is their focus on the wellbeing of the child. We’ve focused on promoting this so that the youngsters, along with their parents, coaches and the Academy’s entire administrative team see this value enshrined in everything we do.”

    Diaz Carreno emphasised that following the successes in Bogota, the ambitions now lay in expanding the project across the nation with western cities Cali and Medellin next on the list of prospective locations.

    Meanwhile in June this year, Colombia’s renowned coffee-growing region of Meta played host to a Juventus Training Experience, involving 120 young people aged 5-17. The initiative, run in collaboration with Italian coffee company Lavazza, has helped to promote sporting values in the wider context of education, integration and entertainment in the area.

    GUATEMALA

    Heading north, Juventus’ reach in Guatemala is also going from strength to strength with the opening of an Academy in Guatemala City in December 2015.

    The institution attracts 100 youngsters to train the Bianconeri way in addition to the 250 already subscribed to Camps in the country.

    Despite never competing in a World Cup in its history, the appetite for football is rapidly rising in Guatemala and the nation’s J|Academy director Christopher Prentice explained how the existence of Juventus-qualified coaches in what represents the first official Academy of a European club in the country would only serve to boost the sport’s appeal – not to mention the visit of a certain Bianconero legend at the site’s inauguration!

    POLAND

    Poland is the European country with the highest number of J|Academy subscribers with 350 youngsters based in the two northern cities of Bydgoszcz and Torun with a further 100 situated in the western region of Silesia.

    In the latter of these locations, Academy CEO Tomasz Sokola explained how they were looking to introduce their training sessions to middle schools, as they beat off competition posed by the several other clubs of appeal in the area.

    “In Silesia we have a lot of football clubs. For example, in Piekary Slaskie, a town of 50,000 people, there’s a total of six clubs. Since we set up our Academy three years ago, everyone is determined to win against us!

    “Now we’re trying to organise football classes in middle schools. That’s the next target over the coming months.”

    Praised for the top level of organisation across the board, the positive perception of J|Academies is no different in Bydgoszcz and Torun, whose respective directors Radoslaw Andrzej Michalski and Arek Bogusiewicz Pedzierski emphasised how the courses struck the right balance between seriousness and fun.

    “Juventus gives us a lot of great professional support,” Michalski opened. “We have clear information and instructions on what we should do regarding training methods for different age groups. The Italian coaches carry out very good sessions.

    “As well as being the perfect project to improve the children’s football skills, it’s also a great way of having fun, even for the parents who can watch their kids play in the black and white jersey.”

    RUSSIA

    The host nation of the next World Cup in the summer of 2018, Russia already boasts three thriving Bianconeri-oriented football venues. Between Moscow, Saint Petersburg and Sochi, there are 300 children attending Juventus Camps in the months of June and July each year.

    According to Alexey Myshakin, who oversees the various summer courses across the country, the Camps’ success boils down to the child-friendly approach to playing football advocated by Juventus, which he says Russian youngsters have really bought into.

    “The training methods that Juventus use are extremely different from what we see with Russian coaches. For example, it's amusing when the parents and children ask us: ‘Why don't the coaches use whistles? Are they broken?’ According to the training methods at Juventus and in general all over Europe, you shouldn't whistle at children."

    Two years on from the inauguration of the country’s first Juventus Camp in Saint Petersburg and 12 months after the opening of a second base in Moscow, confirmation that the Bianconeri appeal is enjoying a rapid rise in Russia has arrived with this summer’s expansion of the J|Academy project to the southern city of Sochi.

    CONCLUSION
    Information on the use of cookies
    This website uses cookies and, in some cases, third-party cookies for marketing purposes and to provide services in line with your preferences.
    If you want to know more about our cookie policy click here.
    By clicking OK, or closing this banner, or browsing the website you agree to our use of cookies in accordance with our cookie policy.
    OK