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FTLOS Episode 10 | Three Key Takeaways from Neil Saunders

Neil Saunders

Soccer fans rejoice! We are joined from across the pond by Neil Saunders, the Premier League’s Director of Football. Neil talks about the Elite Player Performance Plan that he oversees as director and how England is developing their footballers to be amongst the best in the world. Here are some of the highlights.  

1. Every Player’s Journey is Different  

Only the best players have the chance to play at a professional football academy. That being said, an extremely small percentage of those players move on to play in The Premier League or other professional leagues. Neil talks about managing expectations of both players and parents and the importance of making sure every player has the experience of a lifetime, regardless of where their journey ends.  


2. Develop The Person as Well as The Athlete  

What happens to lifelong athletes when their playing days are over? Neil discusses the efforts of the EPPP in instilling self-value and developing life skills in athletes that extend past the pitch.  


3. Professional development is paying dividends  

What does it mean to professionally develop young players? Neil explains the impact and role the EPPP has had in the development of young athletes into professionals on the soccer pitch and the success he and his organization have had thus far on the soccer economy in England.  

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Tune in each month for new episodes as the dynamic duo Simon and Marie cover all things youth sports. From funny stories, to how to run your team, there's something for the whole family to enjoy. Subscribe to the full series here