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Bayern Munich restructures youth development program

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In a move that is designed to benefit players and families alike for the earliest age groups, Bayern Munich is attempting to rewrite the guidelines on how club develop young talent.

Bayern Muenchen U17 v Borussia Dortmund U17 - B Juniors German Championship Final Photo by Alexandra Beier/Bongarts/Getty Images

After deciding to discontinue its U-9 and U-10 age group teams in May, Bayern Munich has formally restructured its youth development system for the early Zone 1 levels by partnering with local clubs.

Specifically, Bayern Munich is formally collaborating with four clubs to help identify and develop young talent. To ensure it is providing proper coverage for talent identification, the clubs are based in specific geographic locations in Bavaria:

  • SpVgg Joshofen Bergheim (North, near Ingolstadt)
  • SV Schloßberg Stephanskirchen (South, near Rosenheim)
  • SpVgg Landshut (East)
  • FC Issing (West)

Per FCBayern.com, the purpose of the alignment is to identify talent early and further develop them with guidance from Bayern Munich until those players are able to compete for positions on youth teams at Säbener Strasse:

The aim of the cooperation is to enable the best players and talents in the respective region to receive additional support from FC Bayern coaches at the respective locations in addition to training sessions and matches at their home club in accordance with the motto “promote and challenge.” This gives the local coaches an insight into the training philosophy of FC Bayern Campus. In addition, they can take advantage of various further training opportunities, such as workshops or internships.

Clearly, the arrangement is designed to put advanced players on a pathway to Bayern Munich without the club having to form its own teams at U-9 and U-10.

“Our aim was to select a reliable and enthusiastic partner in all four directions,” said Peter Wenninger, Sports Director U9-U15 at FC Bayern Campus. “We made a conscious decision to choose these four clubs and are already looking forward to the cooperation and child-friendly support in their home environment.”

The program will start the identification process as early as U-7 and eventually expand to include all ages groups from U-7 to U-10. The highlight for the players will be a “regular weekly training session under the supervision of an FC Bayern coach at the locations in September 2021.”

“We will initially start in the age range U-7 to U-9 and one year later we will also take the U-10 age group in addition - analogous to the respective de-registration of the (formal Bayern Munich) U-9 and U-10 (teams),” Wenninger said.

Deputy youth sporting director Holger Seitz thinks this new direction will make the overall experience more appropriate for young players.

“The advantages for the children are obvious,” Seitz said. “Their time and travel expenses are significantly reduced, which gives them the opportunity to try out other sports. We are also convinced that this will reduce the pressure on the children, especially from their family and friends. The fun of playing football should be the main focus at this age.”