“The Southampton Way” is coming to the USA.
It has been revealed that Premier League side Southampton are aiming to spread their message and brand to the U.S. market in a slightly different way than most clubs do.
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Every summer a number of PL clubs head Stateside for preseason and to play in exhibition games but Saints are aiming to set up coaching links with the U.S. as they will launch the initiative in Baltimore during the NSCAA coaching convention in January 2016.
For a club who has nurtured and brought the likes of Gareth Bale, Theo Walcott, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Adam Lallana, Luke Shaw and many others coming through their academy, it’s likely many American clubs will want to tap into the methods which have made Saints particularly successful at bringing the best out of young players.
Saints chairman Ralph Krueger spoke to the BBC in New York when he was in the U.S. to attend Blazercon last week.
“We just love to teach the game,” Krueger said. “Nobody in England outside of Hampshire wants to learn from us but in the U.S. they are very interested and we’ll jump into that opportunity.”
Talking more about what Saints want to achieve in the United States of America — the claim is that their coaching methods will reach over 100,000 players — Krueger insisted that age is no barrier.
“If you do any market research on the Premier League we are near the top, if not at the top, when it comes to teaching the game,” Krueger said. “If you come to Southampton as an eight-year-old, 16-year-old or 29-year-old, you improve,” Krueger explained. “James Ward-Prowse comes as a child and is now captain of the England Under-21 team, Morgan Schneiderlin plays a decade with us and is now the centrepiece of the Manchester United team and Graziano Pelle comes at 29 and he’s the lead striker for Italy. It’s not about age, it’s about teaching. So we want to come to the US with a clear development model that we’re going to bring to academies and development centres that have over 6,000 kids in them.”
Specific details about the initiative will be released between now and January but it is exciting to see a PL club take a different approach to reaching new markets, especially one like Southampton who historically aren’t the most supported or successful team in England but have enjoyed great success in recent seasons due to their ability to bring through talent from their famed academy at Staplewood.
BONUS: If you haven’t watched it yet, I urge you to watch the superb “Southampton Way” documentary produced by our own Roger Bennett as he takes you inside Saints’ remarkable talent factory. Click play on the video above to see that.