Nine months into their partnership with Wolves, F17 Academy in Singapore are reaping the benefits of the expert training provided to their coaches and players.
Last summer, former Wolves Academy coaches, Kevin Foley and Leon Jackson laid on a two-week training workshop for F17 Academy, allowing staff and players to learn the excellent practice which has proved so successful in nurturing talent at Compton Park.
Since then, the communication has been a constant, with Joe Hunt, Wolves international projects manager, providing a bridge of communication between Wolverhampton and F17. The connections have value-added to the coaching skills and expertise amongst the F17 coaches, who are committed to lifelong learning.
Habil Hakim, head coach at F17 Academy, has seen players gain the first-hand experience of the Wolves Academy system, and believes it’s a crucial part of the collaboration between the two set-ups.
“Our players had travelled abroad for training stints in Japan and Spain before and gained great experiences and learning points from it. Similarly, when our players trained with Wolves coaches in Singapore, it brought much quality to our Academy. We had sharing sessions, and players received good feedback from their school teachers on what they’ve learnt.
“We will send our players over to Wolves at least once a year. A minimum of ten players will go and experience the Wolves way, how their Academy training works, and receive high-quality training from Wolves Academy.
“We’ve seen improvements in our youth teams. The results are not important in youth football, but we see our teams topping the tables now. We call them wolf pack teams, our youth teams.”
While F17’s most prominent talents are benefitting from the partnership, great emphasis has been added to coach development so that the F17 Academy can carry out Wolves’ best practices themselves in Singapore.
“The coaches learned a lot about the Wolves method when we had Leon Jackson and Kevin Foley here. It focuses a lot on high intensity, style of play and designing sessions better.
“We have seen much growth in our coaches, mainly because communication has been very open and quick. Any questions, we shoot them to Joe and he will consult the coaching team over in Wolverhampton.
“Joe works closely with us in looking at details or coaching points on certain subjects for training. We cover a goalkeeping programme as well, which is an independent programme that we offer in F17. With added inputs and guidance, all our programmes are very holistic and the best for youth development.”
F17’s benefit of a category one academy approach is evident on their young players. However, their newfound knowledge, in the form of clinics, were shared with the greater Singapore public. This sharing of knowledge has work to spread the Wolves word even further.
“We ran a coaching clinic and opened it up to members of the public. The clinic received excellent feedback because of the way the Wolves coaches present their ideas.
“After the Wolves camp, we held a coaching clinic for our coaches. We also held another clinic for the public, allowing anyone interested to learn to sign up for the course.
“Internally, F17 coaching department has meetings every Tuesday where we cover coach education. The topic for these segments come directly from Wolves. Every week we take one Wolves topic, and the coaches will then brainstorm ideas – nutrition and things like that.