The club model and the values attached to the First Team and the Youth Sector were given space on CNN. Not just game play and technique but the methodology behind the work. The club recently held a meeting of all coaches at Milanello as well as making important investments in the club’s structure.
All of this caught the attention of CNN: “While Inter is under new ownership, there have also been profound changes at City Rivals Milan. 18 time Italian Champions and winner of 7 Champions League titles,. The club is changing its organizational structure starting with the Youth Sector. In future, Milan hopes to get the best from their players in terms of performances but also in terms of strength of mind.”
With this in mind, the club have employed the services of Belgian coaches Jose Riga (ex-Standard Leige coach) and Michel Bruyninckx (pioneer of Belgian Youth Football) with the aim of improving their Youth Sector.
Milan – CNN continued – has the reputation of a club that leaves no stone unturned I the pursuit of excellence as shown by the world famous Milan Lab, a true scientific laboratory.
It was the success of a new generation of young Belgian players which caught the attention of the club and in particular drew their attention towards Riga and Bruyninckx.
“The fact that the Belgian national side uses players that have been trained on the basis of our concepts has drawn great interest from some of the bigger European clubs – said Bruyninckx – Dries Mertens plays for Napoli, Steve Defour for Porto, Omar El Khadouri for Torino and many other players that have been in my academy are promising talents.”
Bruyninckx has always claimed that while the scientific and athletic approach to young players has always been highly emphasized, the mental factor has often been underestimated. He recently presented his concepts to four Dutch football legends - Leo Beenhakker, Dennis Bergkamp, Ronald de Boer e Wim Kieft – with positive feedback.
Riga and Bruyninckx, back in Europe after working at the Aspire Academy in Qatar, has previously spent time with Milan last August for a 10 day training camp working with the clubs Under 17, 16, and 15 sides.
“We’ll be helping the coaches and explaining our ideas step by step,” said Bruyninckx to CNN.
Domenico Gualtieri of Milan Lab added “Our job is not to put the fastest players on the pitch at any cost, but players that are able to understand and solve the problems that come up on a football pitch.”
Bruyninckx’s mantra is “We have to do it together.”
“It’s a fact – he adds – that in the football of the future, the speed of individual players will be replaced by the collective thinking speed of the team.” “It's striking that the future game is most of all based on team performance,” said Bruyninckx.
Riga and Bruyninckx will work with Youth Sector methodology coordinator Aldo Dolcetti.
Filippo Galli, head of the Youth Sector added, “We want to create a Milan Model that will be with the club forever.”