Collecting International Football Programmes


Irrespective of club affiliations that supporters may have, the opportunity to acquire a programme for your own international team has a universal appeal to supporters from across the country. International programmes become relatively sought after as a result of this great demand placed on their supply.

There is scope to collect widely, especially in the United Kingdom where there is the possibility of acquiring programmes for the four home nations of England, Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland, and additionally, the Republic of Ireland. However, it is usually the case that a collector will collect for one nation only.

Often, those attending international matches will view the event as a special occasion and purchase more soccer programmes than for their own personal needs in order to distribute to their friends and family, or with the intention of selling them at a later date. As such, collectors are most likely to come across international match programmes in a dealer's catalogue.

The better dealers generally have a strong network of travelling supporters to source both home and away international match programmes from. In some cases a dealer may request a number of programmes from those who distribute the programmes in the country that the match took place. However, for this sourcing a premium is added to the cost of the programme. One can expect to pay £5 or more for an away international match fixture programme. There is an even greater premium placed on programmes for those matches were there was an unexpectedly large attendance, having the knock on effect of reducing the surplus available to dealers. Pre-1950 away programmes can be very rare indeed. For example Germany v England in Berlin, in 1938, can fetch several hundred pounds.

One possibility to make your collection more historically interesting is to collect programmes that are fairly old. These are sought after programmes as they are filled with football heritage, and may even involve countries that no longer exist. Up until the 1960s most international matches were played at club grounds, which made the associated programmes very individualised. There was no set template for the international programmes, and this individuality makes them a very interesting addition to any collection. This created a situation whereby an England v Eire at Goodison Park in 1949 could fetch over £100 in the open market. Equivalently England v Holland at Huddersfield in 1946 could hope to fetch several hundred pounds.

International matches are a relatively new phenomenon apart from meetings between the home nations. This leaves the collector with a fairly neat cap of the 1950s to collect back until. Before 1950 few internationals were played at Wembley Stadium, which makes these highly collectable. Clashes between England and Scotland from the pre-war period are extremely sought after, as are continental internationals due to the scarcity of them occurring, and the fact they were held at non-Wembley locations such as Highbury, Goodison Park, White Hart Lane, Maine Road, Old Trafford, Hillsborough, Bramall Lane, Villa Park and Ayresome Park.



Spanish Football Academies - Preparing For International Football Training


Spanish football academies have a very unique style of training that focuses on technical skills and speed rather than sheer strength and endurance.

For smaller football players who have a lot of speed, a Spanish international football academy might be perfect for you. Here's what to expect from Spanish football training.

Football academy training: speed vs. strength

For football academies in Spain, precision and speed are a lot more important than power. For technical players whose greatest strengths are their speed and ball control, not their size, Spain football academies are the perfect place to hone their skills.

Unlike British football, which demands a strong upper body and a larger size because it's so physical, Spanish football is all about speed and precision. (Take a look at the Spanish national team. Many of the players are small, around 165-170 lbs.)

Spanish football academy focus: team tactics

Training in Spain is very team-oriented and tactical. It's important for players to be aware of their surroundings and know where teammates are on the field. Their football style focuses more on short, precise passes to your teammates rather than long hopeful passes into space down the field.

Being able to control the ball, and pass fast is crucial in Spain. If you don't have good control and can't pass well, the opposition will be on top of you every time, and you won't be able to adapt well.

Spanish football academy focus: technical excellence

Spanish football has a very technical focus: being able to control the ball perfectly, pass perfectly, and to shoot as well as possible. Football academies in Spain focus on good control of the ball, and using both feet equally well.

Movements have to be quick, and players have to learn how to move the ball fast. In Spanish football, the ball is your friend. Players learn how to take care of the way that they strike the ball!

The most important thing: love of the game

For players considering a Spanish international football academy, one thing is most important: a love of the game. According to Nacho Mallo, the head coordinator at EduKick Madrid, players with a passion for football are the ones who are going to improve the most.

"All that passion they have, they'll find a way to express it here," Mallo said. "We care about all the technical things, so it's a good place for anyone who's a more technical player. They will enjoy Spanish football."

Are you a player who's all about speed and precision? Then training at a Spanish international football academy could be just right for you.



International Football Academy Tips - Preparing For British Football


Do you want to attend an international football academy in England? Well, be prepared: you may find yourself in over your head. The English game is very fast and physical as compared to American and European soccer. If you aren't in peak physical condition, you might not be able to keep up.

However, with proper preparation, you can be head and shoulders above the rest of the players who haven't taken the time to get ready for the trials they'll face. Here are a few tips to get you prepared for playing English football!

Tip #1: Work on your upper body strength.

British players are much physically stronger than North Americans, and we've seen many players struggle to keep up. At some international football academies, the first few weeks are spent doing a lot of fitness training on the track and in the gym, building core stability and conditioning.

Start working on your abdominals and your upper body strength now. Core stability is important for any athlete, and a strong upper body will help you fend off other players. The game in the U.K. can be very fast and furious, so you have to be strong, first and foremost.

We've seen many football players fail in England because they haven't got the strength they need to compete there. If you've already started building your upper body strength before beginning a football program in the UK, then you won't be one of them!

Tip #2: Increase your speed and endurance.

As we mentioned earlier, English football matches are both faster and more physical than soccer games elsewhere in the football-playing world. In addition to building your strength, you should also be working on your speed, agility, and endurance.

If you can, train with hurdles, poles, and ladders, in addition to doing sprints and endurance running. The more you practice your physical fitness beforehand, the more ready you'll be for the fitness program you'll undergo at a UK-based international football academy.

Tip #3: Regulate your sleep schedule.

One of the major adjustments we see players having to make is adapting to the rigid schedule of an international football academy. When you're doing a 9-5 program that includes academic and physical discipline through the day, it's important to get into the routine.

Before you ever set foot on the plane, start getting your body used to the schedule. Go to bed at the same time every night and get up at the same time every morning. That way, your body won't have to go through the same period of adjustment when you're trying to get used to all of the other things that come with attending an international football academy.

Bonus Tip: Here's what English coaches are looking for.

There are four things that most English coaches ask us about when it comes to players: attitude, athleticism, ability with the football, and commitment. They're looking for players who aren't just talented, but who have the right attitude and discipline to make it with a football club.

Players who are consistently late to practice, who do poorly in their academics, and who have disciplinary problems aren't going to be picked for professional trials, no matter how talented they are. You have to bring more to the table than just talent.

Follow these tips, and you'll excel not just in English international football academies, but in any international football academy you wish to attend.


International Football (Soccer) Academy Tips - Achieving Your Soccer Fitness Goals


When you set out to train at an elite football (soccer) academy, or work out your own football training in advance at home, it can be difficult to stay on target. But if you have a goal in mind, and specific steps to achieve that goal, you're miles ahead of other people who do nothing but dream.

This kind of preparation makes all the difference in the world. Our international football academy coaches can always tell the difference between players who work to prepare, and those who just show up at our football academies. For you, it could be the difference between watching from the sidelines and actually achieving your football goals.

International football academy training and conditioning

The first step is setting targets and goals you want to reach in football. You can do that on a per-month basis. For example, if you're arriving at your football academy in September, set yourself a 6-month program to decide where you want to be in terms of physical condition.

The idea is to set realistic, measurable targets. Set your targets based on an assessment of yourself, not your peers. You know where you're at right now, and you know you want to be in the best possible shape when you arrive at an international football academy to begin your soccer training.

Look to make that improvement every week, every month. Month one can have a number of fitness elements: pushups, 50-yard sprint, 400-yard at half-pace, etc. Bear in mind that in football one must be match fit. You'll need a lot of strength in both your upper and lower bodies, and the endurance to run for 90 minutes with little rest, in order to achieve success at the highest level.

You'll be better off making goals you know you can meet to improve yourself little by little. And you'll be more likely to stay on target. You can count the number of reps you do, and increase by 15 percent by the end of the month. That's realistic. Increasing it by 75 percent? That's probably not realistic.

International football academy language and culture

For international football academies that have an associated educational curriculum, you need to consider the language component also. If you're going into another country with a different language, you need to work towards a basic understanding of that language.

Traveling to another country to study football, language, and culture will make for a well-rounded experience and will increase your professional marketability. Being bilingual is an obvious advantage in any business.

Set targets for both academics (linguistics) and football. If you're continuing high school academics and you're going into an environment where you haven't spent time speaking the language, your goal should be arriving day one with basic communication skills. Get acclimated to the language as much as possible, studying, listening, and speaking beforehand.

And above all, show commitment, respect, and effort while studying abroad. Sometimes those extra efforts make the difference in receiving a passing grade or not!

Determination and perseverance

The NIKE slogan, "Just do it," applies nicely here. Daily individual training discipline is the most obvious key to success. It's about what you do when no one else is around. Sticking to your plan is the most important part of your preparation.

When you put a training program into place for yourself, it's easy to let it slip when you don't feel like training. It's easy to say things like "I'm too tired, so I think I'll skip that two hours I set aside for language or academics." Or let yourself get distracted by friends or going to the movies instead of training.

This is where 95 percent of people don't succeed: they don't stick with the plan they put into place. One difference between the pros and those who don't make it: pros stick with the program. Only the athletes with true grit and determination make it to the highest level.

Ask yourself to be that special athlete (and student) by showing extreme commitment and determination. You can do it if you are mentally disciplined enough to commit fully!

It's easier to achieve training targets or goals when you're in an international football academy program. Players have less trouble sticking with the football training schedule because someone else (the football coach or manager) is setting up the training program for you. Everyone around you is pushing you to perform. You have teammates doing the same thing.

Attending an international football academy is much more demanding than any other academic or cultural exchange program abroad. You're committing yourself to being ready, mentally and physically, to participate as a footballer in the football development academy. You will be training daily over a nine-month period.

Put it in your mind that the work starts the day you commit to register to get the maximum benefit. This means you should arrive ready and prepared to get the most out of your international football academy experience.