Irene Paredes, the incredible signing of FC Barcelona: "The Ekkono method has helped me interpret the game better and make better decisions"
After making history by winning the first French League for Paris Saint Germain Féminines, the central defender Irene Paredes has recently signed for FC Barcelona, current winners of the 2020/2021 UEFA Women's Champions League.
Irene is, along with other distinguished players such as Veronica Boquete (AC Milan) or Nahikari Garcia (Real Madrid FC), one of the world-class players whom we have the pleasure of advising in order to help them grow and improve as professional players.
Since mid-2019, when we started working with the current captain of the Spanish National Team, we have designed a specific individual advising program for her, that we have been following for the last two seasons.
To do so, we designed a specific Individual Player Performance Program (IPPP) for Irene. We analysed different games she played, in order to identify different aspects to be perfected such as the positioning in the build-up phase, the type of passes which generate greater advantage, and the understanding of when to maintain or break the balance from the defensive line.
During these last two seasons which she has been following the advisory program, the former captain of PSG, has become one of the best central defenders in the world, being included by UEFA among the best 50 footballers of the year.
After receiving the presentation of 5 individual reports in recent months, Irene Paredes states that:
"The Ekkono method has helped me interpret the game better and make better decisions"
The co-author of the Ekkono Method participates and answers questions in technical discussion organized with Albirex Niigata Academy’s coaches
Last June 1, the periodic technical discussion held between the Albirex Niigata Methodology Director and the Academy coaches had a special guest: Carles Romagosa, technical director of Thailand FA and co-author of the Ekkono Method.
The main topic of the discussion was “How to help young footballers to be professionals?” and it was attended by both the academy coaches and women's team coaches, who showed big interest and asked some great questions.
During the session, Carles remembered all good memories he has after his almost 10 visits to Japan where he worked with players and coaches, and highlighted the huge leap in quality that Japanese youth and professional football has recently taken.
Uchida Jun, Albirex Niigata’s Academy Director said: “We would like to express our sincere appreciation to Ekkono for providing us with this education opportunity. I strongly believe that being a good leader is essential to develop good players, and this is why we use technical discussions as a “learning place” to continue learning."
On the next lines, you can find some of the questions that Carles answered during the session:
Question: When deciding how many minutes of game to give players in official competitions, what is the balance between competing and learning in the U18 category?
Answer: In the Youth category it is important to give all players opportunities, but as we are in the pre-professional football stage, it is also important to make future players play for longer.
Question: Broadly speaking, which different concepts do you have to train in Junior, Junior Youth and Youth categories?
Answer: Players understand the game differently based on their age. Therefore, we must train different things according to their age. In Junior category it is important to train concepts more related with the player’s relationship with the ball, in Junior Youth category the concepts which should be trained are those that help the players to manage the spaces so that the possessor and non-possessors have an advantage, and in Youth category, collective fundamentals are essential to be understood.
Question: Based on your experience training and scouting young talents, which types of young players are the most likely to be professionals?
Answer: In general, among the most talented players, the ones who are most likely to be professionals are those who pay attention to the small details. This means that you need talent, plus effort in training, plus taking care of the external aspects of training. From club’s vison, it is important that we also guide families to educate them in those external aspects that are important for the player.
Question: What percentage of freedom in the game should be given to U12 players?
Answer: A very important aspect in these ages is having fun. It is important not to confuse fun with giving freedom to play as the players want, because talented players have the most fun when the team plays well, not when everyone plays the way they want.
Question: At what point do you propose to set player’s position?Answer: It is important not to do it too early and to experiment in various positions. In clubs where an associative style of play is played, it usually happens those players who as children played in advanced positions, at the end of their Initiation Stage or at the beginning of their Professional Stage, end up playing in more backward positions. For example, Jordi Alba when he was U14 he played as a midfielder and Sergio Busquets when he played at Barça B with Guardiola, he played some matches as Advanced Midfielder.
AFC certifies Thailand FA as a member of “AFC Elite Youth Scheme One-star”
The Football Association of Thailand (FA Thailand) have been endorsed as a full member of the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Elite Youth Scheme for its continuous efforts in youth development.
With the aim of becoming one of the leading countries in Southeast Asia to develop youth players, FA Thailand introduced the Quality Training Project to support academies by providing the best education for players between the ages of 13 to 18.
The programme covers a wide range of areas including development guidelines for both men's and women's football, development processes for national teams, academy licensing system, technical resources for clubs and competition organization.
In addition, Thailand FA collaborated with BG Pathum United FC as a model Academy and achieved fulfilling the 20 criteria that the AFC’s Elite Youth Scheme requires to be approved as an Elite one-star academy.
The Football Association of Thailand (FA Thailand) Technical Director, Carles Romagosa, said: “The FA Thailand is committed to create a structured environment with modern training methods for youth teams. Youth football development is one of the key objectives for us.
“The AFC Elite Youth Scheme serves as a guide to achieve our ambitions. Using the Scheme as a reference and guide, the FA Thailand will implement in 2022 a six-level grading system for both men’s and women’s academies to raise their standards.
Ekkono Identity, the Ekkono Method's 2nd book, now available in digital format
On April 23, coinciding with the International Day of the Book, Sant Jordi's Day is celebrated in Barcelona, where it is used to give the most loved ones a book and a rose.
Therefore, we cannot think of a better day to announce the launch of the second book of the Ekkono Method, “Ekkono Identity: The invisible part of Success”, in digital format.
The development of a football game model, a DNA in the Training Academy, and the ultimate creation of an identity are some of the current challenges faced by professional clubs. It is a proven fact that this is the best way to train a professional player for the first team and it is the right approach for a team’s economic strategy to be sustainable.
How to achieve it? Which structures should be coordinated in the organization? What are the processes to be carried out? This book includes an answer to all these questions and describes the authors’ experience, which they have been gathering for more than 20 years working with professional clubs all over the world.
Comprehend the importance of building an identity, explore the concepts of Talkmade, Smartfielder, Co-Learning and Committees, learn about the opinion of soccer experts, deep dive into each concept and how we applied it around the World, and find out real examples of material used in our projects.
Visit the link below and order your book!
Philippine Football Federation (PFF) trusts in Ekkono Method to take part in their Instructor’s Course
In preparation for the start of the PFF Coaching Certificate Courses for this year, the Philippine Football Federation (PFF) conducted the annual PFF Instructors’ Course from 18-30 March 2021, for which we were invited as special speakers.
As one of the few AFC Member Associations to be conferred with the AFC Coaching Convention – ‘A’ Level Membership, PFF aims to strengthen its pool of coaching instructors nationwide through this instructors’ course.
To do so, apart from our participation, some other great speakers from FIFA or JFA (Japan Football Association) also took part during the course.
During our lesson, all instructors had the chance to learn and discuss about all related to “Best Practices in Designing a Training Session” focusing on Initiation Stage (U6-U13).
According to Marlon Maro, Head of PFF’s Coaching Education Department “we have noticed how the knowledge was shared between the participants and the great speakers. The way the participants dealt with the scenarios presented provided a good outlook in their future career as coaching educators.”
Estonian FA offers to its own coaches the opportunity to learn from the Ekkono Method
March 2021 was the kick off for this new project together with the Estonian Football Association. The aim of this new step is to give Estonian coaches the opportunity to participate in an introductory course of Ekkono Method as part of further education.
The coaching program, lasting up to August 2021, will focus on analyzing the evolution of the training methodology across the different stages: Initiation, Specialization and high Performance.
In detail, coaches will go through the following topics:
- Differences between training methodology in Initiation, Specialization and High-Performance stages.
- Which are the most relevant technical and tactical concepts to train in each of these stages.
- Examples of Basic Individual Fundamentals, Individual Fundamentals per Position and Team Fundamentals.
In order make the learning experience as good as possible, the program will combine theoretical with field sessions, as well as, assignment work.
IFK Göteborg and Soccer Services Barcelona extend the collaboration agreement for a new year
After a successful season in which IFK Göteborg won their 8th Swedish Cup, the historic Swedish club has announced the extension of their collaboration with us for one more season.
In this way, during this 3rd season of collaboration, we will keep on working on the construction of the club's identity, as well as working and advising young players of the club through our individualized programs (IPPP), and trying to maximize the performance of the first team.
Pontus Farnerud Sporting Director of IFK Göteborg stated that “Coach Ekkono Ferran is very popular in IFK Goteborg, not least in the player squad for both his personality and skills. He has a football knowledge that few coaches possess and has together with Roland found a well-functioning dynamic and a good way of working. It feels great that we agree on a continuation in 2021.
For his part, Roland Nilsson, coach of the first team, comments: “It is great to see how the collaboration between us has developed from day one and it will be exciting to see how we tackle together next season. We have done and are doing a great deal of analysis work to achieve success in 2021, and Ekkono plays an important role there”.
Ekkono Coaches Academy, announcing our online school for coaches and football professionals
Making our knowledge accessible to coaches and football professionals all over the world has always been one of our goals as a company. During the years, we’ve travelled to many Continents organising hundreds of courses and seminars, helping more than 3,500 coaches in their football journey.
This experience has now led us to creating our online academy. We believe this is a step in the right direction to continue to provide education to coaches and other football professionals, making all our knowledge more accessible than ever.
The new school includes access to our e-Book, Webinars, Online Courses and also a Membership, offering a continuous and guided education. In total, over 50 hours of online courses and recorded webinars, hundreds of concepts, and plenty of training drills based on the Ekkono Method are available.
Visit the Ekkono Coaches Academy website for more information.
Persija Jakarta, the most successful club of Indonesia, announces its use of the Ekkono Method
The historic Persija Jakarta club, founded in 1928 and proudly the most successful club in the PSSI competition with a collection of 11 league titles, has recently announced its collaboration agreement with us in order to use the Ekkono Method.
In this way, the Indonesian Club joins the large list of recent clubs such as Universidad Católica de Chile and San José Earthquakes, that have trusted the Ekkono Method to enhance their club’s identity and maximize their performance.
During this collaboration, we will educate the club’s directors and coaches about some of the most important aspects such as how to create and use a Methodology Department, how to build a great club identity and how to develop Smart Players, as well as go in-depth into Individual and Team fundamentals.
Our CEO, Miquel Farrerons, expressed his excitement to work together with Persija Jakarta. According to him, this is a proud step of cooperation for the development of Indonesian football, especially Persija.
"We are very grateful for Persija Jakarta’s trust in us. It will be a privilege to help the improvement of such a highly awarded club and with such a clear development project" said Miquel.
This collaboration was also enthusiastically welcomed by the Director of Persija, Jakarta, Ferry Paulus. According to him “as a big club, it is only natural for Persija to have a strong Sports Department based on modern methodologies. The collaboration with Ekkono is Persija's commitment to the development of future football" he said.
Christian Pulisic: "I got an immediate improvement on my performance due to my work with Ekkono”
Christian Pulisic is one of the elite players with whom we have the pleasure of working, in order to help him grow and improve as a professional player.
The 22 years old american winger, signed by Borussia Dortmund when he was just 16 as part of the U19 team. After playing 15 games with the youth team, he was promoted to the first team, where scored 19 goals and give 26 assists in 127 games.
After 4 brilliant seasons during which he was two times nominated for the best under-21 player in the world, at the beginning of 2019, Chelsea F.C. made his signing official. This 20/21 season is his second one in the english team, where he has scored 13 goals and played 50 games.
Pulisic is also one of the most important players of the United States National Team, with which he became the youngest player in team’s history to score a goal.
After presenting him several individual reports in recent years, Christian Pulisic affirms that:
"I have achieved an immediate improvement in my game thanks to Ekkono"
Veronica Boquete, in the FIFA FIFPro Women’s World11 2020. Irene Paredes, nominated as best defender
Last week the The Best FIFA Football awards gala was held in Zurich, where the best football players of 2020 were voted and honored.
Among so many awardees, we are proud to see Verónica Boquete, current AC Milan player and with whom we have been collaborating for several years, selected in the in the FIFA FIFPro Women’s World11 2020.
As stated by Vero "The Ekkono method makes you a smart player and therefore it maximizes your performance"
On the other hand, Irene Paredes who is the current Spanish National team and PSG captain, and with whom we have the pleasure of advising, was nominated as one of the best defenders in the world.
According to Irene, "the Ekkono method has helped me interpret the game better and make better decisions"
Congratulations to both of you!!
Ekkono Method elaborates the “Thai Football Development Handbook” with the big aim of developing Thai Football to its maximum
After several months of hard work and effort, we can finally proudly announce that the “Thai Football Development Handbook” is finished and ready to be published.
The Federation of Thailand (FAT) and Ekkono Soccer Services Barcelona entered into a common project during March 2017, with the overall aim of assisting the Federation in developing Thai football and assembling the fundamentals in order to promote the educational practice of football, helping in the global development of young players and facilitating its growth.
Therefore, the aim of the “Thai Football Development Handbook”, which will later be distributed among all football clubs and academies of the country, is to clearly structure the mission in terms of technical projects, technical development, and coaches’ curriculum.
The “Thai Football Development Handbook”, is divided into the next two parts:
The first part describes the FAT Thai Football Formula, structured in the different stages of player development, and including an in-depth analysis of the current situation in Thailand. This curriculum outlines the importance of developing a football culture within which all stakeholders (coaches, referees, players, parents, etc.) have a part to play.
The second part (FAT Coaching Convention), is directly linked to the first part. It exposes the competences, contents, and skills that the coach must learn to exercise as a coach at each of the levels (G, C, B, A and PRO) that have been described in the first part of the book.
This plan is only the beginning of a long way. All successful nations have developed their players over a number of years with a clear strategy behind what they are doing.
Ekkono Method will be used in the ambitious Nara Club project both with the 1st team and in the Academy, through the creation of the Methodology Department
Nara Club and Soccer Services Barcelona (SSB) have reached an agreement to use the Ekkono method both with the first team and in the club's Academy.
To do so, the Japanese club announces the creation of a Methodology Department, which will be managed by Ekkono, as well as entrust the management of the 1st team to an Ekkono Licensed Coach.
The main objectives of this collaboration, which will start in February 2021, are to build a game model and homogeneous identity from the Academy to the First Team, and to aspire in the long term to produce highest level young players.
Therefore, the main pillars of the project will be:
• Construction of a unified game model.
• Homogenization of the training methodology.
• Coaching education and tutelage to all club’s coaches
• Creation of a scouting plan to identify the best players
As the president of Nara Club Mitsuru Hamada states, “we are proud to announce the use of such a successful method as Ekkono in our club’s structure. After more than 10 years working together, I have been able to verify the benefits of using the method in professional teams, so I am convinced that Ekkono will help us achieve the established objectives and the growth of Nara Club. "
For his part, Miquel Farrerons, CEO of Soccer Services Barcelona affirms that "Japan is a very special country for us where we have 5 projects. We are very proud that Nara Club has decided to strengthen its structure through our consulting services. We want to thank the ownership and, especially the president, for their trust in us. We are convinced that the use of the Ekkono Method in its Identity version will accelerate the growth of the club, also improving its results at a sporting and social level "
With this new collaboration, the Ekkono Method continues to strengthen its foundations in Japan, where it has been present for more than 10 years.
Jesper Tolinsson, a new success story at IFK Goteborg’s academy players development
IFK Göteborg's 17-year-old midfielder Jesper Tolinsson, has recently signed a 5-season contract with Belgian second division team Lommel SK, which is owned by City Group.
According to Pontus Farnerud, the IFK Goteborg’s Sport director “Jesper has begun the journey in which many players before him have succeeded, first being developed in our club’s academy and, after promoting to the A-team, reaching out to professional life in Europe. We are proud when our own players achieve this level of accomplishment and it is further proof that we have a very good academy.”
Even though Jesper will not move to Lommel until next summer, this transfer "will strengthen the club's coffers in these challenging times" according to club’s director Max Markusson.
Since he was promoted to club's A-team, Jesper Tollinson have been following an Ekkono Individual Player Performance Program in order to help him to improve his performance.
Best of luck Jesper!!
Kai Meriluoto: "I am very grateful to Ekkono Method for helping me improve my understanding of the game and become a professional player"
Young Finnish striker Kai Meriluoto is called to be one of the most promising revelations in Finnish football in the short term.
At 17 years of age, and after scoring 13 goals in 14 games for the Klubi-04 (HJK reserve team), HJK coach Toni Koskela gave him the opportunity to play his first minutes with the current Finnish League leader. In just over 10 minutes Kai managed to score his first goal with HJK, positioning himself as one of the youngest scorers in the club's history.
For a year and a half, Kai Meriluoto has been following an individualized Player Performance Plan by Ekkono in order to maximize his performance:
"I am very grateful to the Ekkono Method for helping me improve my understanding of the game and become a professional player."
The Ekkono Method Book now available in e-book format
Creating intelligent players is becoming a trend in modern football. However, it’s important to question, what is behind this expression? What makes an intelligent player? How should a Club or Federation organize themselves to create such profiles of players? What should I train if I want to become an intelligent player?
All of these questions and many more are coming from club owners, parents, coaches, and players from all over the world. But there is no single answer for any of them.
In this book you will find the history of the EKKONO METHOD, a successful football model used by a wide range of clubs and federations worldwide who share a common objective: become a reference in developing youth players.
Visit the link below and order your book before they run out! You can choose between e-book digital version or hard copy version.
“LATINO ADVOCACY GROUP FROM UNITED SOCCER COACHES PARTNERED SOCCER SERVICES BARCELONA TO PROVIDE EKKONO METHOD EDUCATION TO ITS AFFILIATES”
Soccer Services Barcelona has built a partnership with Latino Advocacy Group from United Soccer Coaches to provide Ekkono Method education to all of its affiliates.
As a first step in the partnership, from this week on all affiliated members will have the chance to take part in 3 Ekkono webinars focused on very relevant aspects for development of young soccer players.
The topics prepared for these webinars will be the following:
- Coaching Development Pathway
- The importance of Perception during the initiation stage
- The most important concepts to train for young soccer players.
This partnership that would not have been possible without the support of Mario Fernandez and Julio Serrano, means taking a huge leap forward in USA, where soccer has still incredible potential.
“HJK agrees to enlarge the use of Ekkono Method more extensively in its club”
Recently, HJK and Eerikkilä (Ekkono Method’s partner in Finland) have signed a cooperation agreement which enables HJK to utilize the Ekkono Method more extensively in its coaching.
Considered as Finland's biggest club, HJK is the most successful Finnish club in terms of championship titles, with 29 Finnish Leagues and 13 Finnish Cups won. Moreover, HJK is the only Finnish club that has participated in the UEFA Champions’ League group stage.
The deal between HJK and Eerikkilä is an important step towards HJK’s ambition to be the best football club in the Nordic countries. According to Miika Takkula, HJK’s sports and development director:
“We trust that we will have the most advanced coaching program in the Nordic region. We have systematically developed our coaching system since 2015. We are not making any revolutionary changes in our present operation but fine-tuning our existing model. Soccer Services offer us key expertise that we lack. Since our coaching system is heavily based on Soccer Services’ Ekkono Method this step is only logical.”
Paris Saint-Germain’s academy, one of the best producers of world-class players.
Despite their recent defeat in the UEFA Champions League final against Bayern Munich, PSG have been among the elite of world football for several years now. This success can, in part, be credited to the brilliant work they are doing with their youth teams, as Paris Saint-Germain’s academy has become one of the best world-class players producers in recent years.
An example of which is Kingsley Coman, who scored the winning goal in the final and was trained at the PSG’s academy from a young age, before signing for Juventus. Coman aside, there is a large list of players who came out of PSG’s academy and are now succeeding in Europe: Adrien Rabiot (Juventus), Moussa Diaby (Bayer Leverkusen), Presnel Kimpembe (PSG), Dan Axel Zagadou (Borussia Dortmund) , Jean-Kevin Augustin (RB Leipzig),…
During our 3 years of collaboration with the club, we had the opportunity to work with several of these players. Among them, was the promising young French player, Yacine Adli, who stated "I have made a lot of progress both tactically and technically thanks to the method of David Hernández, with whom I have worked a lot on an individual level."
IFK Göteborg Swedish Cup Champion again after 5 years
Last Thursday, IFK Göteborg managed to beat Malmö FF in the final of the Svenska Cupen achieving their eighth Swedish Cup.
This new title that has not been achieved since the 2014-2015 season, widens even more the club's trophy record, which also includes 15 Swedish Leagues and 2 UEFA Cups, among other competitions.
After a year and a half collaborating with the club, from Soccer Services Barcelona we would like to congratulate them for this great achievement and express our immense happiness and enthusiasm to verify that when you trust in the process, no challenge is unreachable.
Grattis IFK Göteborg!!
San Jose Earthquakes “fortunate to be able to gain knowledge from Ekkono Method”
There is no doubt that soccer interest in the United States and the professionalization of the MLS clubs are growing by leaps and bounds. Proof of this is the selection of United States joint bid, together with Mexico and Canada, to host the 2026 FIFA World Cup.
In this scenario, we had the chance to collaborate with the Californian club San Jose Earthquakes, the two-time MLS champion.
It should be noted that the Earthquakes´ Methodology Department and Academy coaches have made great progress defining a precise style of play and further aligning themselves with the first team.
As Alex Covelo, Methodology Director at San Jose Earthquakes indicates: “During this time in which we haven’t been able to take the field, we’re fortunate to be able to gain knowledge from one of the world’s most respected soccer methodology leaders in Ekkono”
The American ESPN interviews our CEO, who explains the Ekkono Method and our different projects around the world
A few days ago, our CEO Miquel Farrerons was interviewed on Soccer Matters, a sports program broadcasted on the American channel ESPN and directed by Glenn Davis.
During the course of the interview, Miquel spoke about the Ekkono projects carried out around the world, such as our collaboration with PSG or FA Thailand, as well as recently, at the Catholic University of Chile.
At the same time, he answered questions about our Individual Players Performance Plan followed with top-class players such as the American Christian Pulisic, and had the opportunity to explain what is the Ekkono Identity methodology and its differences with Ekkono Smart.
Santiago Wanderers announces the introduction of the Ekkono Method in its club
More and more professional clubs are showing their interest in enhancing their identity and maximizing their performance by implementing the Ekkono Method.
On this occasion, the historic Santiago Wanderers, founded in 1892 making the club the oldest one in Chile, joins the list of Chilean football clubs with which we have recently reached a collaboration agreement.
The objective of this project is none other than to enhance the sports identity of the club through the use of the Ekkono Method, mainly emphasizing on the club's academy.
In this way, the president of the club Rafael González, valued this agreement highlighting the benefits that it will bring for the institution, affirming that “this collaboration seeks to continue promoting and perfecting the work we are developing, around a coherent sports and institutional identity with the importance and history of Santiago Wanderers. For this reason, the application will be transversal to all levels, with the aim of making the most of a specialized company that has been working for years with some of the best teams in the world ”.
The japanese Amazing Academy continues to develop the club's values living to strenghen its identity through the Ekkono Method
Among the four pillars on which Ekkono Identity is based to create or enhance a club identity, there is “Committees”, the pillar consisting of embodying the club values in order to develop an identity.
In this direction, at the Japanese club Amazing Academy Yamanashi, we have been recently working with the club's players on different values such as responsibility, respect and humility.
To guarantee the correct experience of the values, a values committee was created, composed of 6 people from different areas in the club. This Committee has the responsibility of ensuring that every person lives the proposed value, for which the following 4 actions are taken:
- Explanation to the players of the meaning and importance of the value to be lived, through a theoretical framework and examples.
- The players will be assigned small tasks (writing about lived examples, news, videos, ...) that must relate to the value that is being lived.
- During training, a specific task will be carried out each month related to the value that we want to live.
- Before the matches, the club's coaches will spend time reminding the value that is being lived and trying to reflect it during the match.
Collaboration agreement between Soccer Services Barcelona and Universidad Católica de Chile for the use of the Ekkono method
The collaboration agreement between Soccer Services Barcelona and Universidad Católica de Chile, one of the biggest clubs in Chile (14 first division titles, 4 Chilean Cups, 2 Supercups and one Interamerican Cup among others) has been made official today.
The first stage of the project, which will be attended by coaches of its academy and women’s teams as well as the main executives of the club’s sports services, will focus on providing Universidad Católica de Chile with technical and strategic support, with the aim of further enhancing the training of players through the Ekkono method. To this end, football aspects as important as methodology, planning and game model will be considered.
As Nelson Parraguez (Academy Manager at Universidad Católica) put it, "we hope that this newly started collaboration with Ekkono will be of mutual benefit. We have focused it on our Academy Football, taking advantage of the moment we are living in and the experience and knowledge guaranteed by the Ekkono method".
Annual report: The impact of Ekkono Identity on Albirex Niigata
Recently, we have finished our first season of collaboration at Albirex Niigata with a clear objective: Make the Albirex Niigata Academy the one with the highest production of professional players in the region and with the best coaches.
In the report presented to the club, we show you all the actions carried out jointly within each of the pillars of Ekkono Identity, as well as the achievements and proposed next steps of each of these actions.
The main focuses of the project were:
- Construction of a unified playing model.
- Definition of a training plan based on age groups.
- Creation of an “Elite Group” focused on the best players at the academy.
- Standardization of the training method.
To know in detail all the work done within the club, you have the full report available at the following link:
Soccer Services Barcelona and Chilean club O'Higgins FC agree to implement the Ekkono Method in the club
After having the pleasure of visiting O'Higgins FC a few months ago and owing to the impression we made on them, we have reached an agreement with the Chilean club to use the Ekkono Identity method in their organization.
Through this collaboration, O'Higgins FC, 2014 Chilean Super Cup and 2013 Chilean First Division’s Torneo Apertura champions, will receive personalized training focused on making the most of the club's training and methodology.
After closing the agreement, Pablo Calandria, the club's sports manager, said that "our meeting at Monasterio Celeste Sports Center that was held some months ago opened the doors enabling that today, despite the circumstances, we can meet again to plan a joint effort”.
The historic New Zealander club Christchurch United FC announces the use of the Ekkono Method
Recently, Christchurch United FC, 6-time winner of the New Zealand National League and many others from the Chatham Cup, and Soccer Services Barcelona, have reached a collaboration agreement to use the Ekkono Identity method.
The project aims to increase the effectiveness of club’s methodology already existing in the club. To do so, personalized technical support will be provided, both to all the Academy's coaches, and to the Director of Methodology.
Michiel Buursma, Head of coaching and methodology Christchurch United: “Ekkono is a highly renowned program and used by professional football academies around the globe. We are looking forward to learning a lot from Ekkono during the upcoming period, so when we get back on the field, we can help our players develop even better!”
"The Ekkono method has helped me interpret the game better and make better decisions"
Irene Paredes is another elite player with whom we have the pleasure of working, in order to help her grow and improve as a professional player.
The Basque center-back is currently the captain of Paris Saint-Germain, where she won the French Cup in 2018. Before landing at the French team, Irene had played 5 years (2011-2016) at Athletic de Bilbao, where she won la Liga, and 3 years at Real Sociedad (2008-2011).
In addition, Irene is also the captain of the Spanish National Team, in which she has played more than 60 matches. A proof of her great talent is that in 2017 she was chosen for the ideal team of FIFPRO World XI as one of the world’s best center backs.
From Soccer Services Barcelona, we designed a specific Individual Player Performance Program for Irene. To do so, different games played by the player were analyzed in order to identify different aspects to be perfected, such as the positioning at the start of the game, the types of passes that can generate greater advantage, or the understanding of when to maintain or break the balance from the defensive line.
Once this analysis was done, some reports were presented to the player explaining different concepts and fundamentals that would help her improve her performance.
After receiving the presentation of 3 individual reports in recent months, Irene Paredes states that:"The Ekkono method has helped me interpret the game better and make better decisions"
Soccer Services Barcelona takes part in the "8th International Football Conference" in Katowice
On March 7 we had the pleasure of participating in the "8th International Football Conference" organized by the Akademia Piłkarska Champions of Katowice (Poland).
In this our sixth consecutive attendance to the event, more than 250 coaches from all over the country were reunited eager to learn more about football.
When our turn came, the conference attendees were able to deepen their understanding of the tactical intentions of control, as well as its importance and what and how to train at each stage.
Smartfielder: Implement training and video-analysis model to develop professional players (video)
Smartfielder is the pillar of the Ekkono Method which focuses on maximizing a player’s access to the professional environment, turning him into smart and expert players.
In order to do so, the following five cognitively oriented methodological elements must be worked on; they will bring us closer to achieving the objective of creating a "smart player".
Therefore, the Ekkono Method continues to focus on the creation of training contexts which, through teaching styles such as guided discovery or problem solving, require the player to be actively involved in his learning process. Recently, the talks with coaches, the sum of experiences working with professional players and the contributions of the latest research in sports sciences, have led us to include video-analysis as a key factor in our approach.
Through the use of technology, young players will be able to learn to evaluate themselves from an early age, which is one of the main characteristics of expert players.
Watch the video here:
Co-Learning activity carried out with the U17 players of the Thailand FA
During this month, we have carried out the first Co-Learning activity with the U17 players of the Thai Federation.
Co-Learning, one of the four pillars on which the Ekkono Method is based in order to create or strengthen an identity, consists in decentralizing the teaching processes to accelerate the learning processes.
On this occasion, several U17 players were selected to play the role of a coach for a few days, in which after understanding and discussing about specific contents and game concepts with our Ekkono staff, they prepared training tasks to be able to work on them.
Later, and after defining different roles, the U17 players dressed as coaches and carried out one of these tasks during the training with the U14 team.
The main objective of this dynamic is for the players to better understand a specific training content, as well as to give them a different point of view that will surely help them when competing.
On the other hand, Co-Learning activities help us to emphasize such important values as teamwork, cooperation and the importance of helping and teaching the younger generations.
Jordi Alba: "Carles Romagosa is one of the coaches from whom I have learned the most" (video)
Carles Romagosa, co-founder together with David Hernández of the Ekkono Method, began his career at Futbol Club Barcelona in 1998. During his time in the catalan entity, he was the director of the FCB Football School from 1998 to 2000. In addition, he was grassroots coach for 4 years and trained young figures that would later become professionals and even world champions like Gerard Piqué, Jordi Alba, Cesc Fàbregas, Bojan Krkic or Víctor Ruiz among others.
Many of these players still have great memories of Carles and this can be clearly seen in the following interview with Jordi Alba, in which he states that "Carles Romagosa personally helped me a lot; as a person he was outstanding and he is one of the coaches from whom I have learned the most".
Watch the original interview here:
China continues its plan in search of an identity in which we had the opportunity to collaborate
The People's Republic of China has been developing national football development plans for more than 15 years. The one conceived in 2014 with the aim of becoming a footballing superpower by 2025 evidences China’s intention.
In the previous national development plan, in 2011 the Chinese Football Association (CFA) planned the creation of a High-Performance Centre in Catalonia where Chinese players would be permanently shaped under Spanish methodology.
After being part of the technical sub-directorate of the Catalan Football Federation 2009-2011, at Soccer Services Barcelona we had the mission to select the best Chinese players in U15 and U17 categories who would later launch the program. To that end, we travelled to China for a season, where we visited all the country's prefectures analysing a multitude of young players from all over the territory. Besides, we held regular meetings with the Chinese National Team coaches of that age group, and with coaches whose teams were qualifying for the prefectures’ final phases.
Finally, a total of 44 players were selected (22 from U15 and 22 from U17) to be part of the only high-performance Chinese centre in Catalonia. At the same time and in parallel, a report was made detailing the strategic development both for the training of coaches, the development and organization of Chinese competitions, as well as for the development of teaching units in the country's schools.
Successful Individual Player Performance Program carried out for Albirex Niigata first team player
During our first year of collaboration with Albirex Niigata, despite being mainly focused on tasks within the Academy, we have carried out several collaborative actions with the first team.
Among these actions is the Individual Player Performance Program (IPPP) elaborated for the striker Leonardo Nascimento Lopes de Souza "Leo".
This program consisted of an individual report for which the Ekkono Engine analyzed several matches played by Leo identifying different technical aspects to be improved. Afterwards, based on this analysis, the Methodology Department presented and explained to the Brazilian player different concepts that would help him improve his performance. On the other hand, at the end of the season he was presented with a final report to measure his improvement and understanding of the previously explained contents and concepts.
Since the presentation of the individual report until the end-of-season, Leo managed to score 20 goals in 20 matches finishing the season as top scorer in the Japanese Second Division. Moreover, his market value was increased by 1M EUR during this period according to Transfermarkt.
Japan still committed to boosting women's football
FIFA recently made official the four final candidacies for the organization of the next Women's World Cup in 2023.
Alongside Brazil, Colombia and Australia & New Zealand, there is Japan’s candidacy, a country with which Soccer Services Barcelona has been collaborating for more than 10 years in order to develop and promote its footballing level in every respect. Among the different projects we have been carrying out in the Asian country, our 3-year collaboration with the Japanese Football Federation is specially outstanding.
This project, which began in 2012, aimed to take Japanese football to the next level using the Ekkono methodology. To this end, a training programme for coaches was carried out throughout the country and a training methodology programme was developed for the Japanese federation's high performance centres for both men and women in the country.
Since then, many of the female players we directly work with have made the leap to professional football. Such are the cases of the U20 World Cup champions Hannah Stambaugh, Endo Jun, Miyu Takahira and the senior internationals Chica Hirao, Miyake Shiori, Hikaru Kitagawa, Rika and Moriya Miyabi.
Soccer Services Barcelona and IFK Göteborg analyze last season and agree on further collaborations for the next season
After the end of the Allsvenskan 2019 season, where IFK Göteborg surpassed the initial expectations for this season, last week we travelled to Gothenburg to meet with the club managers.
In the meetings, a summary and a positive analysis of our first season collaborating with the Swedish club were carried out. In addition, our utmost degree of collaboration was agreed for the following season.
Besides, we took the opportunity to present a final report of the season summarizing the impact of the collaboration and the use of the Ekkono method in different aspects and areas within the club.
As Max Markusson, CEO of IFK Göteborg, says:"IFK Göteborg went through tremendous strategic work in autumn 2018. After that, we agreed to take a further step in enhancing the growth of our players. This collaboration is a fundamental part of our sports strategy, and we are very happy to use the Ekkono Method to improve our club"
Vero Boquete visited our office to recieve her 3rd Individual Report
Soccer Services Barcelona has been advising high level world players for years with the aim of helping them grow and improve as players.
Since we worked together at PSG, Vero Boquete (world reference in women's football, UEFA Women's Champions League champion and FIFA & La Liga ambassador) has placed her trust in our experience developing the talent of players in order to help her continue improving as a professional player.
Thus, Vero visited the offices of Soccer Services Barcelona to receive her third individual annual report. These reports consist in an analysis of the player's performance in the latest matches stressing the previously defined aspects to be worked on, and then advising her on how to boost her strengths and improve her weaknesses.
After several years of working together, Vero Boquete states:"The Ekkono method makes you a smart player and therefore it maximizes your performance"
TALKMADE SESSIONS WITH THE COACHES IN ALBIREX NIIGATA
"Laranja Azul" is the official monthly magazine of Albirex Niigata. Thanks to it the followers of this Japanese Club are updated both about current issues related to the first team and about the other teams’ work within the academy.
Since Soccer Services Barcelona started its project with Albirex Niigata, the magazine "Laranja Azul" reports every month on the work carried out by the methodology department in the academy, which is none other than to homogenize an identity.
On this occasion, the article refers to the Talkmade sessions (theoretical and practical) conducted by the methodology department together with all the trainers of the academy. Moreover, the perception area through which perceptive trainings are carried out with all the teams in the academy is also discussed.
On the other hand, Shuya Honda, a player in the U18 team, tells in an interview how after attending the Ekkono Field.Rec video analysis sessions, he has learned to better understand the game and how to shake off.
THE EKKONO BOOK
Creating intelligent players is becoming a trend in modern football. However, its important to question, what is behind this expression? What makes an intelligent player? How should a Club or Federation organize themselves to create such profiles of players? What should I train if I want to become an intelligent player?
All of these questions and many more are coming from club owners, parents, coaches, and players from all over the world. But there is no single answer for any of them. Most importantly, what is useful and important in one country, may not have the same significance in another country.
In this book you will find the history of the EKKONO METHOD, a successful football model used by a wide range of clubs and federations world wide who share a common objective: become a reference in developing youth players.
THROUGHOUT THE BOOK YOU WILL
- Understand the origin of the EKKONO METHOD
- Learn its main training pillars
- Highlight the expansion around the world
- Become familiar with the authors by reading about their backgrounds
- Know about the world of professional football
GIVE US YOUR CONTACT INFO,
AND OUR TEAM WILL REACH YOU AS SOON AS POSIBLE
WE CREATE TAILOR-MADE PROJECTS FOR YOU
After more than 15 years developing projects all over the world, we know that adapting to the reality and needs of our clients is essential if we want to achieve successful projects. Our work philosophy is not based on imposing a certain work methodology. The workflow of any of our projects is as follows:
1. We define a personalized plan
We listen to you, analyze your reality and from here on we set up a project tailored to your needs. We will use all our experience and knowledge to present you with a proposal that will surely be satisfactory.
2. We assign a team
Within our organization there will be a team specially focused on developing your project. Such team will be made up of Ekkono licensed coaches, some located in Barcelona and others in your organization. Together, they will use the Ekkono Identity method to team up with your technical staff, providing them with support and resources in order to achieve the agreed results.
3. We do a follow-up
In addition to the daily work, we also produce regular reports to keep the management team updated about the project development. These reports include a mid-season chronogram and a comprehensive report based on key performance indicators to ensure that the organization is evolving adequately.
4. We adjust according to feedback
After submission of the reports, all feedback received from the board is channeled and the implementation plan is adjusted. In this way, the board will have guaranteed control of everything that happens in the organization and will be able to focus its efforts on the most appropriate areas.
5. We get tangible results
We guarantee that your identity will be enhanced in just one season. But most importantly, from the third season onwards, not only will you recover your investment, but you will have become a specialist in the generation and sale of professional players.
MAIN BENEFITS OF HAVING A METHODOLOGY DEPARTMENT
Boost the sense of belonging among your players, staff and fans thanks to a shared way of understanding football, playing style, values and philosophy among other aspects.
By ensuring your academy players reach the Pro Team, your organization is going to save budget in the market-transfer windows.
Most organizations are going to be looking for your players, therefore, your chance of selling and generating revenue will be much higher.
Your fans feel more attached to youth promoted players. It makes them come to your stadium in large numbers and increases club ecosystem consumption.
When other young players find out about your successful model, they will all want to join your youth teams.
By proving the success of your model, your organization is going to feel proud of its your sector and will become a world reference within the football industry.
EKKONO IDENTITY, THE INVISIBLE PART OF SUCCESS
Soccer Services Barcelona (SSB) is a consulting firm that has partnered with Federations and Professional Football Clubs for more than 15 years. The Company’s Ekkono licensed coaches have worked at Top Clubs such as FC Barcelona and Paris Saint-Germain, and offered their services to the National Federations of Japan, China and Thailand. These entities may differ significantly from one to another, but there is an unwavering common goal: selecting and developing talented players. By doing this, the best economic and team results are achieved.
SSB is the only firm with the Ekkono Identity method, a set of processes for reaching this goal. Unlike other alternatives that only focus on improving certain technical skills or game tactics, SSB proposes creating a Methodology Department. It does this with the aim of promoting, among other things, a coordinated plan of all the training content, a shared educational philosophy across all the teams, a unified game model, and a focus on certain values to create bonds between everyone in the organization.
The Methodology Department is the “invisible” element of overall success, which is fine, because fans love the game, the players, the great teams, the best plays and the most impressive goals.
Fans should be allowed to continue enjoying the “tip of the iceberg”. Not only that, we must work hard so they can be excited about their Team’s achievements, so they feel involved in a certain playing style, and to the degree possible, so future generations can experience a certain culture through the Club’s values. When this last aspect—which refers to building an identity—is developed systematically, success is guaranteed. Teams share their values with fans in a number of ways. For example, Liverpool FC conveys the value of respect by respecting its former players, FC Barcelona and Amsterdam’s Ajax share the value of commitment through their commitment to a specific playing style, Germany’s National Team conveys the value of discipline, and Uruguay’s National Team shares the idea of competitiveness.
The clearer the identity of a Football Federation or Club, the higher its likelihood of success. It is easier to channel an organization’s efforts in a single direction. This clarifies the criteria for selecting talent, the type of training activities that should be planned, the teaching style to be used, the playing system to be established and the lifestyle we should foster at our training centers, etc. The way to create, accelerate and/or optimize that identity is through a Methodology Department.
THE NEED FOR IDENTITY IN HUNGARIAN FOOTBALL
The Hungarian magazine Nemzei Sport, interviewed Miquel Farrerons, CEO of Soccer Services Barcelona, to talk about how important it is for professional clubs to have a well-defined identity and its importance in modern football.
During the interview, some examples of very well-known clubs were outlined, such as AFC Ajax, Athletic Bilbao and Liverpool FC. All very successful models, but with very different characteristics.
Lastly, the text takes an in-depth look at the Ekkono Identity method´s ability to adapt to the needs and particularities of each club. To date, Ekkono has helped more than 30 clubs, in 16 different countries, always with the aim of not imposing a way of doing things, but rather by working together with the coaching department to build a unique identity for each organisation.
THE FOUR PILLARS OF THE EKKONO IDENTITY METHOD PRESENTED IN PORTUGAL
On the occasion of Soccerex Europe, held on 5 and 6 September in Oeiras (Portgual), David Hernández, Co-Author of the Ekkono method, gave an interview to the prestigious Portuguese newspaper Record.
The text explains that Ekkono Identity has been especially designed to help any club wanting to create or strengthen an identity to do so.
How is this fantastic idea turned into a reality? Ekkono is very clear about this, through four basic pillars that any professional club can use as a guide to achieve results in the short-term.
- TALKMADE: Create or speed up a club culture through discussion with coaches.
- SMARTFIELDER: Implement a training model and video analysis to develop professional players.
- CO-LEARNING: Decentralize teaching processes in order to speed up learning processes.
- COMMITTEES: Embody the club values in order to develop an identity
Interview with former Director of PSG Methodology Department
On the occasion of Soccerex US, held in Miami (Florida), David Hernández gave an interview to Soccerex.com. The interview addressed two fundamental issues: his experience as Director of Methodology at Paris Saint-Germain, and the main characteristics of Ekkono Identity, the new version of the method developed together with Carles Romagosa.
In relation to the time he spent implementing the Ekkono method in Paris, Hernández not only highlighted the victories achieved by the academy sides at PSG, but also, especially, the fact that 85% of the players who followed the Individual Player Performance Plan ended up making their first team debut.
With regard to the Ekkono Identity method, he highlighted that the aim of the method is to provide, via its implementation at each club that requests it, a model that defines aspects such as the style of play and training methods, but also, for example, the values to promote on a priority basis. The objective is to seek an overall and unique identity for each club.
Paris Saint Germain awarded the best football academy in France
After six consecutive years of dominance from Olympique Lyonnais, PSG has been selected by the French Football Federation as the best professional club for work on player training and promotion. And, indeed, this is the main objective of its Methodology Department, which has worked for 3 years using the Ekkono Identity method.
This prize is awarded taking into consideration aspects such as:
- Number of professional contracts signed by players trained at the club
- Number of first team matches played
- Number of national team matches played
- School grades obtained by players trained at the club
This prestigious award is the result of months of work. Also, it is a clear indication that when the club works to build an identity, it obtains results sooner than expected.
AFC, FOOTBALL ASSOCIATION OF THAILAND AND THE EKKONO METHOD FOR THE DEVELOPMENT OF COACHES
One of the main focuses of the project that Soccer Services Barcelona carries out at the Football Association of Thailand is the Grassroots Program. It is aimed at developing football throughout the country.
Its approach is not strictly competitive as it involves stakeholders from all levels such as: clubs, social leaders, universities, sponsors, family members, volunteers and lots of players. Also, it is important to stress that this project is also focused on the promotion of the values that the association proposes around the entire country. In the following video you can see a typical day at one of the events organised, as well as the importance of the participation of coaches and volunteers.
AFC recognizes Ekkono Method project
The Football Association of Thailand has been recognised as an honorary member of the AFC (Asian Football Confederation), for its great contribution, through football, to increasing community values in the region.
After years of hard work using Ekkono Identity as a means to provide a backbone to football in Thailand, the Association has managed to involve lots of clubs, teams, coaches, social leaders and teachers, through the organisation of training sessions and championships for boys and girls of all ages which, in addition to the key aspects of football, transmit the values that make Thailand a unique country.
IFK GÖTEBORG INVESTS TO STRENGTHEN ITS IDENTITY
IFK Göteborg and Soccer Services Barcelona (SSB) reach agreement to use the Ekkono Identity method at the Swedish club. During the 3 years of the project, the main objective will be to create a club identity that will make it possible to produce professional players, and improve the competition results of the 1st team.
In a statement, Mr Max Markusson, Club Director, said the following:
“Last autumn, the club carried out important work to define its strategy for the coming years. It is very important for us to attain this collaboration […] which will offer great potential for our players to develop.
This collaboration is one of the most important pillars of our sporting strategy. We are very happy that SSB wants to join forces with IFK Göteborg”.
ALBIREX NIIGATA ANNOUNCES USE OF EKKONO IDENTITY METHOD
Albirex Niigata and Soccer Services Barcelona reach agreement to use the Ekkono Identity method. The Japanese Club has announced the creation of a Methodology Department that will be responsible for leading the definition and implementation of a footballing identity.
The main focuses of the project will be:
- Construction of a unified playing model.
- Definition of a training plan based on age groups.
- Creation of an “Elite Group” focused on the best players at the academy.
- Standardisation of the training method.
Another step forward in Japan, a country that has seen the Ekkono method grow for more than 10 years.
ANNUAL REPORT: THE IMPACT OF EKKONO IDENTITY ON THE FOOTBALL ASSOCIATION OF THAILAND
Each year, Soccer Services Barcelona produces a detailed report on project progress for each of its clients. Obviously, this document varies for each of the organisations. No two projects are the same!
Below is the report presented to the Football Association of Thailand. A very large-scale project aimed at developing football throughout the country by creating an identity based on the uniqueness of Thailand.
The main courses of action are as follows:
- Define the “Thailand Way”.
- Offer support to clubs and national teams.
- Train coaches throughout the country.
- Establish a system of high performance centres.
- Collaborate with the Asian Football Confederation.
GIF SUNDSVALL ACHIEVES HISTORIC RECORDS
After just two seasons using the Ekkono Identity method, GIF Sundsvall has become a club of renowned prestige. Despite being the club with the smallest budget in Sweden´s first division, GIF Sundsvall has developed a very powerful identity, based on a sophisticated playing style.
In addition to the special support provided to the first team, the collaboration also encompassed the entire academy, using the four basic pillars of the Ekkono Identity method to strengthen the club´s identity.
Joel Cedergren, the first team manager, has publicly acknowledged that “the Ekkono method has helped him and provided him with the tools to achieve his full potential as a manager”
PSG BEATS ITS RECORD FOR ACADEMY PLAYERS IN FIRST TEAM USING THE EKKONO METHOD
During the pre-season, PSG beat all of its records in terms of the use of young academy players in first team matches. In its first two matches, 80% of the players who got match time came from the Parisian team´s Training Centre.
The number of academy players used in the first team has doubled over the last three seasons, since the Ekkono Identity method was first used in 2015 to develop identity at PSG. Its all-time record was achieved in a Ligue 1 match against Caen, in which seven young players from the academy sides participated, with five in the starting line-up.
With these figures, PSG is the leading team in Europe in relation to the promotion of young talent. The gratifying job of defining and implementing an identity throughout the entire Club is now bearing its first fruit.
Finland National Team makes history qualifying for EURO 2020
Soccer Services Barcelona and Finland have a very close relationship since we started working in the Nordic country more than 10 years ago. Our main goal was to help them develop and improve their soccer skills and culture.
In this way, and with the help of Eerikkilä Sport Institute (the only center licensed to offer Ekkono Method training courses) and Sami Hyypiä Academy, we have trained hundreds of Finnish coaches over the years, advised dozens of young players and collaborated with the best academies in the country.
Today, several coaches trained under the Ekkono Method are part of the Football Association of Finland, and many players who were advised are frequently called up for the different categories of the national team.
For all these reasons, we are very proud of Finland's recent historic qualification for EURO 2020. A clear sign that perseverance, dedication and training can lead to any goal.