The Czecho-German Football School as a project promoting football talent is unique in European terms. It is not only a professional approach to training that we would like to provide to the kids. Football at the same time helps the young German and Czech footballers in their attempt to acquire knowledge of the language and the culture of the neighbouring country in a fun way. Therefore, our school children on both sides of the border have been practising football for years while at the same time learning German and Czech in language courses. The idea is simple and one that yields success: presently the school is operating at full capacity. Some parents are even prepared to drive their children up to 130km to the training sessions.
The Czecho-German Football School is promoting its talents professionally. Our staff are qualified football coaches and language teachers who are experienced in working with the youngsters. "We pay special emphasis on promoting the technical skills and playing offensive football. We want our kids to learn how to handle the ball sensitively and creatively. We want them to enjoy playing", says the team manager Robert Kilin. The former captain of the Romanian junior national team knows what he is talking about. He himself passed the demanding talent promotion in Romania before he moved to Germany.
Kilin is also the head of our co-operation with FC Bayern München. In 2003 the German record-holding champion offered our staff the chance to visit seminars in order to get acquainted with their ways and methods of talent promotion. At the same time, our talents are invited to regular scouting sessions in Munich. This model of co-operation has been quite successful up to now and has been extended to further European countries. Today, we are working together with further top clubs in Germany, Czech Republic, Poland, Scotland, England, Russia and Ukraine.
Alena Kubinová and Tereza Jánská take care that the Czecho-German give-and-go is successful outside of the football pitch as well. The school teachers organise the language courses and teach the children in small groups Czech and German. "Our aim is not to drill the kids on learning grammar or vocabulary by heart. We want them to learn the foreign language in a playful way suitable to children", explain Alena and Tereza. The language course is aiming at long-term success. In the 1st year the children are provided with some basic knowledge. This is deepened step by step. The goal is that the young footballers should be fluent in Czech and German after a period of 8 to 10 years. Yet, first successes are easy to note: the team language is really European. On the football pitch, the boys and girls are able to fluently switch between Czech and German.
Training sessions and participants
Who can attend the Czecho-German Football School? The project is open to all interested football talents in Bavaria, Bohemia, Saxony and Thuringia. Boys and girls from the age-group 1996 and younger are welcome to the project. The youngsters can be members of other clubs. Our training sessions are thought to be an extra-training for all children looking for in-depth education.
How does a usual training session our football school look like? Usually each age-group trains once a week at our sites in the German towns of Hof and Rehau or in the Czech spa Frantiskovy Lazne and Skalná, the home-town of Pavel Nedv?d. German and Czech children are brought with mini-busses to each training session to the respective site. According to their level in football the kids are then divided into special groups. One group trains football, the other attends the language course. After 90 minutes, the groups are changed. During the weekends, we often play tournaments and friendly matches. There, our football school represents the Czecho-German border region as a cross-border squad.
Camps and in-depth training
Besides the usual project days, Czecho-German Football School regularly offers scouting sessions for the community and an intensive talent promotion programme. Football camps during the holidays are the ideal option for newcomers to get to know our project. For all those who want to be particularly promoted we offer further training sessions every week. In those in-depth training sessions the talents can work on their individual skills.
"Champions League atmosphere"
The sporting highlight for the cross-border footballers in white-and-green is the annual MINI-EM. At the MINI-EM renowned clubs from all over Europe meet. Teams like Bayern Munich, Glasgow Rangers, CSKA Moskva, FC Porto, Werder Bremen, Olympique Marseille, VfB Stuttgart, Slavia Prague, Zenit St. Petersburg, Legia Warsaw or AC Fiorentina compete with each other creating an exciting Champions League atmosphere. The top-class international opposition makes the MINI-EM a unique tournament in Europe's youth football.
Big idols are committed to the idea of this tournament, too. The Juventus super star Pavel Nedv?d who visited the tournament in 2005 is happy that the MINI EM "is a great event and great advertisement for my home region". The Czecho-German Football also collected further awards for the European talent promotion. In 2002 the project became elected as the most innovative sports project in Germany (MasterCard Awards Champions4me). In 2003 the Czecho-German Football School deserved the title as the most intensive Czech-German youth project (youth organisation Tandem). In 2006, we got the award "second-best intercultural project in the world" from the BMW Group (Life Award).
Yet, last but not least we say a special big thank you to our staff, all fans, sponsors and volunteers without whose contribution our football school and tournaments as the MINI-EM would be nothing but a good idea.