Cobalt Sport

Garry Monk to pass on expertise to youngsters at West Bromwich Albion Development Centre at St Peter’s High School in Gloucester

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Author: Roger Jackson, Posted: Friday, 30th August 2019, 11:40

Paul Gardiner Paul Gardiner

One of the brightest minds in British football will be in Gloucester next week to pass on his knowledge and expertise to the next generation of players.
 
Garry Monk, who has played and managed in the Premier League and is still only 40, will be at the West Bromwich Albion Development Centre at St Peter’s High School on Monday evening to run his eye over some of the most talented footballers in the area.
 
“I’m really chuffed, it’s a great coup for us,” said the development centre manager Paul Gardiner. “It’s great for the kids, they will love it.”
 
They certainly will because as well as playing and managing Swansea City in the top flight – he spent the bulk of his playing career with the Welsh club – Monk has also managed Leeds, Middlesbrough and most recently Birmingham City.
 
Monk will be joined on Monday evening by his brother Stuart, who also has a strong footballing background.
 
Stuart is the man behind Soccer Profile, the increasingly popular online measuring resource, which measures and supports the long term development of a player’s technical and physical development.
 
It’s a programme that has been embraced by the West Bromwich Albion Academy set-up as well as the development centre in Gloucester and Gardiner, an academy coach himself, said: “We think it is very good.
 
“It provides our coaches with a platform to measure and support our player’s long term development based on fatal data and allows players to take ownership of their own development along with encouraging individual skill practice away from the training ground.”
 
Soccer Profile was first rolled out about a year ago and Gardiner continued: “I’ve known Stuart Monk for a long time and the West Brom development centre in Gloucester was the first place that Soccer Profile was used.
 
“Stuart and Garry are coming down on Monday to see the boys use it, give them some encouragement and to say thank you.
 
“When Stuart first showed me the concept, I had the players and he needed the product tested, it was win, win.”
 
It certainly was because now a good number of clubs all over the country and beyond are using it.
 
Gardiner, who lives in Stroud, has been running the West Brom development centre in Gloucester for more than 10 years now.
 
It caters for more than 100 youngsters from under-7s through to under-16s and those signed on are players who the centre believes may have a future in the game.
 
“The aim is to get them signed to the West Bromwich Albion Academy,” said Gardiner. “We had four signed last season and if they can’t make it at that level the aim is to get them into another academy.
 
“We’ve got two coaches for every age group. They are very good with some of them working full-time in football.”
 
But while the football is obviously very important, there is more to the development centre than just learning to play the beautiful game.
 
“We want our players to be humble, resilient, enthusiastic and to have fun,” added Gardiner. “We’re not a typical development centre, we don’t bring players in for six weeks and then get rid of them.
 
“We work on the players and some can be with us for years. Of course not all the players get to where they want to go but the promise we do make is that they will be better players when they leave than when they arrived.”

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