Edited by Neil Longley
Chapter 3: The golden generation: the personnel economics of youth recruitment in European professional soccer
The youth training academy system in German soccer is examined. The chapter argues that the academy system acts not only as a long-term screening function (i.e. a long-term probation), but also has a training and development purpose whereby teams impart both general soccer-related skills to youth as well as club-specific skills, knowledge, and attitudes. From a recruiting perspective, the training academies allow clubs to gain private information about players, helping clubs to ultimately determine the quality of the club-player match. The chapter also identifies several impediments to effectively identifying the best youth players, including the continued long-term persistence of the so-called ‘relative age effect’.
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