As we speak; I’m on my yearly inspiration, networking & scouting trip in Europe. This is a very important part of my development, so I always make sure to go abroad to visit clubs, network and to keep myself updated on players and tactical development.
This year I started in London having some days at Tottenham Hotspurs and Brentford FC. Two clubs on different levels, but both interesting due to how English football (slowly) are moving in the right direction in terms of talent development. Last year I visited Manchester City for the second time in four years and it was obvious England finally have understood some of the issues in the way they develop players for modern football.
I also participated in LEADERS Summit, which is a performance conference over two days at Emirates (the stadium of Arsenal FC), where we discussed how to develop a performance culture, looking into the future of working with talents & trying to understand how some of the best coaches and CEO’s around the sports globe have been successful; two very inspiring days indeed.
Then: Off to Holland and Ajax Amsterdam. For me - the home of talent development. So many former and current top players have played for this club and Ajax have a know-how and a philosophy on technical and offensive football I can only admire + a very open minded club who are willing to share their ideas and principles.
Last week, I went to Lisbon and SL Benfica. My first visit in a Portuguese club and I absolutely loved it! Great facilities first of all and also a club with some tactical principles and a passion for the game that fascinates me and will inspire my own work with players and teams (currently in China) in the future. A great club and I will be back for sure.
Now, I’m sitting in Germany (Gelsenkirchen) at Marriott Hotel with the view from my room at Veltins Arena. I analyzed the game Schalke 04 - FC Bayern Munich on Sunday and will the next days follow the Schalke-training as well. Germany is always an interesting football country to visit, so looking forward to some productive days here, and on Friday my trip comes to an end when I go to Denmark for my holiday.