Imps Academy Manager Jordan McCann has praised his Academy colleagues for the role they played in City’s recent tour in Germany.
McCann, who arrived at the club in November 2019 spoke highly of the Academy coaching staff as they travelled with Lincoln’s Under 9 and Under 12 sides.
“We have got a fantastic team of staff in the Academy at Lincoln,” said the Academy Manager.
“Lee Moran and I travelled with the Under 9’s. Lee is our Foundation Phase Lead Coach who oversees the Under 7’s up to Under 11’s. Ashley Foyle is our Under 12 to Under 16 Youth Development Lead, he and Head of Coaching David Bridges took the Under 12’s.
“The staff we have are fantastic and are all experts in their field of working with players of that age. They did a great job across the weekend with the boys and they have high-quality coaching skills on the pitch and also have the ability to influence the players off the pitch around the hotel and in other environments.
“I learnt loads from being on the tour with staff I hadn’t been away with before. I learned lots of different ways of developing characteristics in the children, so all the credit lies with them because they were brilliant across the four days.
“All the organisation of things was first class throughout the whole trip.”
The youth sides made their first-ever trip overseas to participate in a prestigious tournament against some of the biggest teams in Europe earlier this month.
McCann explained how the Academy age groups got on during their trip to Germany, with the two sides coming up against teams such as Bayern Munich and FC St. Pauli.
“We flew out to Dortmund, the Under 9’s played in the Schroeder Cup and our Under 12’s played in the Ludenscheid Cup. They were two indoor tournaments not too far away from Dortmund,” said Jordan.
“The Under 9’s did relatively well, they came second in their group which was a pretty good result and meant they went into the Silver Competition. They made it to the Quarterfinals where they lost to a side from the Czech Republic.
“Our Under 12’s faced Bayern Munich in their first game, it was very competitive. The lads won a few games but didn’t make the knockouts, the standard of the tournament was very high with teams like PSV and Everton also taking part.”
Aside from the football, Jordan believes the main benefit from the tour was the children’s off-field learning. Something which improves both their ability as a football and a human being.
“One of the most important parts of the programme is learning core values such as respect,” said the Academy Manager.
“We have the view that better people make better players and we are well aware in our role of working with young people that some of the lads will go onto have a career in professional football, but for the majority of children that might not be the case.”
McCann continued by explaining how this development is great for the young players in their pursuit to one day make it as a first-team professional with Lincoln City: “To get all age groups away would be brilliant because when they come through the pathway and into the first team like Ellis (Chapman) has done they will understand the process of an away game and staying away isn’t alien to them.
“By having the experience of travelling as a squad, they will know how to manage themselves in hotels.
“They will understand how to prepare in terms of nutrition, they will start to get used to being on coaches for long periods of time but that is all part of the development and experience.”
Jordan finished by speaking about going forward and hopefully conducting more Academy Tours in the future: “We will be looking at more tournaments in the summer to hopefully produce players for the first team but if not they will still leave us with an amazing experience and great memories which will give them a great outlook towards Lincoln City."