BAFA are delighted to announce the launch of the GB Futures initiative, designed to facilitate the transition of talented players, coaches and staff into the GB Men’s and U19 contact National Programme Teams.
What is GB Futures?
This initiative targets players aged under 23 and under 19 who are currently not participating in National Programme activity and is part of an endeavour to bridge the transition from youth to senior international football.
It aims to give BUCS students and young National League players a structured pathway into the BAFA National Programme, supporting talented athletes in their desire to be part of elite performance. Identified players will be asked to focus on strength and conditioning, nutrition and the fundamentals of skill development.
How does it work?
The BAFA National Programme team are now gathering data and carrying out a talent identification exercise to compile a list of players to invite to a workout for their age range later this year. Current coaches from the GB men’s and U19 contact programmes will be involved in the scouting and identification of talent.
Part of the process is already underway, with coaches already having scouted the BUCS Finals and youth games earlier this year – resulting in several players who participated in the BUCS Final attending a GB Lions Men’s Contact team practice last month.
In addition to scouting, talent identification will be achieved through collaboration between National Leagues and BUCS teams and BAFA National Programme staff. A recommendation process will be put in place, similar to the one already successfully used earlier this year for head coaches to make recommendations to GB Men’s Contact Head Coach Mike Callan.
The aim is to extend this initiative to all other National Programme teams, starting with GB women’s contact next year.
National Programme Assistant Riq Ayub commented:
“Working across all programmes on talent identification and support for our players is core to the elite athlete process. The transition in development through growing skills and experience will be managed in a positive way with this initiative. We’re also providing an opportunity for coaches to work more on fundamental skill sets.”
Coaches can contact firstname.lastname@example.org if they have any questions or would like to find out more about GB Futures in the meantime.