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German youth coaching needs modernising: Loew

Berlin, Feb 23: German head coach Joachim Loew has demanded radical changes to the country’s youth coaching programme.

“We’ve got to improve the cognitive aspects. As for the physical aspects, we’ve reached the limits in football. But when it comes to the cognitive part there’s still a lot of room for improvement,” said the 57-year-old in an interview on Wednesday, reports Xinhua news agency.

For the 2014 World Cup-winning coach, Spain is still the leading tion when it comes to both bringing on talented youngsters and using the best training methods.

“People who believe that they have the talent with the most potential should visit Spain,” Loew said.

After visiting the El Clasico between Barcelo and Real Madrid, Loew took a close look at the Catalonian club’s youth teams and was immensely impressed by the performance of Barca’s under-10 team.

According to Loew, he had never seen a similarly well-coached side in Germany.

“There were only little Iniestas on the pitch. I couldn’t believe that 10-year olds were able to play so well, both tactically and in their understanding of the game,” Loew said.

Loew said he saw a youngster control and pass the ball with his left foot “without even watching the ball for a second.”

In Loew’s eyes, what the youngster did was more like chess than football, since chess players think 10 or 20 moves in advance.

“Football players in the future will have to do the same,” the former striker said.

He said the area with the biggest potential for improvement is cognitive coaching. Distances covered or possession can be neglected, but the ability to think ahead and play pro-actively is of paramount importance.

Loew said new coaching methods are essential for the German Football Association’s (DFB) academy, which is due to be built near their headquarters in Frankfurt. Cognitive coaching also needs to be transported to the tion’s clubs, both at the professiol and grassroots levels.

For Loew, the association’s new academy must lead the way in defending Germany’s top position in world football.

The German coach also stressed the need to start the coaching process between the ages of six and 12, adding that coaching methods concentrating on coordition and orientation are needed.

For Loew, it is common-sense knowledge that, in the near future, football will start with the goalkeeper. Germany and Bayern Munich No.1 Manuel Neuer “is our first ball distributor” and a cornerstone in the team’s game, Loew noted.

Of course, doors of the tiol team will always be open to new talents, but Loew pointed out that talents may not be so abundant in the near future.

“The majority of people around the world assume we have talents everywhere, but we are talking about talent on a world-class level, not just at the level of a top Bundesliga player,” Loew emphasised. “In the last 10 years, I have seen highly talented players who in the end could not help the team win a title or perform well in knock-out games,” Loew said. IANS