The Bayern way of success
Youth coach of German giants says good scouting system and tenacity crucial to youth development
To ensure a vibrant youth system in football, it is important to spot talent early, and instil a winning mentality in players from young.
Bayern Munich youth coach Thomas Doellner said yesterday that the German Bundesliga powerhouses' formula for success has always been centred on these two mantras.
Bayern, who have won Germany's last five league titles, have produced a long line of football stars in their history, such as Mats Hummels, Thomas Mueller, Bastian Schweinsteiger and Philipp Lahm.
Doellner, 55, was in Singapore for Football in the City - a series of football activities planned before next month's International Champions Cup (ICC) Singapore.
Bayern, English Premiership champions Chelsea and Italian Serie A side Inter Milan are the three teams who will take part in the July 25-29 tourney.
"It's all about scouting, we have to notice our young players' talent early to be able to sustain them in the junior team," he said yesterday at the family carnival at Clarke Quay, where he conducted football clinics for children aged six to 12.
"It doesn't end there, coaches have to be there every step of the way to ensure he doesn't falter.
"They will go through waves of development and it is our task to stand by them.
"I'm sure we are not that different from other clubs, but we had the advantage of luck to produce some big names in the last few years."
Doellner also added that it is important to forge a tough mentality in young players, so that they are equipped with the necessary skills to cope with the demands of top-level football.
He said: "Our Bayern youths have a different kind of determination compared to other youths. They are very driven."
However, Doellner also stressed that the success of a youth academy cannot be simply judged by the number of players who go on to play for the senior side at the same club.
He said: "It's a long and winding road for our youths.
"Of course, only the best will successfully make it into the main club (Bayern Munich).
"Not many people remember the players we produce who play at the highest levels in the Bundesliga or Premier League, but are not in the main club.
"You can make money in the sport if you are among the best in our academy.
"You will always have a place in the football scene."