The Southampton Way!
In the Spring of 2017, Puma FC adopted the curriculum of Southampton Academy of the English Premier League. This philosophy change is implemented across all teams and overseen by the SFC Academy Directors in Southampton, England. Southampton FC is widely known for being the best in the world for developing highly technical, physical, and well-rounded soccer players. Their youth Development Academy has more players in the English Premier League than any other youth academy in England.
Their home ground since 2001 has been St Mary’s Stadium. The club has been nicknamed “The Saints” since its inception in 1885 due to its history as a church football team, founded as St. Mary’s Church of England Young Men’s Association. They play in red and white shirts. Southampton has a long-standing rivalry with Portsmouth due to its close proximity and both cities’ respective maritime history. Matches between the two sides are known as the South Coast derby.
The club has won the FA Cup once, in 1976, and their highest-ever league finish was second in the First Division in 1983–84. Southampton were relegated from the Premier League on 15 May 2005, ending 27 successive seasons of top-division football for the club. They returned after a seven-year absence, and have played there ever since.
SOUTHAMPTON FC ACADEMY VISION
“Our academy vision is to produce a first team year-on-year made up of 50% Academy graduates who are world-class in their technical ability on the field and behaviours off the field competing on the European stage.
We have built our club on sound business principle, and the Academy and development of young players is part of that business plan. We have a philosophy that drives the development of young players because we want a team with young, home-grown players. Southampton Football Club is proven in its success at turning young potential into excellence. Over the last four years, this pathway has produced the likes of James Ward-Prowse, Luke Shaw, Harrison Reed and Calum Chambers.
Recognised as one of the leading academies in the country by holding Category 1 status in the Premier League’s new Elite Player Performance Plan, we operate a clear pathway through our youth system and into the first team. Historically, our Academy has produced players year-on-year for Southampton Football Club and contributed significantly to international teams, including the current England sides across all ages and as well as the senior team.
Today we can count more than 20 international players across the Academy from under-15 to the under-21 age groups. The Academy has always prided itself on developing not just young footballers but fine young men that will represent Southampton Football Club in the right way, on and off the pitch. This holistic approach forms the basis of our success in achieving a high percentage of productivity from our Academy system going onto senior football in the Premier League.
Our club philosophy remains to produce at least 50% of our first team playing squad from the Academy. The Academy will play an attractive brand of football, consistent through all the age groups and offer a culture which has education at the forefront whilst maintaining the highest standards of integrity and honesty amongst the people who serve within it.
Our players are at the centre of everything we do – our focus is to help them reach their full potential. The staff are highly committed and professional; the environment is world-class with our new training ground facilities we have just opened; and the opportunity to play in our first team is a realistic one.”
Southampton FC Academy Manager