Palacios evaluates Future Champions Tournament

Johannesburg, Monday, 18th April 2011

For the past two weeks I have been working on the evaluation I did on the Gauteng Future Champions Tournament and after concluding it, I came up with some interesting findings.

From those findings I could learn that we are not too far from the amount of work the Europeans and the South American teams have put in the development of young players.

For instance our lack of converting the chances we create throughout the tournament, was also one of the major problems we had and I can gladly say that we will work tirelessly to solve these problems.

Football has become a totally different game whereby players that aspire to play at the highest level, have to learn more than just playing football.

I have discovered that in Europe there is a big emphasis on nutrition and psychological wellbeing of the players. Looking at the games we played against Unversidade Catolica and PSV Eindhoven, our players struggled against the physical condition of the visitors as well as the psychological superiority they showed during the matches.

Of course, there is no ways we could be equal to them in terms of having our players matching them in every aspect of the game, simply because of our lack of appropriate resources and the minimum investment that is done here in South Africa in terms of producing top quality players at a younger age.

In terms of playing with the foot-ball, I am still to find an European team that can match African teams

  • We had a wonderful football and cultural experience in Gauteng. The tournament and activities were very well organized and we found everyone involved extremely helpful and accommodating. We have all returned home with fantastic memories of our time in South Africa, both on and off the pitch, and have made many new friends as a result of the trip. I hope that we are invited to participate in future tournaments.

    Everton Academy Head Coach
  • The experience both on and off the field for our players during the Future Champions tournament in Gauteng was life-enriching for all those who participated. We were privileged enough to win this edition but what will be bringing us back in future is the cross-cultural education our players receive from spending time with athletes from all over the world. They are human beings before they are football players and enriching them with other cultures is as rewarding as the experience they receive on the field.

    Club Tijuana Director of Football
  • After twenty years of experiencing tournaments around the globe, Future Champions is hands down the best organized, well run International Tournament we have ever participated in. Bringing teams from dozens of different countries provided our boys exposure to cultural diversity they only read about in textbooks. It’s amazing how sport can be the cultural link that provides the opportunity to interact with each other and discover that our global community is a bit smaller than they realized. We had a football and cultural experience that will be cherished for the rest of our lives.

    Director of USYSA Select
  • For us to compete in Future Champions is much more than playing a series of matches. It is an opportunity to compete and contrast our level against the best teams from around the world and the possibility of living in another culture and environment for an unforgettable week, learning about the history of the fight for human rights.

    Director of Aspire Academy
  • The addition of a girls’ competition this year is a natural expansion for what has become a hugely popular event. Over and above the football, the players are also exposed to life-skills courses and HIV/AIDS awareness that could end up saving their lives in the future. We have had an amazing partnership with the Gauteng Province over the last decade and we thank each and every stakeholder for making the Future Champions Gauteng campaign such a huge success

    Tournament director