Millions set aside to foster better football talents in Denmark

New project to help propel Denmark back into Europe’s elite

The Danish football league association Divisionsforeningen has announced it will set aside 10-12 million kroner to boost talent development at 15 of Denmark’s top football clubs.

Divisionsforeningen has hired the Belgian talent development specialist Double Pass – which is behind similar initiatives in the English Premier League and the German Bundesliga – as a consultant on the project.

The 15 clubs involved in the project are the 12 Superliga clubs and the three 1 Division clubs with A licences: Vejle, Silkeborg and Lyngby.

“The goal is to increase the quality of football in the best Danish leagues. We know that talent development is an essential factor to gain success internationally,” Claus Thomsen, the head of Divisionsforeningen, told Politiken newspaper.

“It’s about the clubs developing more top-shelf talents. The more there are, the more the clubs can refrain from selling them abroad.”

Thomsen has noted that Denmark has dropped from 12th to 22nd in the European coefficient rankings in just four years as the Superliga clubs have sold more talents abroad and performed poorly in European competitions.

READ MORE: Denmark on the brink of a European football disaster

Three-phase project
The project will consist of three phases. The first phase involves fitting Danish football to the tools provided by Double Pass and integrating the national football association DBU into the project.

The second phase involves the analysis of the 15 clubs taking part via interviews and visits after which the clubs will receive individual reports offering recommendations for changes – all the way from the boardroom to under-10 training.

The third and final phase consists of Double Pass creating a report about the state of talent development in Denmark, which Divisionsforeningen will then use to point out mutual needs, challenges, areas of interest and strengths in the clubs’ development of talent.

“This is a joint national effort for talent development in Danish football,” Thomsen said.

“In the future the clubs will be able to measure themselves against each other and glean from the experiences we gather along the way. That could be anything: from the way we train to how we set up youth academies.”

The final plan will be ready in 2017 and clubs with B and T licences – clubs from Division 1 and 2 – are also expected to be part of the project in the long run.