Market Insight: PSG breaks records of young players in the first team using Ekkono training method

Market Insight: PSG breaks records of young players in the first team using Ekkono training method
During this pre-season, the first team of Paris Saint Germain, under the orders of their new coach Thomas Tuchel, is breaking records in the use of players from its own Training Centre.


The first team disputed its first two matches of the year in France (against S. Genevieve and against FC Chambly) with 80% of its players from PSG's training centre.

Carles Romagosa as Technical Director (previously responsible for the training in FC Barcelona) and David Hernández as Methodology Director (previously advisor of the Japanese Football Association) have been applying their method EKKONO in the talent pool of PSG since 2015 and the work is already proving successful.

If we analyse, for example, the matches in the last ten seasons of the first team, we will find that there is a large increase in the mumber of academy players used in the same match (the average of previous years has doubled in the last three seasons). The record was established in the last match of the last Ligue 1 against the SM Caen team, in which up to 7 trained players in the inferior categories of the club, participated: Adrien Rabiot, Timothy Weah, Christopher Nkunku, Presnel Kimpembe, Alphonse Areola, Yacine Adli and Kevine Rimane, with the first five as starting players. 

David Hernandez and Carles Romagosa, creators of the EKKONO traning method. 

The teams of young men of PSG have become an authentic factory of professional top level players in the last years, because in addition to those that are having their opportunity in the first team, there are many others who are starting to excel in the best teams of top divisions in other European leagues; Jean-Kevin Augustin (RB Leipzig), Odsonne Edouard (Celtic FC), Abdourahmane Barry (RB Salzburg), Dan Axel Zagadou (Borussia Dortmund), Jonathan Ikoné (Montpelier HSC), Lorenzo Callegari (Genoa FC) or Kingsley Koman (Bayern Munich) are some examples of the enormous productivity of the Parisian academy.

What is the secret of this success?

Yacine Adli, one of the biggest promises of French football, gives us a hint in an interview given with in March: «I have progressed a lot on both tactical and technical levels thanks to David Hernández’ method, with whom I’ve worked a lot on an individual level».

Indeed, in academy football teams of PSG an individual training program is carried out, which includes training seasons in the field and video analysis. Each player is an object of thorough analysis to determine their strengths and weaknesses. Based on this profile a work plan is designed by the whole staff team oriented to reach the maximum potential of the player. This plan integrates technical, physical and tactical work, but always with a focus on the development of football intelligence of each sportsman. 

One of the individuals responsible for this individual advisory programme is Francesc Rubio, a coach who has extensive experience in the implementation of the Ekkono Method and who has worked for the last two years with the Japanese Football Association. As he himself has commented in the past, «training centres should be assessed by the number of players that achieve to be professionals and not by the championships that their teams achieve to win» (JFA Press, March 2014).

With these statistics, PSG stands in the leading group of elite clubs of Europe in the promotion of young talents. The French champions have set in motion a strong Methodology Department that focuses on tailoring all teaching and learning processes to the individual, and leads a trend which will become, over the years, the standard for most professional clubs. As it is explained by those responsible of the Parisian Training Centre, the objective is to make the club a reference worldwide in the training of today's young players, as so have been Ajax and FC Barcelona at different stages of football history.

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