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AKRON HOLDING started reforming the Konoplev Academy
19 September 2022 в 08:45

“Football Academy” Yury Konoplyov” changed its name to “Akron-Konoplyov Academy”, and its new founder, AKRON HOLDING Group, launched the implementation of internal transformations in the structure – in the form of a change in leadership, updating the school’s training block, developing and implementing a unified methodology for training players. In the near future, it is planned to expand the activities of the academy in the Samara region through the opening of new sports schools.

In May 2022, a concession agreement was signed between the Football Academy. Yuri Konoplev” and the Government of the Samara region. The investment term of the agreement is four years, the concession is designed for 20 years. According to its terms, the investor invests 2.5 billion rubles in the development of the academy. The source of funding from the concessionaire is donations from Akron Holding JSC. The company is a large Russian metallurgical holding, its beneficiary and head Pavel Morozov is the owner of the Akron club, founded in 2018 and playing in the First League. As part of the agreement, the investor needs to reconstruct the buildings of the children’s and youth school, build an arena and a multifunctional sports and recreation building, and replace the fields.

According to Aleksey Vlasov, General Director of the Akron Football Club, local tasks have been solved over the past two months of reorganization of the football training center. The changes were accompanied by a name change. In the summer of 2022, according to SPARK-Interfax, the Autonomous Non-Commercial Organization (ANO) “Academy of Football. Yury Konoplyov became ANO Akron-Konoplyov Academy. In parallel, there were also personnel changes. The academy was headed by 49-year-old specialist Yevgeny Sizov, who previously worked as the technical director of the Sochi football club and the head of operations of the football academy of FC Dynamo Moscow. He replaced Igor Kechaev as CEO. Spaniard Efren Peteiro is now responsible for the sports direction. He became the sports director of the academy and its chief methodologist.

As part of the personnel reform, a new director of the school, educators, who strengthened the educational block, appeared. The necessary textbooks and manuals were bought in full for the students of the academy for the new academic year. Previously, parents complained that the children had one textbook for three, and often the editions did not match, which is why they had different exercises.

“Optimization was carried out on the internal infrastructure – something that is not visible to the eye. We will do everything necessary for our pupils, even if it is not spelled out in the agreement. The main works under the agreement include the construction and reconstruction of the base, so we are only at the beginning of the journey,” emphasizes Alexey Vlasov

One of the important points of the academy development program is the development and implementation of a unified methodology for training football players. According to the club’s management, both academy coaches and specialists from its branches should adhere to a single methodology. This will provide a systematic and comprehensive approach to the formation of a unified style of play for both the main team and its reserve. The process of integrating young players has already begun. To date, six “academicians” have entered into their first professional contracts with the “base”. They take part in the training sessions of the main team, training camps and games.

On the whole, the processes taking place at Akron – Konoplev Academy are in line with the philosophy of Akron’s main team. From the very beginning, the Akronites considered the training of their own personnel to be a priority and have always declared their intention to develop this area. As a member of the First League, the Togliatti club even before the concession had its own academy, “dispersed” in different locations – in the village of Novosemeykino, Krasnoyarsk region, in Zhigulevsk. After the signing of the agreement on public-private partnership, Akron Holding initially planned to collect all branches territorially in one center – on the basis of Konoplevka. But in the end, the plans were adjusted – all football schools in Novosemeykino, Zhigulevsk and Togliatti will be left at their previous locations, and other similar institutions created in the Samara region will be added to them. Its teams compete in the championships and championships of Russia for different ages.

“We are ready to cooperate with football schools and specialists located anywhere in the Samara region,” Alexey Vlasov, General Director of FC Akron, told SO. The Children’s Football Club (DFC) in Novosemeykino, according to him, is still a project that Akron is interested in precisely as a children’s school supplying promising players. Last summer, two students of Akron Children’s Sports Complex were enrolled in the Akron-Konoplev Academy. In the future, the Akronites plan to expand the partner network of schools, and these branches will not necessarily be called Akron-Konoplev Academy. “This may just be a partner school in the pyramid of youth football with the top – Akron-Konoplev Academy, which, in turn, is part of the structure of FC Akron,” Vlasov explained, adding that such schools may appear in Syzran, and on Krasnaya Glinka. The project should begin to cover cities and municipalities in the Samara region, and then it is possible that it will go beyond the borders of the region. Possible directions – a fairly common scheme of work of academies both in Russia and abroad.

Scots sports director Chris Dockerty, who previously worked in Acron’s structure (left Russia in connection with the events in Ukraine and now works in the Hungarian Honved. – Ed.) came to Tolyatti from Dundee United, the fourth largest football club cities in Scotland. Initially, this club opened football schools in its district – in Dundee City. Moreover, some schools have a specialization, for example, in goalkeepers or defenders. Gradually, Dundee expanded beyond its own district, and now its partner football schools operate in other regions. If we talk about Russia, then Spartak, Dynamo, Zenit have similar projects through partners or independently (under a franchise). “The academy is interested in two areas – its own students and the sale of football players in order to reinvest funds back into infrastructure,” Vlasov is sure.

Ирина Зобнина, «Самарское обозрение» (19.09.22)

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