Lyon: “A work more in depth in a club”… How the two academies have conquered the young players

Kelly Youga, here, during one of the training sessions of his academy, the last week in the district of Ménival (Lyon 5th). — Jeremy Laugier/20 Minutes

  • It exists for over a year an alternative to the clubs for young players of the lyon region.
  • Based on their professional experiences, especially in England and in Spain, Kelly Youga and Saïd Mehamha have launched their “great academy” to them.
  • “20 Minutes” went to the meeting of training methods very pointed quickly had their effect on nearly 200 children from 9 to 14 years.

“The Academy is great “, says the OL for many seasons, every time a new nugget of raw bores in League 1. It turns out that it was small in Lyon since two years, under the leadership of Kelly Youga and Saïd Mehamha, both ex-professional players… trained with the OL. For Kelly Youga, the adventure began in October 2015 on the campus of
la Doua (Villeurbanne) with twenty young people aged 14 to 25 years.

The project has evolved during the summer of 2016 to become Elite Youth Football and switch on the niche U9-U14. “The kids can come and learn all the days the fundamentals of football, says the current defender of Jura Sud [National 2]. As a small school, a football or a mini-sport-studies, we are in perfecting the technique with groups formed by level and not by age. “

Also read : Lyon: A football academy novel pushes young people to dream of a pro career

An academy sponsored by Nabil Fekir

Among the 80 children who have discovered this academy through word-of-mouth and social networks, some bring their homework before the battlements of training (from 17: 45 to 19: 15). A functioning very close to the Mehamha Academy, which has around one hundred players this season and has even had to deny 77 applications last summer, because childcare is too limited to children 9 to 14 years.

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The association of Lyon 8th, sponsored by Nabil Fekir, can in effect lead to that on the small ground of the ES Trinidad in the neighborhood of Mermoz. In the long term, Saïd Mehamha (27 years old) seeks a sports complex with a field close to his fitness centre, which recently opened in Mions.


The exercises of the Academy Mehamha place on the small field of the stade Pierre Bavozet to Mermoz (Lyon 8th). – Jeremy Laugier/20 Minutes
“Be ready to give and to move, while having a reflection”

But what does it exactly in the sessions of these two academies, which are also involved with a few girls ? “During my career, I have played in Spain [ Levante in D3 2013-2014] and I’ve learned a lot about the principles of play,” says Saïd Mehamha. There, it plays all the time at the ball. I try to teach it to small in games reduced with a lot of intensity, where they need to be ready to give the ball and move everything with a reflection. “

Methods there also shared with Kelly Youga (32 years), even if the inspirations of the latter are more related to his career in England (2005 to 2013). “The most difficult task is to make love to the kids what may be perceived as a bit repetitive, namely the technical development,” says the international central african republic. Has the image of the year passes in a touch of the ball, following the Academy Mehamha, the result is quite stunning for its rigour and discipline for U9-U10.

“The whole area is really professional”

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“This workshop pass, you will not find it anywhere, ensures that the edge of the pitch, Abdel, soon be conquered by the intake of these sessions on her son Naim (9 years). If the players do not have all a certain level, the circuit stops immediately. The work here is done more in depth in a club, through to smaller groups. The exercises are adapted to their progress, and the whole area is really professional. “

According to the parents, the progress is almost immediate. “When I brought Christopher (9 years old) for the first time, it was a maximum of five juggle. Two months later, it was 80 and both feet. His progress is really huge, thanks to the work in small spaces, ” says Christopher, who is willing, all the days of the week, to accompany his three sons a little everywhere (Décines, Lyon 8, Lyon-5th) as a function of the training grounds of Elite Youth Football.

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