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FC Nordsjælland: The Homegrown Team with an Average Age of 21

FC Nordsjælland: The Homegrown Team with an Average Age of 21


Things are done differently at FC Nordsjaelland.
a modest Danish club based in the small town of Farum. The club’s ethos is one of
integration, development and sustainability, and
they are perhaps one of the leading examples of building a team the right way. FC Nordsjaelland made a strong start to the
Danish Superliga this season,level on points with the far more illustrious Brondby IF after
10 games. And though the team has since dropped back into mid-table after 15, they have managed
all of this while fielding a team with an average age of just 21. The aim, eventually, is to boast a starting
XI made up entirely of academy produced players, half of whom will be from Africa. This unique
strategy has been in place since 2016, when Tom Vernon, the founder of Ghana-based academy
Right to Dream, took over at FC Nordsjaelland. He quickly implemented his vision, bringing
in the most talented players from Ghana and offering them an ideal environment to develop,
to learn and to play at a professional level. So far, it has been unquestionably successful.
FC Nordsjaelland operate within their means, building their team around youth. They are
proof that it is not always necessary to spend lavishly in order to achieve. In the 2017/18 season, FCN finished third
in the Superliga, qualifying for the Europa League.
Vernon’s impact was immediate, and supporters quickly bought into his philosophy.
But his intention is not simply to progress at FCN. Vernon’s focus is on growing Right
to Dream and finding more prospects in Africa who might otherwise not make it into the
professional game. And he is conscious of doing good away from the pitch, too. “Every kid that is in the Right to Dream
academy in Ghana and every kid at the FCN academy in Denmark is working on a give-back
project appropriate to their age,” Vernon said in a 2017 interview with Sky Sports.
“There are a multitude of projects going on. One player even rebuilt the mosque in
his hometown. “We have got 14-year-olds in the Danish
academy, for example, who have been going to the
same bus stop for the past few years and seen the same homeless guy sat there. They
decided to do something about that and invest in getting him back on his feet.” FCN continue to thrive thanks to their partnership
with Right to Dream. Several Ghanaians – amongst them the likes of Abdul Mumin, Clinton
Antwi, Mohammed Kudus and star striker Godsway Donyoh – are regulars in the first
team. And the development of these young players
is in large part down to the work of the club’s head of academy, Jan Laursen, who has revolutionised
the way youth teams are coached. Financially, they rely upon funds generated
by the sale of players produced by their academy, but there are hopes to find other sources
of income. “We should have a business model that works
outside the football transfer market,” CEO Søren Kristensen told the Sustainability
Report earlier this year. “And the only way to
achieve that is to build commercial value around the values that we have. There has
to be a value in doing what we’re doing, and showing
it; because we are something unique, something different. That is the commercial
territory that we have to explore – and I believe itis something that is speaking
to a lot of companies.” FCN have, since 2016, been visited by a number
of Premier League and Bundesliga clubs, all keen to learn from their unorthodox methods.
They are innovating, going against the trends of the modern game, and providing hope for
youngsters thousands of miles away. FC Nordsjaelland may not be winning trophies
or making millions from lucrative sponsorship deals.. But in the long term, their work alongside
Right to Dream could prove more rewarding and more important than any success on the
pitch.

Comments (100)

  1. Wish Brøndby followed their model they're a real example
    Damsgaard chukwani Mumin and kofod are the stand out talents this season.

  2. Basically the opposite of football's African slave trade, it's just inspiring
    Love your channel Tifo forever

  3. If u dont mind, would you make video about Viitorul Constanta who also have great academy in Rumania?

  4. Are you going to do a part of pique carrier or Puyol?

  5. 🇬🇭 🇬🇭 🇬🇭

  6. You should look at Austria's Bundesliga, too – the LASK, who beated PSV Eindhoven 4:1, played 5 years ago in the 3rd class!

  7. Make a video about Sheffield United tactic overlapping centrebacks.

  8. Guess there isn't enough youth talent in Denmark lol

  9. This should be just as romantic if the whole team were Danish but I have a feeling it wouldn't be seen that way. Sorry for how that makes me sound but Europeans need opportunities too.

  10. On a different note, this is how Yaya Toure came to Europe. He went to Belgian club Beveren who were ran by a coach who ran an academy in Ivory Coast and wanted to use the team to expose the best Ivorian talent and that's where he started his career. So it's been done before

  11. Well I support the team now great video

  12. "This story originally appeared on The Athletic"

  13. FC Nonchalant 😁

  14. I am from Farum 🇩🇰 and I am so proud of this team ❤️🐯

  15. As a Ghanaian and a long time follower of Tifo I am very happy for your accurate presentation. One thing I should add is the fact that FC Nordsjælland are not exploiting the fact that these players are "cheap players". They never give these guys bad contracts like what other foreign agents and scouts who come to Ghana do. Good job Tifo.

  16. They're doing it for the Game of Football.
    Not for money or anything else.

  17. These are the videos that make this channel evergreen…quality content ✅✅💯

  18. This is not a criticism but how do you defend against accusations of Europe still stripping Africa of its natural resources? The colonialists also claimed they were giving something back by way of democracy and infrastructure. There is a fine line here that has to watched.

  19. Fifa career mode gem

  20. TIFO, make a video about Athletic Bilbao. They only use Basque players and players who have come through the academy. Even then, they have been very successful in La Liga for many many years now. One of the most beautiful football clubs in the world.

  21. Fc Nordsjælland also, surprisingly, won the danish league some years ago. A league which on the latter years are dominated by Fc Copenhagen. If you compare the league as Spanish League, Fc Copenhagen will be Barcelona. Brøndby (Real Madrid), Fc Midtjylland (Atletico Madrid), Aab (Valencia) and maybe Fc Nordsjælland is like GETAFE or ESPANYOL winning the league

  22. Make a video on FC Kobenhavn too

  23. Didn't know Eric Dier was homeless 2:18

  24. woah pronounciation is pretty good, nice job Tifo

  25. make a video on sheffield utd tactics please .

  26. Do you think using this model would be more sustainable than the mainstream model?

  27. Could you do a video on Keith Long at Bohemians?

  28. I just noticed, that the background looks like Kermits neck/ shoulders xD

    Anyway, I always love it when you talk about interesting things in the world of football, that no one else would talk about, so keep it up

  29. Saw them play away to FC Copenhagen when I was over there a few weeks ago, very impressive team who play exciting football

  30. Hoping that Skov Olsen is good

  31. Wait… This story didn't originate on the athletic?!

  32. Ye, kudos guy is on my scout list alrdy. Not too rubbish..

  33. You guys should do a by the numbers updates for the Summer Transfer vids

  34. A Football Manager player’s wet dream.

  35. Do a video on failed wonder kids!

  36. Very cool to see Tifo make a vid on something close to myself.

    To elaborate on the youth development, FCN really went all in on youth development at the start 2011/2012 season when Kasper Hjulmand took over as head coach. The Vernon takeover just introduced the Right To Dream concepts, trademark and philosophy which changed the more international youth approach into the Nordic +
    Ghanaian focus they have now.
    They won the league is Hjulmand's first season and since then have been the exciting young team in the league with enough talent and vision to be seen as a consistent outside contender for the title every season. All while consistently selling their hottest prospects in almost every transfer window.

    Names that could a bell include:
    Andreas Skov Olsen to Bologna FC.
    Stanislav Lobotka to Celta Vigo.
    Emre Mor to Borussia Dortmund.
    Jores Okore to Aston Villa FC.

    Some of these youngsters struggled after their moves, looking back some of these moves were too big a change to handle for them. But the list of players who made moves more fitting and had success with it is long and it is evident to how well the club's structure works and how much faith the club has in it's coaching staff, especially in Mr. Hjulmand.

    Kasper Hjulmand have since been in Mainz with less success but after his succesful return to FCN in 16, he is now set and signed to become the new national head coach of Denmark after Euro 20. Mind you, he is not being signed to repair anything or coming in as a last minute coach-replacement, he is taking over after a very impressive run with Åge Hareide. The DBU was even confident enough in the decision that they announced it a year early, meaning they have an immense trust in his ability as well.

    It's a long, on-going project and the club deserves every bit of respect and positive attention they get.
    <3 an Esbjerg FB fan who wishes his club had the courage to do the same.

  37. Inspirational, Big ups for bringing this beauty to light.

  38. You can look into the story of FC Viitorul as well, they are the football academy created by the romanian legend Gheorghe Hagi. They even won the national title within 10 years since they were founded and they are the future of football in Romania

  39. My club (Stabæk Football) did this back in 2012. Brought in a bunch of Ivory Coast talents together with our own strong academy. However we never really committed enough like Nordsjælland has and our success in the long run has not been much more than stabilising our economy. Now we see our talents shipped away to clubs like PSV before they’ve even gotten into the first team, or even turned 18. They’re leaving for free, and we’re not sure anymore if this is a winning strategy in the long run. It will be interesting to see where it takes a more committed club like Nordsjælland

  40. As a supporter of FC Nordsjælland this video is a perfect statement of what they are doing. Go Wild Tigers 🐅!!

  41. 1:37 Great to see that Tifo had time to make a drawing of all their supporters.

    Those who follow danish football will know. 🤣

  42. We are extremely glad and honored to be featured on your page and to be portrayed exactly as we are – delightfully mad about youth development, keen on pioneering "football done the right way" and finding enormous contentment in giving-back.

  43. Do a video about arsenal and why they are so shit

  44. My new favorite club, now that my lifetime favorite club's directors have abandoned the ideals that attracted me to them. Now, I only have to learn how to spell and pronounce FC… Nords….jæ…lland

  45. Move on guys, just a regular FM save

  46. THIS is the type of content im here for.

  47. The house Wieghorst built.

  48. Truly FMesque. Doing runs where you have just 20yr olds playing is really interesting

  49. Just gotta give praise for the pronounciation of the Danish names, more or less spot on!👌🏽

  50. I stayed/played a week at their academy a few years ago, fantastic facilities/staff. Really cool to see FCN covered!

  51. Here’s a good Fifa career mode idea

  52. This is great, but I wish someone was to do this with Asia too. Easily the most populous continent but the least represented in football. There must be hidden gems that don't have the resources to make it to the professional game.

  53. Sooo….your average fm save 10 seasons in

  54. Modern day slavery

  55. I think they wanna do a Monaco. It's great what they're doing for the kids, it'll benefit all parties involved, including the town.

  56. No doubt that Nordsjælland is a talent factory, who have done very very well when you look at their squad. One of the big problems for growing the club is the relative meager fanbase FC Nordsjælland has., averaging only about 4.700 spectators per game. They have never really been embraced by the locals, many would rather follow local rivals Lyngby (where Nordsjælland picks up lots of its Danish talent).

  57. spend lavishly. someone tell that to barca board

  58. A club with 0 fans. and importing young africans to denmark, nothing to be proud of.

  59. It would be better that he gave kids from european countries chance for better life,not kids from Africa.

  60. Forget to mention their ties with Manchester City, look it up.

  61. The Idea of I want to do in my home country. Thanks for this and I'll do more research about their club and maybe watch their home game. 😊

  62. Lets us know when you grow a pair and discuss the negative Zionist influence in football including thier tv companies.

  63. Thx for sharing this. This been long lost in now day's modern football. This club is just great 👏🏿👏🏿👏🏿

  64. Thats great, but I do have some concerns about a casual racism almost "get out"-isque, where higher ups might be correlating race with strength or other physical attributes.

  65. As a Dane, I am quite impressed with your pronunciation of FC Nordsjælland. Great job! Love the video

  66. What an inspiring team. An incredible team. I wish them all the best.

  67. Athletico Paranaense won the Sudamerican Cup and the Brazilian Cup with a squad averaging 23 years old of mostly homegrown athletes, any chance we can get a video on that much more successful story?

  68. Congratulations Fc Nordsjaeland

  69. AKON holla at these people fr 💯

  70. Start an FM series please

  71. Make a video on a Norwegian club if you can!

  72. When fifa becomes a reality

  73. Love these gems of videos. This and your video a while back on Athletic Bilbao have been my favourite. 👍

  74. Notice how this Danish club isn't making moves in Senegal/Togo/CDC/Cameroon/Mali/Sudan/Burkina Faso,etc(France already has a foothold there). LOL

    Just as with France…

    This =

    2030 World Cup Champions…..

    Denmark.

    Africa is boss

  75. Then how come this club keep on buying my youth academy players on fifa career mode

  76. I'm a big fan. Could you guys do a video on samba football?

  77. What happened to the athletic

  78. Damn. Next fm save here we go

  79. They offered me an interview in my third season on the FM20 beta …kicking myself for denying them as I didn’t understand this fascinating history

  80. Im Danish and Nordsjælland is My favourite danish club!

  81. So they are still importing their talent ? I thought they are based on local players pfff not interested

  82. Can you do a video of the rise and fall of yeovil f.c and I'd also like to hear your views on forest green and the rise of Lincoln.

  83. Søsteren kom ind mens han var i færd med at tage en spiller)

  84. Can you make a video on Pep Guardiola,his philosophy & tactics at Barcelona vs Bayern vs City! I miss his tiki taka&triangle passes👏🏻👍🏻 And lastly, tactics& philosophy from Brendan Rogers at Leicester & Lampard at Chelsea

  85. Not for money or fame but the love of the game

  86. Last time I saw a "big" European team turn around their club without spending much was Eintract Frankfurt.

  87. Also they broke many regulations, maybe that is something to mention?

  88. Been looking for a good club to manage when FM 20 comes out and I think I’ve just found them

  89. To be clear, Nordsjælland is about the 4th biggest/richest teams in Denmark

  90. Finally Denmark🇩🇰 and love when you say æ

  91. Well.. I hate to say It but, they did not do it the right way, the way they do it with "right to dream" is kinda through slaving the african players.. one play form that team last year accused them for that, and it all came to a huge discussion with FCN winning that discussion because they got the "upper hand" by being a club vs a couple of guys

  92. Did you know that they were in the Champions League 12/13?

  93. Brøndby IF💛💙

  94. Thumbs up if you live in Nordsjælland 👍🏼

  95. As a Dane I can testify to no matter what team you love everyone in Denmark has a ton of respect for FC Nordsjælland's philosophy and huge contribution to developing top class talents. And I'm serious. Every football fan in Denmark has HUGE respect for that. Edit: Can someone give Joe Devine a beer or something? That guy's pronounciation is second to none.

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