Udinese Academy was set up with the aim of promoting and recreating the Udinese model across Italy through amateur teams that choose to become affiliates. The heart of the project involves training coaches from the various affiliates. By following the programme designed by Udinese staff, coaches can expand their knowledge and, in turn, help young players improve. It is all based on the Udinese coaching methodology, which has continued to develop year on year.
Four coaches regularly travel (once or twice a month) all over Italy alongside Corosu to lead training sessions and observe players and local coaches. Technical coaching takes place on the pitch and also through theory work. Club staff are in daily contact with the academy coaches, enabling them to make constant and gradual progress.
Additional work takes place through webinars and the use of technical notebooks provided by the coordinator, which contain technical and tactical topics that change from month to month in order to cover all the areas needed to make progress as an academy.
There is also an important partnership with Udinese technical sponsor Macron, which was very keen to be part of the Udinese Academy project.
Various initiatives are organised for clubs that are connected to the Udinese world.
The project is gaining more and more acclaim and has begun attracting the interest of clubs abroad as well.
The first foreign-based club to register – joining 52 Italian clubs – is ND Adria, based in Miren, Slovenia.
The club, which was founded in 1922, currently plays in the Slovenian third tier and boasts an academy which is attended by over 150 youngsters.
After choosing and formalising the affiliation with ND Adria himself, Bolla spoke of his excitement about the initiative: “There’s a real desire to progress together. The Udinese model is proving very popular. We’ll keep promoting and sharing our expertise as much as possible, both in Italy and abroad.”
Udinese general director Franco Collavino also spoke about the scheme in glowing terms: “We’ve received various requests from clubs in mainland Europe and also further afield. ND Adria is just the first of a series of possible collaborations with foreign clubs. Our aim is to consolidate the activity we’ve organised, to further increase the number of affiliated clubs working with us and to improve the quality of the work and what we offer to affiliated clubs. We are committed to this project as we feel it will be of great benefit to affiliates and their coaches, but, above all, we hope to be able to unearth talents at these clubs who can one day become professional footballers and play for Udinese in Serie A.”