Dear U21 and youth players (and parents),
STVV Youth is strengthening efforts so that both the players and the staff members of its elite youth academy continue to develop in optimal circumstances, and in a way that best fits STVV's DNA.
Since 2017, we’ve worked hard with the result that our elite youth players as well as our U21 players have made important steps in their development. In recent years, we invested in the professionalization of the coaching staff, the infrastructure of the youth complex has been improved and we took care of better extra-sports support for our youth players. Also, in the framework of talent detection and advanced coaching, both on the individual as on the collective, our operation has been successful so far, in a way that STVV Youth players are frequently called up for the national selections (25 players in the last 5 years). In just one year, STVV signed a contract with no less than four youth players: Robert-Jan Van Wesemael, Alouis Diriken, Mathias Delorge and Keo Boets, and youngsters like Stan Van Dessel, Jarne Steuckers and recently Arnaud Dony have made their debuts in the first team. We appreciate your trust and full support in this evolution. It is our intention to continue along this path in the future and even go the extra mile to prepare more young players for our first team. Home grown Canaries, developed in our own youth academy and who you, and all of us, can be proud of.
As far as our reserves team is concerned, and the decision whether to register an U23 team in the amateur series or to keep an U21 team in the classic competition with elite clubs, we debated long and seriously which option would be the best for the development of our current youth players. We recognize the sportive advantages of the U23 integration into the amateur leagues. On the other hand, we concluded that our current generation of young players would be better served if we would remain true and persistent to our current player development strategy, with additional support on and off the pitch. By doing so, our staff will be able to continue focusing on the intensive coaching of potential talented players, spread over five years, namely from the age category of U16 till U21. In this context, more attention can be paid to the individual needs of players and to their professional development, on the one hand by offering them as many effective playing minutes as possible in the elite youth competitions up to U21 and on the other hand through new initiatives that will be developed in collaboration with the first team.
We thank you for your confidence in our strategy and for your warm support of our young talents. More information on the decisions and developments regarding our U21 and STVV Youth academy will follow shortly.