Matt Le Tissier launches coaching scheme to bring out the best in young flair players

Matt Le Tissier with Francis Benali, left, and Jody Rivers, right

Matt Le Tissier with Francis Benali, left, and Jody Rivers, right

First published in Saints News Daily Echo: Photograph of the Author by , Senior Sports Reporter

SAINTS legend Matt Le Tissier has launched a new coaching initiative designed to encourage the next generation of gifted footballers.

Known for his supreme talent with the ball, Le Tissier admits a sense of despondency at what he sees as a failure to properly nurture flair players in this country.

To counter that, he has unveiled his Natural Coaching school, which he insists will “take the shackles off” youngsters and encourage them to fully express themselves on the pitch.

He said: “It is always thrown at you in this country if you’ve got natural ability that that’s great, but what else do you do? Can you defend? It amazes me. In this country we always want to knock people that have got talent – we always want to build them up a little bit and then bring them back down to earth.”

Le Tissier added: “What we want to do is take the shackles off and let them develop as naturally as they possibly can, without people forcing formations on them, or rigid defensive structures.

“At this age I think they need to be free to play football.”

Le Tissier will identify more than 100 players, aged from seven to 12, and from goalkeepers through to strikers, to take forward through a series of trials.

His coaching team, which includes ex-Saint Francis Benali and Jody Rivers of AFC Bournemouth, will then help teach them using his philosophies.

The idea is to nurture players in the same way that club sides such as Barcelona or international teams like Spain and Argentina do.

“They might not well be as good as the lads that are doing it for Spain, but we want them to have that same philosophy and not be afraid to go out and try and play that way,” said Le Tissier.

“We just want to bring out the whole potential that they’ve got in them for being a footballer.

“If that means that they go and play non-league to a good standard then absolutely fine. If we get a few that go and play professionally then brilliant.

“There are some kids that do have plenty of ability, but don’t have the belief.

“If we can see somebody who maybe is a little bit introverted, but you can see has actually got a little bit about him then we can bring that out of him and we might turn out a real nugget who never even thought he had a chance of playing.”

The chosen youngsters will be invited to attend a season-long programme of weekly coaching sessions, while being encouraged to continue playing for their clubs and schools. Trials will be held at Toynbee School, Eastleigh , on Monday, August 20, and Friday, August 31.

For more information, or to register, visit mltnaturalcoaching.com or see facebook.com/mltnaturalcoaching .

There will be a fee for boys invited onto the coaching programme, but the team have promised to work with families to ensure youngsters from all backgrounds are given an opportunity through potential sponsorships.

  • For an in-depth report on Le Tissier’s new venture, don’t miss the double page spread in this weekend’s Sports Pink .

Comments (9)

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10:32am Thu 16 Aug 12

scprof says...

Just think that they'll be no need to go running about. It will all be walking around with a football and then chipping the keeper from 40 yds. Easy, and will Matt direct the best ones to Saints, and the worst ones to the Poopey youth (ie first) team?
Just think that they'll be no need to go running about. It will all be walking around with a football and then chipping the keeper from 40 yds. Easy, and will Matt direct the best ones to Saints, and the worst ones to the Poopey youth (ie first) team? scprof
  • Score: 0

10:57am Thu 16 Aug 12

sarfhamton says...

I think this a great approach, you watch the MIni/Tyro leagues and it full of either strong, tall or fast lads but they often either the oldest in the school year or early developers.

The skillful kids get a bit lost in that mix, which is daft as they will eventually physically catch up or their skills will eventually compensate (see short arses Maradona and Messi).

Good luck to MLT, not sure what Benali can offer tho!
I think this a great approach, you watch the MIni/Tyro leagues and it full of either strong, tall or fast lads but they often either the oldest in the school year or early developers. The skillful kids get a bit lost in that mix, which is daft as they will eventually physically catch up or their skills will eventually compensate (see short arses Maradona and Messi). Good luck to MLT, not sure what Benali can offer tho! sarfhamton
  • Score: 0

11:15am Thu 16 Aug 12

Bobby1976 says...

Ok sign me up, assuming that there is an over 40 category?!
Ok sign me up, assuming that there is an over 40 category?! Bobby1976
  • Score: 0

11:37am Thu 16 Aug 12

joenice1 says...

Love the idea, well done MLT for doing this.
Love the idea, well done MLT for doing this. joenice1
  • Score: 0

12:39pm Thu 16 Aug 12

manimaul says...

Brilliant idea. Look forward to seeing this develop. On a very slightly related point, wouldn't it be great for us dads that only see there kids every other weekend to set up some sort of team/training/matche
s? Weekly training is no good for us.
Brilliant idea. Look forward to seeing this develop. On a very slightly related point, wouldn't it be great for us dads that only see there kids every other weekend to set up some sort of team/training/matche s? Weekly training is no good for us. manimaul
  • Score: 0

1:52pm Thu 16 Aug 12

Severntrent says...

Is it called 'how to spot fix and influence officials' ?
Is it called 'how to spot fix and influence officials' ? Severntrent
  • Score: 0

2:09pm Thu 16 Aug 12

SO50 Saint says...

No it's called 'MLT natural coaching' did you not read the article?
No it's called 'MLT natural coaching' did you not read the article? SO50 Saint
  • Score: 0

4:36pm Thu 16 Aug 12

Shoong says...

Good luck, I hope he has more joy than that Pizza place or 'True Greats' or whatever it was.
Good luck, I hope he has more joy than that Pizza place or 'True Greats' or whatever it was. Shoong
  • Score: 0

5:51am Fri 17 Aug 12

Tirau Dan says...

Glad the trio are doing it but were there no coaching jobs available in football? I really thought Matt would coach and go on to manage but didn't want to work for lower clubs in the way Doddy did. Doddy to me would be the best coach of youngsters around and will in time make a fine first team manager. Most school coaches do their time at clubs first. Still if Matt's school comes on as well as The Wynton Rufer School of Excellence in NZ that would be great for young footballers in the region.
Glad the trio are doing it but were there no coaching jobs available in football? I really thought Matt would coach and go on to manage but didn't want to work for lower clubs in the way Doddy did. Doddy to me would be the best coach of youngsters around and will in time make a fine first team manager. Most school coaches do their time at clubs first. Still if Matt's school comes on as well as The Wynton Rufer School of Excellence in NZ that would be great for young footballers in the region. Tirau Dan
  • Score: 0

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