FC Midtjylland is said to have sold players for more than NOK 800 million in the last six years. And it aspires to be among the 50 best clubs in Europe by 2025.
On Thursday, the RBK juniors will face the Danes in the UEFA Youth League. A club that has been to the quarterfinals twice in a row. With a different strategy in the development of talent.
Academy Director Flemming Broe talks about a model where they host multiple West Jutland players. While the rest comes from all over Denmark, Scandinavia and the rest of the world.
Started in 2004
– I will never comment on other people’s strategy. Each club makes its choice. And RBK has a fantastic story, Broe tells Adresseavisen.
He has worked at the Central Jutland Academy since 2004 and has been a director since 2012.
On Thursday, Broes’ G19 team is in Trondheim to play the first round of the UEFA Youth Cup, the youth champions league. The winner enters a new round before Christmas, with playoffs during the New Year.
In recent weeks, the RBK Academy has been a topic at Adresseavisen. The recruiting team has six points in the 2nd division. The 16 and 19 year olds are in the lower half of their series. While the G16 team smoked for Sarpsborg in North Carolina.
The bright spot is the G19 team’s place in the NM semi-finals. And the European carrot on Thursday.
There, the Salmar Academy coach, Roar Vikvang, and his teammates meet in Central Jutland, where the first team leads the Super League. They are also in Europa League group stage matches and were in the Champions League last year.
Midtjylland’s G19 team is coming off two consecutive quarterfinals in the Youth League. And they beat Manchester United in 2019, among other things.
Fewer players, and locally
RBK’s victory in the NM quarter over Sandefjord (5-3) gives confidence ahead of the e-cup meeting.
At the same time, Vikvang has stated that he “understands that the results are being questioned.”
However, both he and sporting director Mikael Dorsin believe the outlook is complex. It is a conscious strategy to match the younger players in senior soccer. The academy has also brought in fewer players than before, so more people will have more playing time.
There is also a clear local anchor in talent investment:
– It is very important that there is Trøndelag in the academy, but it is not carved in stone, said Dorsin on September 9. And added:
– We have a player from Kabelvåg, and there will probably be more examples like the Konradsen Ceïde brothers (Finnsnes). But for the most part, it should be from Trøndelag, which is also about culture and identity. We kill local football if we want to build an academy simply by bringing in players from outside. If we pick up players from Norway or from abroad at the age of 18 or older, it should be on a shelf that passes them directly to the first team.
This is in contrast to the opponent on Thursday.
Where RBK picks up players the year they turn 15, Herning’s club begins picking up players for the club’s G13 team. The Jutland center has teams in classes G14, G15, G17 and G19.
Here’s how Academy Head Broe explains the hiring policy:
– At the age of 13-16 years, we collect Danes, both from West Jutland and across the country. From the age of 16, players can come from all over Scandinavia. We have both Icelanders and Faroese players. So at the age of 18, the academy can pick up from all over the world. Especially Nigeria, where we collaborate with an academy. But we have also had players from New Zealand, Australia and Hungary.
– These are players that we think can be good enough for the first team.
Sold for 350 mill.
Adresseavisen is unaware of Midtjylland’s budget for his academy.
But according to academy director Broe, the club has sold “academy players” since 2004 for between 450 and 500 million crowns.
Including Frank Onyeka, who came to the academy from Nigeria. This summer he went to Brentford for 100 million.
At the same time, RBK has also made huge academy sales, amounting to 200 million; Alexander Tettey, Per Ciljan Skjelbred, Markus Henriksen, Ole Selnæs, Fredrik Midtsjø, Mushaga Bakenga, Alexander Sørloth, and Jonas Svensson.
Sold for 800 mill.
Furthermore, Midtjylland as a club, according to the German transfer marketas the 16/17 season sold players for more than 800 million crowns.
Including Alexander Sørloth, who went to Crystal Palace for over $ 100 million in January 2018.
Bubacar Sanneh was sold to Anderlecht for 80 million the following year, while Frank Onyeka was this summer’s big sale.
Subject to the complete accuracy of that list, writes the same website, transfermarkt, RBK has sold players for 125 million in the same period.
The “best year” in recent times, however, was the previous season, 2015/16, when RBK sold players for around 60 million.
The world, Scandinavia and locally
Back at the Midtjylland academy, Onyeka is one of several examples of players who have “stepped up.”
Another is goalkeeper Elias Olafsson, a 21-year-old Icelander who is currently in the first team. Came from Breidablikk in 2018.
While Rasmus Nissen Kristensen, who Midtjylland sold to Ajax in 2018, at the time came from local Herning Fremad.
– Why do you collect so varied?
– We live in a sparsely populated part of Denmark. The ambition of the club is to be among the top 50 in Europe by 2025. We will not achieve this if we only hire locally. We also believe that collecting from various places creates a lot of dynamics – different types of players, different types of qualities, believes Broe.
Today, Celtic is number 50 in the UEFA rankings. Midtjylland is number 99, six places behind Rosenborg. The list is evaluated on the basis of achievements in Europe over the last five years.
– Can’t you manage the top 50 and at the same time get more locally?
– Player development is largely about work in everyday life. A locally based model can be a good model. At the same time, I think it would have been difficult to go far in the Youth League. Some local crops are good, some are not, responds Broe.
In the middle of the table
Midtjylland has won the G19 league in five of the last ten years. However, the team that meets RBK is in the middle of the table.
Broe believes that it is more coaches with the first team, some have been loaned and that the club has matched players at a younger age. Not very different from RBK.
At the same time, a strong team is coming to Trondheim:
– A fantastic tournament. So we do what we can, says the academy director.