Feature idea and why this is relevant today
This feature article focuses around a small football academy called FastFeetFootball, based in the village of East Stour in Dorset. It is run by former professional footballer Neil Coates.
Relevant to the present day, the primary focus of this feature is to explain how in a world where football revolves around money, the most important aspect of the game is in fact producing the next generation of youngsters. So many clubs nowadays buy a player who is already at their peak and a world-class talent, but in the long term, success is down to the development of youth.
The feature will consist of anecdotes, a description of the academy’s aims and future aspirations, and a main interview with the owner of the academy, Neil Coates. As well as this, the article will contain a summary from one of the coaches at the academy, explaining why being a coach is so special, and what it means to the youngsters who take part. An input from one of the players themselves will also be mentioned, explaining why they enjoy the sessions at FastFeetFootball.
In order to support this theme that the development of youth players is extremely important in football, this article will consist of professional, real-world examples to help demonstrate this. These examples include Ajax’s “Golden Generation” during the 1990’s, and Manchester United’s “Class of ’92.”
Conclusion of article will suggest how football seems to be going in the right direction, and if more local academies like this one are introduced around the country, then football is surely moving forward in terms of the development of youth football.
My target magazine for this article is When Saturday Comes, a monthly football magazine. Although many of the articles in this magazine have a pronounced satirical edge, When Saturday Comes also contains editorials commenting on current states of the game, and I feel that this is the most appropriate section of the magazine for my proposed feature. Articles which have focused on this subject before have been about established, professional academies, such as Ajax and Barcelona. My idea will be different and original because FastFeetFootball is a small, local academy coached by volunteers.
The target audience for this feature article will predominantly be committed football supporters aged between 18 and 35, which fits the intended target audience for When Saturday Comes. However, this can also be targeted more specifically at people with a keen interest and passion for the development of young players in football.