SOUTHEND United’s youth team coach Dave Huzzey believes his week studying the top teams in Spain will be of huge benefit to the Shrimpers’ academy.
Huzzey spent time with Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid after being one of four coaches selected for the trip by the League Football Education committee.
And Huzzey thoroughly enjoyed his time abroad.
“It was one of the best footballing experiences I’ve ever had from a coaching perspective,” said Huzzey.
“We spent a day at Real Madrid, a day at Atletico Madrid, a day at Real Vallecano, and one at Getafe.
“I went to the Real Madrid first-team game on the Sunday and to the Napoli game in the Champions League on the Wednesday, so I got to see everything from the under 15s to the first-team, including different training sessions and it was a really good experience.”
“I’m feeding stuff back to the coaches here and it will definitely help our academy.”
Huzzey will now be looking to put into practise what he learnt while in Spain.
And he was thrilled to watch a training session put on by a former Real Madrid star, “I watched Guti take Real Madrid’s under-19s in a training session and in a game which was unreal,” said Huzzey.
“I watched so many different sessions and it gave me loads to think about. It showed how they focus so much on possession-based training compared to here in England.
“There was a little bit more on structure, and it’s something that I definitely want to bring back and implement into our academy.
“But it did show me how far we have come as a group and as an academy.
“We’re not a million miles off some of the big-hitters in Spain in terms of what they do in their academies.”