When I went to Aston Villa eight years ago I told them our players, under-17, 18 and 19, go to school for 34 hours a week.
They said: ‘No, you’re a liar, it’s not possible, our players go for nine hours.’
I said: ‘No, I’m not lying.’
They said: ‘It’s not possible, you can’t train and do 34 hours of education.’
I said: ‘Sure. And what do you do with the players who have for three years, from the age of 16 to 19, only had nine hours a week of school?
They said: ‘They have to try to be a professional or not. They have to decide.’
I said: ‘No, we can’t do that in Freiburg. It’s wrong. Most players in our academy can’t be professionals, they will have to look for a job. The school is the most important thing, then comes football.’
We give players the best chance to be a footballer but we give them two educations here. If 80% can’t go on to play in the professional team, we have to look out for them. The players that play here, the majority of them go on to higher education.
And we need intelligent players on the pitch anyway.
- Christian Streich, Freiburg manager.