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How to get selected to NF Selection

NF Academy is in the middle of the selection process for NF Selection for IberCup Cascais 2018. Players all over Scandinavia are applying to get a spot in this prestigious Nordic team. Together they will form NF Selection team that aims to win the IberCup trophy in Portugal. To get selected for the team a player must send in an application. NF Academy Sports director João Plantier will go through the applications with his staff and choose the players he sees have the required potential.

NF Selection participating in IberCup Estoril 2016.

NF Academy is summoning the most talented youth players from Scandinavia to win IberCup Cascais 2018. Wille Nielsen from IFK Göteborg, Fillip Riise from Rollon and Dylan Murugesapillai from Lillestrøm SK are just a few of the players taking part of the NF Selection team.

NF Academy decided to offer Gabriel a chance to train with SL Benfica Academy.

These ambitious young players apply for this team because they want to play with the best players from Scandinavia. Playing for the NF Selection team can also open unique opportunities for individual players. Last year Gabriel Saugestad got selected to the team and impressed the NF Selection trainers with his performance. Therefore NF Academy decided to offer Gabriel a chance to train with SL Benfica Academy, one of the best academies in the world. You can read more about Gabriel’s experience on our blog here.

Famous academies like Olympique Lyonnais (France), FC Porto (Portugal) and Málaga CF (Spain) have confirmed their participation in IberCup Cascais 2018. Together with Portuguese top trainers the NF Selection team will do their best to win against these respected academies.

He decides which player can join the team.

All players born between 2002 – 2007 can apply for the NF Selection teams. NF Academy sports director João Plantier is interested in all hidden talents of Scandinavia. He decides which players are selected in the team. To have a chance to get selected and play with the NF Selection team a player needs to send in an application. There is still some time to apply but the deadline is getting closer. Click below to apply!

Apply to NF Academy programs here:

NF Selection tournament teams – IberCup Cascais
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+ Application form

NF Elite players meet in Portugal

Right now, a group of motivated elite players from Scandinavia have assembled in Portugal for the NF Elite training camp. During the week players’ skills will be examined by the NF Elite coaches who have experience from clubs like Manchester United and Sporting CP. It is an intense camp with a wide variety of activities and exercises which will test and enhance the skills of the players. The NF Elite coaches will analyze and evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of each individual player.

Training session for NF Elite in Portugal.

NF Elite camp is an incredible opportunity for players to be discovered and to get a spot in the NF Selection team. NF Academy’s sport director and coach, João Plantier, is always looking for talented young players to join the NF Selection team. IberCup Cascais tournament takes place at the end of March and the tryouts is still open. This week NF Academy hopes João will find additional players for the NF Selection team for IberCup Cascais.

NF Academy decided to offer Gabriel a chance to train with the SL Benfica Academy.

Previously, Gabriel Saugestad has played for the NF Selection team. Because of his outstanding performance in IberCup Scandinavia, NF Academy decided to offer Gabriel a chance to train with the SL Benfica Academy. You can read more about Gabriel’s experience on our blog here.

This week, youth players between the age of 10 and 15 have gathered in Portugal to advance in their football careers. The elite players come from different clubs, such as Hammarby IF and AIK. However, during the NF Elite week they will train, play games and work hard together. The day after arrival, they trained with the SL Benfica Academy, one of the best academies in the world. This club has developed world star players like Renato Sanchez, Bernardo Silva and Victor Nilsson Lindelöf.

The NF Elite coaches are hand picked with experience from brands like Manchester United and Sporting CP.

One of the camp days the players will meet a local top team. This is an opportunity for the players to get an international reference of how Portuguese players play football. It is an important experience for Scandinavian players since football is practiced differently in Southern Europe. The NF Elite team and their Portuguese coaches will do their best to win this prestigious match between Scandinavian and Portuguese players.

With help of videos footage the players will be analyzed and they are given a performance evaluation form which includes areas of improvements.

The NF Elite coaches are hand picked with experience from clubs like Manchester United and Sporting CP. They assist the NF Elite players to develop their football skills during the week. Physical, mental, tactical and technical performance will be evaluated by the coaches. With help of videos footage the players will be analyzed and they are given a performance evaluation form which includes areas of improvements. The evaluation form is an important tool the players will use to improve their strengths and weaknesses as they return home.

NF Elite players training with SL Benfica’s Academy.

NF Elite players training outside the SL Benfica stadium, Estádio da Luz.

Apply to NF Academy programs here:

NF Selection tournament teams – IberCup Cascais
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+ Application form

Gabriel dreams about playing for the national team

Gabriel Saugestad is at this very moment living his dream in Portugal at SL Benfica Academy. Even though the 14-year-old Norwegian player has come this far to achieve his dream, he is determined to work hard and improve all possible aspects of his game. Last week NF Academy met with Gabriel, he told us his thoughts about his future and gave us his tips on how to become a top player.

Gabriel has just finished a training session when we meet him for an interview. He is of course tired, but happy to talk with NF Academy. He seems focused and as always when we discuss football with him he gets serious. We ask Gabriel about his dreams and the response is obvious: “I want to be a professional player. I want to play in one of the big teams in Europe and in the national team. “. To fulfill his dream he will continue to work hard every moment, in training and on his free time: “If you want to become a professional player, then practicing on your free time is the most important aspect of your training”.

«Work hard in every training, every game. Train a lot and remember to have fun with football.»

He is an ambitious young player with his mind set to succeed. We ask him how he got to this level and what advice he would give to other players: “Work hard in every training, every game. Train a lot and remember to have fun with football. I got a chance to show my potential with the NF Selection team at the IberCup Scandinavia, I took the chance, performed very well and Benfica saw me.”.

«I will take what I have learned here and work with it when I get home.»

After the NF Selection team, Gabriel is developing his football skills at SL Benfica Academy, he explains: “Benfica helps me to improve my technical skill and my tactical understanding for the game. They also help me to become strong mentally which will make me stronger on the field. I will take what I have learned here and work with it when I get home.”

Gabriel has one  week left until he heads home. Football is the only thing on his mind and he tells us he will participate in a camp when he gets home: “In November I will play two matches for  the regional team where I will  deliver at my highest level.” NF Academy have seen Gabriel’s  skills at NF Selection team and are sure he can make it if he lives by his own rules.

Apply to NF Academy programs here:

NF Selection tournament teams – IberCup Cascais
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+ Application form

NF Elite coach’s thoughts on Scandinavian players

The NF Academy sports director and coach, João Plantier, just ended two intense weeks of training camps with NF Elite. He is pleased with the players and feels optimistic about the last NF Elite camp of the year, which starts off at week 44. João shares his thoughts on the differences between Scandinavian and Portuguese players and some of their strengths and weaknesses.

João describes the Scandinavian players as hard working. He argues Portuguese players are often not as passionate about training and eager to learn. These are vital features for any athlete wanting to succeed. However, an attribute João notes Scandinavian players need to improve is their decision making, as well as paying more attention to their body positioning during a game; these skills are important to make the game faster. He explains that Portuguese players are well ahead in the development in this area, and the reason is that Scandinavian youth teams don’t play as many competitive matches as Portuguese youth teams. He continues by saying that the understanding of the game develops the best in actual matches.

«Scandinavian youth players are great, physically strong and technical, but they miss out when they don’t work on understanding the game.»

During the Elite camp João and his staff work with every individual player. “We are filming and analyzing the training sessions and sit down with every individual player. Everyone has different qualities that they need to improve. Reading and understanding the game could be one of the skills they need improve in. In Portugal we start competing early and therefore our youth players develop a sense for the game. The Scandinavian youth players are great, physically strong and technical, but they miss out when they don’t work on understanding the game.”

«A wide program is perfect because we can easily fit the right player to their right quality.»

The Elite camp is tough and demanding for the players, with eight sessions and one match squeezed into one week many players will be exhausted in the end. However, our sports director structured the camp to have a rich combination of programs. “A wide program is perfect because we can easily fit the right player to their right quality.” He further explains the advantages of having a wide program: “The players will be able to learn more about their different strengths and weaknesses, which helps them to improve their skills even more.”

João is looking forward to the next NF Elite camp on week 44 and sends his advise to the arriving players: “It is important to keep an open mind, listen and work hard to continuously develop.”

Apply to NF Academy programs here:

NF Selection tournament teams – IberCup Cascais
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+ Application form

Gabriel’s first days at SL Benfica

 

The 14 years old NF Academy player, Gabriel Saugestad, has now been attending the SL Benfica’s Academy for 10 days out of four weeks. This period has been an exciting journey for him with a new country, experiences and friends. Gabriel has of course been very busy since training has taken most of his time, but we got hold of Gabriel to get his view on this amazing opportunity.

Gabriel reflects on his thoughts before he went to SL Benfica, he smiles when he remembers how worried he was to meet the other players at SL Benfica. « Now, I realize I didn’t have to be worried at all. During my time here, I have made a lot of new friends and the club has taken really good care of me. » Because of his outstanding performance with the NF Selection team in IberCup Scandinavia this summer, NF Academy decided to offer Gabriel this opportunity. When we ask him to describe his first period and the hotel he is staying at, he cheerfully describes both the amazing room and the pool. «I have enjoyed the first week here a lot, but of course I miss my family and friends. However, the people here have been very positive and helpful to make me feel at home, which helps me to always perform at my best. I really enjoy the hotel pool and I also have a great room.”

«The people here have been very positive and helpful to make me feel at home, which helps me to always perform at my best»

As Gabriel has been pleased with everything outside the football field, we wondered how he experienced the facilities, trainers and the actual training sessions. « Everything is so professionally and well planned; the training facility is enormous and has lots of football pitches. The other day I got to try the football simulator, I got great results. Everything is of course a bit different from home, like the hot weather and practice. I struggled a bit at first with the temperature, but now I am used to it. The trainers here are amazing and in practice we have a lot of technical training which improves my skills every day!”

«The trainers here are amazing»

He continues and further explain to us how his two games with the SL Benfica Academy went. «We won both games and they went well for my part, I feel the first game went well, but I performed even better in the second game. » Now Gabriel looks forward to next week, he tells us he feels positive and curious about what lies ahead.

«I feel the first game went well, but I performed even better in the second game»

NF Academy are glad everything is going so well for Gabriel. Next week we will continue to follow him on his adventure abroad, be sure not to miss when Gabriel is sharing what happens to him in this blog.

Apply to NF Academy programs here:

NF Selection tournament teams – IberCup Cascais
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+ Application form

Gabriel’s thoughts before training at Benfica

Gabriel Saugestad playing for NF Selection

Gabriel playing for NF Selection this summer. Now he will train in Lisbon for a month.

«This will be an awesome and unique opportunity for me to develop as a player and as a person.»

Gabriel Saugestad’s performance with the NF Selection team this summer was so sensational that NF Academy and SL Benfica wanted to see more of him. We decided to offer him an opportunity to train with SL Benfica coaches at their top notch facilities for a whole month. Below Gabriel shares his thoughts before the training camp.

It was a regular Tuesday afternoon when I got a call from my dad. I almost couldn’t believe it when Dad told me that NF Academy and SL Benfica are offering me an opportunity to train with them for four weeks. Benfica is one of the greatest youth development clubs and now I am able to see what the level of possibly the best European youth players is. This is such a great opportunity for me to develop as a player and see how I can keep up with the best youth players. I am sure that during the four-week period I will learn a lot. Also Benfica coaches will see how I practice and perform.

Traveling abroad alone is a big challenge of course but I am also looking forward to it. I will have to communicate in English and it’s the first time I’ll be away from home for a whole month. My mum will visit me on the third week of my training period though; and of course we can call or Skype. But actually I have the feeling that due to the hectic training schedule I will have other things in my mind.

«Traveling abroad alone is a big challenge of course but I am also looking forward to it.»

This will be a challenge for me but also an awesome and unique opportunity to develop not only as a player but also as a person. I will have to take care of myself  in a foreign country. I am certain that I will learn many valuable things outside the training ground as well.

My family and friends have been really supportive with all of this. My dad booked me flights and mom has already started assuring I have everything I need for the trip.

I am really curious about many things. How will I get along with the other players and what are the famous SL Benfica training facilities like? What kind of exercises will we have and are they going to be much different from what we have back home and can I keep up with the other players? Next week I will know the answers to these questions.

I am really grateful for this I can’t wait to get to Lisbon and train!

NF Academy is certain Gabriel will do great and wishes him all the best! During his stay in Lisbon Gabriel will share his thoughts and feelings in this blog.

 

Apply to NF Academy programs here:

NF Selection tournament teams – IberCup Cascais
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+ Application form

Interview with NF Academy ambassador, Zeca

NF Academy ambassador, Zeca, scored in his debut for FC Copenhagen

NF Academy ambassador, Zeca, scored in his debut for FC Copenhagen

«Mixing the Portuguese technical and tactical training with the Northern European physicality would make a perfect mix»

Our head coach, Joâo Plantier, welcomes Zeca to NF Academy and congratulates him for joining FC Copenhagen. Joâo coached Zeca in Casa Pia, and says he saw great potential in the player already at young age. Zeca took some time to chat with us about his thoughts on Northern European football.

Hi Zeca, How are you? What do you think about Denmark and Copenhagen so far? Have you had some time to see places outside the training ground?

I’m great, thank you for asking. It looks like a nice city with fantastic people and so far, I’m very happy here. I haven’t had the time to see that much yet but I’m looking forward to exploring my new home city.

At FC Copenhagen you have a bit more offensive role. How do you feel about that? It must have felt great to net that header in your debut match?

I haven’t played in that position for a while but I feel good about it. I hope to still improve and raise my level to help the team. Yes, winning the match and scoring felt great! It was a very special moment for me. I could say it was a perfect day.

How has it been training with FC Copenhagen? Can you think of Portuguese training methods that could be brought to Denmark and other Northern European countries?

It has been just perfect! All the people in the club have been really helpful. The training sessions have been a little bit different than before: the intensity is slightly higher here. It’s a bit more physical I would say. Bringing some aspects of Portuguese style of training could work. Mixing the Portuguese technical and tactical training with the Northern European physicality would make a perfect mix, I think.

We’re really delighted to have you as an ambassador for NF Academy. Is there something you would like to say to the young Nordic players who want to be professionals like you some day?

Remember to work hard and listen to the talented people around you. Also, always believe in your dreams and try to enjoy every moment of football!

 

Apply to NF Academy programs here:

NF Selection tournament teams – IberCup Cascais
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+ Application form

NF Selection IberCup Cascais – Application is open!

Face the top teams of Europe

Talented Scandinavian players born between 2002 and 2007 can now send in the applications for the opening event of the NF Academy season 2018 in Portugal.

IberCup Cascais is one of the most competitive European elite tournaments and a unique opportunity for a player to develop and play against the top teams like Barcelona, Liverpool and SL Benfica.

The tournament will take place in the Easter week. Read more about the NF Selection teams and the IberCup Cascais here.

We look forward to hearing from you!

Apply to NF Academy programs here:

NF Selection tournament teams – IberCup Cascais
+ Read more
+ Application form

Award winning goalkeeper school joins NF Academy

João Santos' goalkeeper school

João Santos’ goalkeeper school

We are exited to announce João Santos’ coaches have joined the NF Academy!

After playing as a goalkeeper for more than a decade João found his passion in coaching. He currently coaches the Sporting U17 team as well as runs his acclaimed goalkeeper school that collaborates with several Portuguese top teams: Sporting CP, AD Oeiras and Estoril to name a few.

The owner of the school, João, got his Sports and Physical Education degree at ISCE and has the UEFA B coaching license. Already hundreds of goalkeepers are using the training methods developed by Santos and he is constantly invited to give theoretical and practical training all over Portugal.

Santos’ school and coaches will strengthen the NF Academy Coaching team run by our sports director and head coachJoão Plantier.

The João Santos’ goalkeeper school coaches will participate the NF Elite camps already in October! We’re looking forward to see you there!

Apply to NF Academy programs here:

NF Elite training camps with S.L Benfica – LAST CHANCE TO APPLY.
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+ Application form

NF Selection tournament teams – IberCup Cascais
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Parent & player experience: NF Selection 2017

Sander Mala in action in IberCup Scandinavia 2017

The first event of the NF Academy season has been successfully completed – thank you to all players and parents for a fantastic tournament!

While working on a full match report of IberCup Scandinavia, we wanted to share an experience from our participants. As parent support is crucial for young football players and many of them travel to NF Academy events with family members, this time we wanted to share a parent perspective.

We reached Ole Johan Mala who participated first time with his talented son Sander Mala:

Sander and you participated in NF Academy for the first time – how was the experience?
-It was a fantastic experience in Ibercup Scandinavia for Sander and me. I haven’t seen Sander so happy for years. He said he felt like he was finally «coming home». Playing football with seriousness and joy together with other talented players. The coaches and staff was absolutely fantastic. I am amazed by the quality of the coaches both in training and in the matches. Sander and I are extremely happy to have participated in this event. The level at IberCup was high, which is good. I believe you develop in a positive way when you play against good players.

What were the best parts of the event from your perspective?
-The best part of the whole event was the high level of everything. Coaches, staff and players willing to learn.

Would Sander and you consider joining other NF Academy events?
-We already booked NF Elite, and Sander and I would very much consider joining Ibercup Cascais too!

Thank you both Sander and Ole Johan, see you soon in NF Elite training camps!

Apply to NF Academy programs here:

NF Elite training camps with S.L Benfica – APPLICATION DEADLINE 30.8.
+ Read more
+ Application form

NF Selection tournament teams – IberCup Cascais
+ Read more
+ Application form