Why Sporting CP chooses to work with NF Academy

NF Academy training in Sporting Academy
NF Academy training in Sporting Academy

Why Sporting CP chooses to work with NF Academy

In March 2021, the NF Academy signed an official partnership with Portuguese giant Sporting. It gives the club with the world-renowned academy access to young talent in Scandinavia through the NF Academy’s program.

The actual conclusion of the collaboration was merely a formalization of what had already been going on for two years. The pandemic put the signing on hold, but it was no secret that Sporting Lisbon were very pleased with what the NF Academy had brought to them by young talent until then

This cooperation will give us full coverage in the Scandinavian region, and it is important to us. It is a new step for Sporting into different markets than the ones we already have a good overview of, like the Portuguese. This will give us more value both as a club and as a team, says Paulo Gomes, general manager of Sporting’s academy.

Paulo Gomes, General Manager of Sporting CP Youth Academy.
Paulo Gomes, General Manager of Sporting CP Youth Academy.
NF Academy training in Sporting Academy

Why Sporting CP chooses to work with NF Academy

In March 2021, the NF Academy signed an official partnership with Portuguese giant Sporting. It gives the club with the world-renowned academy access to young talent in Scandinavia through the NF Academy’s program.

The actual conclusion of the collaboration was merely a formalization of what had already been going on for two years. The pandemic put the signing on hold, but it was no secret that Sporting Lisbon were very pleased with what the NF Academy had brought to them by young talent until then

This cooperation will give us full coverage in the Scandinavian region, and it is important to us. It is a new step for Sporting into different markets than the ones we already have a good overview of, like the Portuguese. This will give us more value both as a club and as a team, says Paulo Gomes, general manager of Sporting’s academy.

Paulo Gomes, General Manager of Sporting CP Youth Academy.
Paulo Gomes, General Manager of Sporting CP Youth Academy.

Talent factory

Sporting Lisbon is one of the three big clubs in Portugal along with FC Porto in the north-west and city rival Benfica. 18 league championships, 17 cup championships and the Cup Winners’ Cup win have all found their way to the majestic Estadio Jose Alvalade.

Every day there are many young boys and girls who train at the academy, dreaming of one day playing on a packed home turf, where over 50,000 spectators can create a wonderful atmosphere.  Sporting is perhaps as well known for its youth department as it is of silverware in the cupboards.  Although the two things are closely related.

The youth department is one of the world’s most renowned and exciting.

Cristiano Ronaldo and Luis Figo are two of many world-renowned players who have worked daily on the training field to take the next step in their careers.

The Portugal team that lost the 2016 European Championship final had eight of the players in the starting eleven with their background from the academy of Sporting Lisbon. Two more of the substitutes in the squad had visited the talent factory.

So why is the Portuguese giant looking to Scandinavia? When you’ve obviously already found the formula of success in developing players for the big world stage?

The answer is the activity and the job the NF Academy has closed down over several years.

It is fantastic to be able to provide such opportunities to our participants that this collaboration gives us. We help not only to develop the technical skills of the players, but also that they can take the next step in their careers, by offering such opportunities the agreement with Sporting gives us. Through our program, we discover many talents. For Sporting Lisbon, it is a great advantage to gain knowledge about the players before they come to audition, says the NF Academy’s sporting director, João Plantier.

João Plantier, NF Academy Sports Director
João Plantier, NF Academy Sports Director
Jonas Halvorsen was picked by Sporting's scouts during the NF Academy Qualification camp after being in top 2 in NF International Trials in his region
Jonas Halvorsen was picked by Sporting's scouts during the NF Academy Qualification camp after being in top 2 in NF International Trials in his region

Other player types

The NF Academy’s main intention is to help players constantly take the next step in their development, and support towards the goal of achieving their dreams. This is primarily done through participation in the program, which are high-quality training camps both at home and abroad. Next, the NF Academy wants  to create opportunities for players to take the next step in their careers.

Scandinavian players have a distinctively high discipline and ability to focus.

In addition to being well physically andco-evolving players by nature. As types, they are adaptable with a strong willingness to seek development on the basis of the skills they already have. It’s a different type of player than the Portuguese, which is obviously an advantage for Sporting, said NF Academy’s sporting director, Gonçalo Nunes.

Everyone who participates in the programs is evaluated by our experienced and highly educated coaches. Based on this and the player’s level or potential, we provide invitations to train with top European club academies.

Gonçalo Nunes, NF Academy Sports Director
Gonçalo Nunes, NF Academy Sports Director

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