Landmark agreement to strengthen development of local talent


Adelaide United FC is pleased to announce a ‘satellite club’ relationship with the Enfield City Football Club.

Adelaide United FC is pleased to announce a ‘satellite club- relationship with the Enfield City Football Club (ECFC) after the unanimous acceptance of a new constitution by the ECFC members at a special meeting held at their clubrooms last night.

Reds General Manager – Football Operations Michael Petrillo declared the announcement is a landmark decision for both clubs.

“The Enfield City committee was extremely enthusiastic about gaining the support of Adelaide United,” Petrillo said.

“After weeks of discussions the committee fully supported the proposed Heads of Agreement (HOA) presented to them along with the new constitution, which will see the club implement a new Executive Board made up of three current Enfield City representatives, three Adelaide United representatives – one of which will be the Adelaide United appointed Chairperson who will have the casting vote.

“The current ECFC Committee will become the ‘working committee- operating the day-to-day activities of the club under the direction of the Board.”

One of the key objectives of the partnership surrounds the ability and opportunity to keep Adelaide United-s National Youth League squad together in an all year program.

“The intention is to have the majority of our Youth players in the future playing for ECFC as this is the best way forward to develop more players and give them the chance of reaching the Hyundai A-League,” Petrillo said.

This move follows the direction of Perth Glory, Brisbane Roar, the Newcastle Jets and the Central Coast Mariners, who will all have their Youth teams playing in the top tier of their local leagues from next season.

“The difference with our project is that we have been able to preserve the integrity and history of a local club whilst still having all the benefits of having a year round program”, Petrillo said.

“The further benefit of our partnership with Enfield City is that we have the ability for players to come into our program from eight years of age right through to the National Youth League level which is something the other Hyundai A-League clubs don-t have.

“If players don-t make it to the A-League then they will return to the other clubs within the local competitions whilst still quite young and having had a professional training program behind them. Our project will eventually benefit all clubs in the state which in turn benefits Adelaide United in identifying local talent.”

“Any club that provides a player to our National Youth League program and goes on to become an A-League player with Adelaide United in the future will receive the full transfer fee – that part will not change.”

Adelaide United FC will appoint all Enfield City coaches, who will not only have the required FFA Coaching License but also undergo an intensive internal course under the instruction of Reds Senior Coach Josep Gombau, who is a qualified UEFA Coaching instructor and former Director of the FC Barcelona Academy.

“We will coach the coaches so that all players at Enfield will receive the best coaching possible,” Petrillo said.

“The education of coaches at ECFC will be paramount in the development of the player. The club will invest continuously in the coaching of the players. The emphasis will be on the coach-s education to give the players the best environment in which to develop, which will always be the philosophy of the club.”

The benefits to Adelaide United FC in running an existing club in the FFSA competition are;

  • The ability to have all infrastructures already in place including grounds and a ‘working committee- needed to operate the club.
  • By keeping the ECFC name and colours it means there will be no Adelaide United brand competing against local clubs.
  • The ability to have an influence in how youth players are developed from an early age, which should produce a greater volume of A-League players for the future.
  • Will provide a better pathway for NTC Program players who do not go to the AIS.
  • Allow National Youth League players the ability to stay in a 12-month professional program, training and playing under the same philosophy.
  • Players who do not achieve A-League standard will eventually return to other clubs within the competition as significantly better players than what they would have been, thus improving the overall standard of the local competition.
  • Further develop the junior programs in the future through the ECFC Inc.

    “This opportunity provides Adelaide United with short, medium and long-term benefits we cannot achieve without the partnership. All professional clubs around the world are responsible for their own junior development programs,” Petrillo said.

    “We as a club now have the opportunity and the need to take that responsibility and develop our own players in our own way aligned with our philosophy.

    “This decision will be a landmark one in the history of not only Adelaide United but also junior development in this State. It will provide more opportunities for South Australian players to become A-League players and raise the standard of the local competition in the future.”

    This year Enfield City competed in the local Premier League but will start 2014 in the second tier State League after being relegated this season. The club was founded in 1946 as the Prospect Soccer Club and have produced a host of great players over the years including former Reds Iain Fyfe, Jason Spagnuolo and Robert Cornthwaite, as well as ex Socceroo David Mitchell. Enfield City currently has twelve teams playing in the various age groups from U-11 up to the Senior Team.

    Their home ground is at Rushworth Reserve in Blair Athol while their junior teams have training grounds at Gepps Cross Reserve.