Ben Adams

An insight into the Bluebirds’ Day Release Programme

What is the Day Release Programme?

Cardiff City Football Club has operated a successful day release programme since 2008.

The programme, which is attended weekly by U12, U13 and U14 age groups, ensures that players maintain standards in their academic studies, whilst learning and developing their ability on the pitch through a variety of training sessions during the day.

Hosted in our Academy base in Llanrumney, which opened earlier this season, players are provided with excellent facilities as a platform to hone their skills, whilst being supported by talented coaches.

Football delivery is focused around the players’ detailed individual learning plan, the Academy technical curriculum, as well as the Academy game model.

All players are also involved in athletic development sessions in the gym to support their improvement on the field.

Education is also of a high priority to the day release programme, with a minimum of two hours of education taking place for every player.

Since the inception of the programme, there has been a great deal of success, with the likes of Rubin Colwill, Joel Colwill, Isaak Davies and Cian Ashford all benefiting from the process.

Ben Adams
A staff insight

Dane Facey, Head of Coaching: “We all remember some of our current First Team players going through the day release programme. The current group that we have now are even more fortunate in that we have better facilities and more opportunities to develop players in different ways. I certainly remember the likes of Rubin Colwill and Isaak Davies being regular attenders. Whilst there are many benefits, fundamentally, the day release programme has definitely allowed us to work with those guys individually on what they needed and how we could best progress their football development to make sure they met the requirements of the modern game.”

Ben Adams, Lead Youth Development Phase Coach 12-16: “Our day release programme enhances our provision because of the contact time that we get with the players. That allows our coaches across the programme to work more on an individual basis, linked to their individual development plans. The age groups will mix together, which brings a lot of learning opportunities around social development, that can include some of the older boys developing leadership qualities and acting as role models for the younger players, who have the opportunity to work with older players and learn from.”

Lawrence Hallett, Lead Foundation Phase Coach 9-11: “I think it’s the most valuable part of our programme. It’s self-contained, it’s a version of First Team football that has all the social benefits. The football advantage are really noticeable, but also having education means there’s a good mix and a balance to the day. The footballing side ranges from their technical ability to their intelligence and I consider it a vital part of our programme.”

Oli Linton, Head of Education: “The educational side is vital. The players have to do a minimum of two hours of education a day whilst they’re here. Most schools will provide the work, so they’re not missing out on their regular schoolwork. The main point is that we don’t want their education to suffer whilst they’re here, hence why it’s so important that the players understand and appreciate its value.”

Olivia Linton
The players’ views

Joseph McCarthy (U14): “It’s good to come into the day release programme and get extra football in; there’s a lot of training. It’s good socially as well, you develop teammates who you look after and respect each other.”

Joel O'Leary (U14): “You get a lot of experience doing education, working in the gym and a lot of training. The teachers demand a lot of standard to do your work and we know that if we do it, it will help us in the long run.”

Hugo Daniel (U13): “Since the start of the season, I feel like I’ve improved a lot. The coaches have spoken to me about how I can get better and that has really helped me. In every age group, you make mates through day release and you really get to know people.”

Sergeant Moreno (U13): “The feedback the coaches give us, we take it on and it improves us. We all work hard, we work on it at home and try and get better. There’s a lot of good people here that can comfort and support you.”

Harri Rummings (U12): “People sometimes see it as skipping school, but we make sure that we get through our subjects. We have a lot of practice in training and we get to see how the older age groups perform. We learn from them and that’s good for our improvement.”

Hywel Crisp (U12): “There is a lot of variation here, so you’d have some time in the gym, training and education as well. I definitely feel like I’ve got a lot better because I’ve had the chance to play in different positions and develop.”