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The Nike Football Academy: Developing the Next Generation


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The Nike Football Academy: Developing the Next Generation


The Nike Football Academy was an English football academy funded and administered by Nike. The academy had a revolving squad of unsigned under-20 players and was run with the intention of helping them find a professional club. The academy had long list of future professional players pass through it's doors, including Matty Cash, Tom Rogic, Pontus Almqvist, Abdul Majeed Waris and Anfernee Dijksteel to name a few. 

The Academy sadly closed at the end of the 2016–17 season.

This is where we come in! For the 2021-22 season the Nike Academy has been revived and the decision has been taken to move the headquarters to Germany, the ideal breeding ground for young footballing talent.

An 8 club conglomerate spanning all continents has been launched, creating the Nike Academy Football ecosystem. Central to this system, and this career, is Nike Academy Deutschland, to which the best players from the 7 other clubs will go in the hopes of launching them into stardom.

Nations have been picked based on the nationalities of ‘most notable’ players, ensuring that there is a global coverage, including nations who are from the less notable footballing countries. The ultimate aim is to produce professional footballers from these countries who represent their national teams, and to pick up youths released by the big academies and give them a 2nd chance.

As part of the Nike takeover process, clubs have received the following changes to the facilities and structure:

  • 50% boost to junior coaching and youth recruitment for all clubs
  • 50% boost to bank balance
  • Underwriter Sugar Daddy (i.e Nike) - the aim of the German club is to become self-sufficient within 5 years
  • All 8 clubs are now affiliated, with the German club being top of the food chain

Nike Academy Nations

Original Club: Halle
Rebranded: Nike Academy Deutschland.
Key info: 2nd youngest average  squad age in 3. Liga

Original Club: Dulwich Hamlet 
New Club: Nike Academy UK
Key Info: London based team, ideal for picking up talented youngster from London clubs

Original Club: Taby FK - young average squad age
New Club: Nike Academy Sverige
Key info: Young average squad age. According to Wikipedia they are noted for having a young squad.  

Original Club: Bribane Roar -
New Club: Nike Academy Australia
Key Info: One of the clubs with the worst original facilities

Original Club: FC Edmunton
New Club: Nike Academy Canada
Key Info: None - bang average club!

Original Club:
Delhi Football Club
New Club: Nike Academy India
Key Info: Young starting squad based in a major city

Original Club: Sport Boys
New Club: Nike Academy Peru
Key Info: Young Average age (plus it was a good name for a youth focus)

South Africa
Original Club: South Africa - JDR All Stars
New Club: Nike Academy South Africa
Key Info: None


  • Only 3 players above age 23 allowed - these will be the 'mentors' for the younger players. These will either be players who have developed by the club or veteran elder statesman (age 30+) of the game looking for their last pay check.
  • No signings above 21 years of age - unless it fulfils the criteria above
  • Once a player hits 23 they must be sold or otherwise become one of our 3 designated ‘mentors’
  • If a player receives an offer from a club in a higher division, the bid must be accepted - this is how the success of the Nike Academy System will be determined (not by the trophy cabinet)
  • Transfers will primarily focus on players from the 7 affiliated clubs and players released by bigger academies and clubs throughout the world.

Throughout this save I will be tracking the successes of all the clubs, with a particular focus on Germany. All teams are in playable league so it should hopefully lead to some interesting stories in the future!

Club intro to follow... 

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Facilities & Affiliates

Here's a list of all our affiliates, some of the terms of the partnership are different depending on the club. E.g. we have friendlies with the UK Academy but not the Australian one. Each of the clubs are affiliated with the others too with various different rules in place so hopefully we see some AI movement between the clubs too. 

In terms of our facilities, it's good for this level but there is still a lot of room for improvement, fingers crossed we get a good intake early on!




Squad Review

Taking a quick snapshot of the squad by age we can see we've got a lot of players who are too old to be at a club with our philosophy. These will need to be transfers out asap, this might take a transfer window or two to sort out as I'll also have to find their replacements. As you can also see from the youngsters at the club, a lot of them are on loan which isn't ideal as I want to develop players who belong to the club not other club's players. Not too much to shout about really.





I'll be looking to start off with a 4-3-1-2, focusing on high energy, fast attacking football which overloads the middle of the pitch.



Edited by JackJCFC
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First season over, on the face of it 7th place is a good finish for a squad expected to finish midtable. Throughout the entirety of the season we were in with a shout of the automatic promotion places, but as you can see, 16 draws hit us extremely hard. We lacked an out and out goal scorer with all of our strikers going through goal droughts at various points of the season. Where possible I tried to give minutes to some of the more promising youngsters but they weren't quite able to make the step up for the most part. 

Given that the team was largely exactly the same as the one I started with I am going to have to undergo a massive squad overhaul to bring down the average age of the squad and bring in some of the youngsters who have been let go by bigger clubs. At the moment it's looking like 80% of the current first team will no longer be with us next season. I have have chosen our GK, CB and RB as the 3 over 30 players we're going to be keeping in the first team next season - the two defenders were actually the 2 best performing players in the league by average rating, so they'll be very important for us as we bring in some younger faces.



In the xg table you can see that actually we have underperformed massively in all departments and by all rights should have won the league. We struggled to put teams to bed, conceding late goals from winning positions or just outright not scoring.


This match sums up our season.


Youth Intake

The youth intake was fairly decent, labelled a golden generation with a few players there that look like they could one day play for us but they need quite a bit of development time before they step on the pitch. 



Not a huge amount of activity so far. On the transfer out we were mainly focussed on getting rid of any of the players over 23 years of age with those leaving being the players who weren’t getting any minutes anyway. It was nice to see our Nike affiliates in India and Swede making moves to loan some of our players.

Only 2 of the transfers in were actually done by me, the rest were set pre-game start. Fabien Windhagen is a young 19 year old striker with decent physicals, released by Frankfurt, at 2 star potential I’m not sure he’s going to go far in the game but he may see some minutes next season. Idrus Abdulahi is a promising 18 year old Australian CM recommended to me thanks to our scouting knowledge from Nike Academy Australia. He saw some minutes in the DLP role in the centre, performing fairly averagely, he has the potential to be Bundesliga 2. standard so with some more minutes next season I’m hoping he can really kick on.    




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