Our young players receive optimum support and development through targeted individual and team training as well as interesting comparison matches. Of course, we hope that our youth players can develop to the maximum in an environment tailored to them to reveal their full potential and create the opportunity to make the step up to our first team squad.
The development of the personality of our young players has great significance. That includes...
In addition, it is very important to us to make clear to our young players that school and vocational training take priority.
With our U19 and U17 teams in the relevant youth Bundesligas plus the younger age groups we want to play a leading role at the highest level. In addition, we want our young players to be the most talented youth players in the region – and to convey sporting and non-sporting experience through participation in international tournaments and tours. At the same time, we want to contribute to the success of all tournaments we take part in through good sporting performances and a friendly approach from our players, coaches and support staff. We always nurture a co-operative approach to other clubs, the associations, our guests, our opponents and Bayer AG.
Our management take a critical approach to their work and youth football in general. The target is to continually improve and be a strong as well as reliable partner.
Given all the targeted support, the fun and joy of our players and staff still take centre stage.
The value of the youth section at Bayer 04 is high in club political, financial and sporting terms.
The cooperation between the first team and the Performance Centre is harmonious, practical and sensible. This is based on a concept from Bayer 04. In addition, the fact that the decision makers in the individual sections have worked with each other for a long time is beneficial to the targets set.
Special measures in the youth section such as participation in national and international tournaments and performance comparisons are equally supported as conceptual thinking is. Even if the support of the first team is helpful in signing a particularly talented player, there is a dedicated and experienced contact in the youth section.
Sporting managing director Simon Rolfes (left, here with the director of the licence team Thomas Eichin) regularly keeps up-to-date with the performance levels and the development of the youth section. This applies particularly to talented players in the U19 and U17 youth teams. There is the principle of the short path. It is no coincidence that Rolfes previously held the position of "director of development and youth" at Bayer 04.
That means that players with potential from the youth teams are again and again included in training with the senior to give them early incentive in the sense of individual development.
Optimum match and training facilities are a key element for working with football talents. Bayer 04 Therefore, we place great value in the pitches at the Kurtekotten Performance Centre always meeting the highest requirements. That means the structure and playing surface of the main pitch is equivalent to the conditions the first team work with.
"Building on an elastic support layer and the mix of quartz sand and plastic granulate provides characteristics that are close to turf. That makes the surface extremely hard wearing," said Georg Schmitz the head of groundskeeping, about the main pitch.
There are also other natural grass surfaces that can stand up to the wear and tear of daily training and a long season with a large number of Bayer 04 youth teams.