Despite being a Real Madrid fan, UCFB Wembley student Jan Tychonski enjoyed a brilliant fortnight helping to coach youngsters at the FC Barcelona Academy in Warsaw, Poland.

At the academy, called FCB Escola Varsovia, Jan was assistant coach to the U17 team and learnt about the training systems, how to prepare the training sessions, sponsorship, marketing and some of the financial restraints the academy faces despite being linked to the most famous football club in the world.

Jan, who’s studying BA (Hons) Football Business & Marketing at UCFB Wembley, also found out vital information on how the academy contracts the players, with some of the better individuals already on professional terms to try to ward off other clubs. With FC Barcelona’s history of bringing through young players, Jan could have quite easily witnessed the next Lionel Messi or Andres Iniesta.

Speaking on the financing of the academy, Jan said: “I was informed that FC Barcelona doesn’t financially support the academy as well as some of their other schools, and that the academy must pay around £120,000 each year for using the training systems. On top of that, the academy director told me that the academy cannot individually get sponsors, as they have to reach an agreement with FC Barcelona because the sponsors have to be the same.”

Jan added: “Despite the fact that I’m a Real Madrid fan, it was a great opportunity and I learned a lot. The most interesting thing for me was the way the coach’s focus on the thinking of the players. They care about their versatility and focus during the game.”