For Grasshopper Club Zürich, youth work is fundamental to ensuring sustainable success for the football club. GC is a club with an established academy and has always had a significant youth section. The club gears its strategy towards successful youth development both commercially and on a sporting level.
The aim is to offer individual players the best possible environment to hone their sporting skills and further their personal development to optimum effect as they move up the age groups. GC has boasted an outstanding youth setup for years and is one of the top clubs when it comes to youth work. Talented young players are integrated into the first team every season.
In recent years, Grasshopper Club Zürich has also produced numerous up-and-coming players who have subsequently moved on to international leagues. Examples include Steven Zuber (TSG 1899 Hoffenheim), Haris Seferovic (Benfica, Lisbon) and Stephan Lichtsteiner (Juventus, Turin). This is proof of the excellent work the club has done in the past. Grasshopper Club Zürich aims to build on this success in its youth development and continuously improve even further.
Certified "SFV/SFL performance centre"
In December 2017, the Swiss Football Association (SFV) awarded Grasshopper Club Zürich the "SFV/SFL performance centre" quality label for the 2017/18 season. This certification makes the club even more attractive as a place for training future talent and will also help ensure that it keeps improving its youth development.
To be granted this label, Grasshopper Club Zürich had to fulfill certain conditions stipulated by the SFV in terms of infrastructure, concepts and specialist personnel. SFV representations visited the GC/Campus several times and held numerous discussions with the club. This, along with the documentation submitted, formed the basis for assessing the quality of the club's youth work, which was rated as good. With the GC/Campus, the club therefore has a sports centre that meets the highest standards. The recently introduced "SAP Sports One" software has also made it easier to communicate and exchange information between the various sports units within the club and helped strengthen cooperation between the professional division and the youth section. The work carried out in the fitness and medical departments was also assessed as excellent.
However, securing a seal of quality like this requires more than just a one-off effort – the club will have to undergo regular inspections by the SFV. If it wants to obtain performance centre certification for the 2018/19 season too, it will have to ensure that the centre's organisational and personnel structures are consolidated further.