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7 Elite Academy Online Masterclass Season One (Ep3): Martin Ho

Manchester United Women Under-21s Coach Martin Ho has urged 7 Elite Academy players to ‘keep asking questions and learning’ during the latest Online Masterclass.

Ho was discussing youth football and the future direction of the game as part of a series of masterclass sessions with professional coaches and players.

The sessions are part of a wider package of support for 7EA players during Covid-19 restrictions, including a detailed Home Technical Program, online team meetings, one-to-one evaluations and Players of the Week awards.

Ho worked with 7 Elite Academy players last summer, when a group travelled from Utah to train with Liverpool FC Girls Academy and experience university education in the city.

Those youngsters left a big impression on him, and he believes the standard of football they experience with 7 Elite Academy is giving them a good grounding for the future.

He said: “They were a pleasure to work with. Four really down to earth players, who were also good players and probably had more physical strength than some players over here. They’re well-built, strong and quick.

“They just need to keep doing what they’re doing because obviously they’re in the position for that, but they can go to another layer and take their game to another level by doing those extra bits of work.

“The best players ask a lot of questions. Don’t be afraid to ask and be willing to learn. We wouldn’t know what we know now without asking questions. That is the biggest thing for young players.

“Don’t be afraid to express yourself in terms of your personality and do those one percenters that other players in your position, or someone you’re competing against, might not be doing to give yourself the best opportunity.

“If you walk away from a game or decide to do something else or take another career path, if that’s coaching or something else within sport or football, you will know you’ve given yourself every chance to succeed, without any ifs or buts.”

Ho recently joined Manchester United Women Under-21s as Coach and works closely with Casey Stoney, the highly-rated Head Coach of the senior women’s team.

Former England captain Stoney led United to promotion to the Women’s Super League in the team’s first season, alongside the FA Cup quarter-final and League Cup semi-final.

He said: “Casey wants to know how all the players are getting on and what we’re doing. She wants to have every bit of information on players in the Under-21 squad, so she can paint a picture moving forwards in terms of what things could look like.

“We keep close contact with Casey and she’ll give opportunity when the right time comes. We get the chance to talk with her and her staff with the first team on a daily basis, which is good.

“We’re able to be in that environment, to see how she works and her work ethic on the pitch, how she conducts herself and delivers on a daily basis.

“But the biggest thing for me is how much of a role model she is off the pitch. She’s got a big powerful presence, but she’s also a really down to earth, well-grounded person.

“In my opinion, she’ll be one of the best, if not the best, in world football given time to implement her model in place in future years.

“She’s only been coaching in the WSL now for a few years and I believe if the opportunity comes in terms of kicking on and moving forwards, she can can take Manchester United to another level, because of the way she does things.”

7 Elite Academy Global Technical Director, Anthony Godfrey, who conducted the Masterclass, said: “Martin was very impressed by our four players he worked with in Liverpool last year. His experience is invaluable to any youngster who wants to have a career in professional football.

“7 Elite Academy Online Masterclass sessions are giving our players a fascinating insight into how top-flight players conduct themselves skills on a daily basis.

“Alongside our Home Technical Programme, online team meetings and one-to-one sessions, they offer a unique opportunity to learn and develop during Covid-19 restrictions.”


James Shaw