There is no doubt that the most eagerly anticipated match this week was El Clasico, the match between Barcelona and Real Madrid at the Nou Camp in Barcelona.

The match fully lived up to expectations – and some more.

Barca won 5-0 and put on a display which had coaches all over the world drooling at the technical quality of their play and their players.

Eight of the Barca team were members of the Spanish World Cup winning squad but, even more significantly, nine of the team were the products of the Barca Youth Academy.

Superstars like Puyol, Valdes, Xavi, Iniesta and Messi have had their skills developed over a number of years in the Barca Youth System.

The development of home grown talent – although Messi is not exactly home grown – is the way forward for many clubs all over the world.

The Ajax Academy has produced outstanding players over the year and the interesting thing is that the role of the Head Youth Coach is not tied to the success or failure of the first team. His appointment is a long term appointment because development takes time and his job is to oversee the young players over perhaps an eight or ten year period.

Speaking of development, I have just returned from Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia where I was in charge of the referee development programme of the Asian Football Confederation called Project Future.

In short, young referees under the age of 25 are selected firstly at the AFC Festivals of Football and after a further selection course the best become part of AFC Project Future.

They then attend a further four courses over a two year period with top AFC instructors in different parts of Asia – India, Uzbekistan, Maldives or Japan.

The aim is to produce a new generation of AFC Elite Referees and the results are beginning to show. Of the referees who finished in 2009, six, between the ages of 25 and 27 have been appointed FIFA Referees for 2011 and a further two have become FIFA assistant Referees. Some others, already refereeing in the top divisions in their own country will become FIFA Referees when they reach the minimum age of 25.

Development takes time, whether it be the development of a player or a referee but it is an essential part of football.

The results can be spectacular, as witnessed by the Barca team against Real Madrid and hopefully by the performance of some of the AFC Project Future referees in the FIFA World Cups of 2018 and 2022.

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