"Education worker. That hits the spot..."

School 2.0

At BVB's Youth Academy


"Anyone can come up with a clever idea. Ultimately, what counts is that at BVB we really want to work together with the players, their parents and their schools. It's not just the parents who have noticed that we mean it," said Matthias Röben, Educational Director at BVB's Youth Academy. Working together with the parents is a cornerstone of our overall education concept. "The parents of our young talents are often torn: they don't want to stand in the way of their kid's chance of turning pro, but they understand all too well how fierce the competition is and that their influence over their own child will diminish. Who wouldn't be sceptical? I completely understand."

The work of BVB's teaching staff in preparing our young talents for completing school is manifold: They regularly visit schools, remain in constant contact with coordinators and teachers, organise afterschool tutoring as well as in-person and online vocational programmes, and prepare individual school and education plans that take league, national team and UEFA Youth League matches into account. In addition to creative solutions within the bounds of education law, this requires absolute reliability and credibility. "This applies equally to us, the players and their parents. We bear the responsibility, and that is not something we take lightly. If the players have the right attitude, we give them all the support they need. No strings attached."

Every day we strive to be consummate professionals and create a familiar atmosphere at the Youth Academy. "Our goal is to tap the potential in every youngster and develop them into the best possible pupils and footballers we know they can be. We're very pleased with the average grades of the nearly 40 players at our partner schools." Our partner schools, which are part of the elite football schools network, work hard to make up for any lost classroom time. The German FA (DFB) just recently audited and certified the entire system with distinction. "Only a few make the leap to the pros. That's why completing school is so very important!"

That also goes for taking responsibility on and off the pitch. "After all, we want the lads to demand the ball. We can't follow them around for their whole lives. Everyone has to pull together." That, too, is a daily challenge. Trick question posed by a player at the training ground: "Mr Röben, what time's my English class again today?" Röben smiles: "He knows I know the answer. And I know I won't tell..."