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MatchPlay Cards in an Academy setting

We know that the game will ask players to solve problems in real-time, we also know that the game will challenge players to continually adapt. These may be through a tactical change of the opposition, numbered due to a card or finding a way to win from behind. Coaches of Hamilton FC Academy have been using MatchPlay Cards to bring the game to life, here's how!


“They’re problem solving all the time... it's a brilliant way to see their brains working.” Matt Boyle, Head of Junior Academy

Small-sided-games play a core part of Scotland's Premiership side, Hamilton Academical F.C,

Academy, with coaches delivering a philosophy that they hope will develop more game-intelligent players.



Using MatchPlay Cards in training games to check and challenge learning of the sessions objects, Matt shares how coaches are integrating them; "They've taken to it instantly, they've really loved it... what we will do with the cards is use two cards, a card for each team and play for 5 minutes and whoever wins that game it'll be 1-0 to them. We will then redraw 2 new cards for the next game."


"These cards have a been a massive hit across the squads" Matt Boyle, Head of Junior Academy

Stretching and supporting players to get in the game or encourage players to find a way to win, Matt and his team carefully select certain MatchPlay Cards, "If there is a team that is 2 or 3 games down, we will bring in the transfer card for the losing team to use" A favourite card of ours as we're always curious to see what attributes and behaviours players recognise in others.


Hamilton Academical F.C Academy joins a host of leading football academies across the world, including Arsenal, Nottingham Forrest and Alliance FA in Dubai.



Preparing players for the future, not just in football but the wider context of life, coaches are working with MatchPlay Cards to build interactive environments that have elements of randomness, chaos, excitement and speak to players in their language.


What does the future game look like for your players? What skills and attributes will they require? And how will you #ChangeTheGame with MatchPlay Cards to prepare your players for the future game?


Hit the link to discover the full MatchPlay Card range to fuel your coaching sessions (They're totally multi-sport in their design!): https://www.thecoachinglab.org/product-page/matchplay-cards

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