Hoddle launches online football skills challenge

Glenn Hoddle at the launch of Zapstarz Hoddle has wide experience in playing and coaching

When Ikechi Anya made a goal-scoring debut for Scotland against Macedonia this month, no one was happier than ex-England manager Glenn Hoddle.

For the 25-year-old Watford player had been given a chance to resurrect his career when he was taken on by Hoddle's residential academy in Spain.

It had been set up to try to help players discarded by their clubs back into the professional game.

That Spanish adventure has ended, but Hoddle has a new football venture.

This time, he is looking to develop younger players: children and teenagers.

Hoddle's Zapstarz is an online project to search for the next young Gareth Bale or Jack Wilshire, or indeed Ikechi Anya.

"The Spain academy was always going to be a five-year project, and we were able to get 17 or 18 players back into clubs," he says.

"Zapstarz is about taking young kids from the ages of eight to 16 and improving their skills."

Boys and girls enrol on the Zapstarz website or download the app, then undertake a series of five skills challenges set by Hoddle, such as ball juggling, control and passing.

At each stage, the youngsters send in video or mobile clips of themselves tackling the task Hoddle has sent. These are appraised by the ex-Spurs star and his staff.

Only the most skilful progress through each stage.

Club contract?

At the end of 25 weeks, the cream of the crop will be invited to coaching sessions with Hoddle at his main football academy in Bisham Abbey, Buckinghamshire, where the goal is "promoting excellence to help players at all levels to achieve their goals".

Youngsters practise their skills at the launch of the Hoddle venture The new venture is open to boys and girls

At these sessions for the winners, scouts from football clubs will be in attendance.

That, in turn, could lead to some lucky youngsters being signed up by football clubs.

It costs £1.99 to enter each level of the challenge. The venture has been launched by Hoddle in conjunction with former sports journalists Harry Harris and Bill Bradshaw.

The project is being funded by investors and some sponsors - Planet Hollywood cafe, SoccerStarz toy player figures and Hilton Hotels. It is hoped that more will sign up.

Glenn Hoddle playing career

  • Tottenham Hotspur - 1975 to 1987
  • Won two FA Cups and Uefa Cup
  • AS Monaco - 1987 to 1991
  • Won French League title
  • 53 England caps - 1979 to 1988
  • World Cup quarter finals 1986

"There is an end goal here - to improve the skills of young kids," says former England manager Hoddle.

"We need to make young players as comfortable on the ball as the Spanish. There has been a lot written about the lack of skills in this country, so this is a good time to launch."

Hoddle, whose views were sought by new Football Association chairman Greg Dyke before he launched his much-publicised speech about the need to keep future England teams competitive, says British children have as much raw skill as their continental counterparts.

"We have a lot of talent in this country, but it is about how its developed. At an early age, our youngsters have as much skill as those in Europe, but something gets lost along the way," he says.

Glenn Hoddle in action for Tottenham Hotspur in the 1981 FA Cup final Hoddle won two FA Cups with Tottenham Hotspur

"The number one criteria is to master the ball. When I played in France, I saw how kids were being coached. It was all about the ball, not speed or strength. Those things can come later."

He also says that up-and-coming youngsters are not being given a fair chance to break into Premier League teams.

"It hurts me to see young English players being blocked by average foreign players, who might have come over on a free transfer."

He concluded: "It really is all about seeking out talent and improving the next generation of footballers."

More on This Story

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites

More Business stories

RSS

BBC Business Live

  1.  
    RUSSIAN SANCTIONS 10:33: Gavin Hewitt Europe editor

    reports Germany and France are unlikely to go as far as Prime Minister David Cameron would like in implementing fresh sanctions against Russia for its support for rebels in eastern Ukraine. Germany has significant concerns about the impact of sanctions on its own economy, he says (it receives around 30% of its gas from Ukraine). Meanwhile, France is also likely to face more pressure over its sale of two warships to Russia he reports.

     
  2.  
    HOUSE SALES 10:21: Via Email Kevin Peachey Personal finance reporter, BBC News
    A general view of residential housing on a street in south London

    "In June, UK property sales hit their joint highest monthly total since the end of 2007, HM Revenue and Customs' figures show. There were 109,580 sales in June - matching the figure for November last year, and offering further evidence of a recovery in the housing market since the financial crisis.

     
  3.  
    MARKET UPDATE 10:20:

    Tokyo stocks rose 0.84% by the end of Tuesday, boosted by a weaker yen as traders returned from a three-day holiday weekend. The benchmark Nikkei 225 index climbed 127.57 points to finish at 15,343.28, while the Topix index was up 0.79%, or 9.98 points, at 1,273.27. The gains were in line with a pick-up across Asia after pro-Russian rebels handed over the black boxes of the crashed Malaysia Airlines jet.

     
  4.  
    PUBLIC BORROWING 10:03:

    More on the Bank of England interest payments. Essentially, the £3.9bn in interest payments transferred to the government by the BOE are a bit of an accounting wheeze. Whether the money really exists is debateable. It might be better explained as money the government hasn't had to pay out in interest payments to bond holders because quantitative easing means the BOE is the bondholder in question.

     
  5.  
     
  6.  
    PUBLIC BORROWING 09:49:

    The first three months of 2013 saw higher than usual income tax payments as higher earners delayed bonus payments until after the top rate of incomes tax fell to 45% from 50%. That's why income tax in the first three months of this tax year was 3.5% lower than in the first three months of last year. Even so, public borrowing isn't falling as predicted and missed analysts expectations for June by nearly £1bn. There were also £0.9bn worth of receipts from a Swiss tax avoidance deal last year.

     
  7.  
    PUBLIC BORROWING 09:42:
    The Bank of England,

    The Treasury has pointed out that the public sector net debt (PSND) figures were affected by unusual tax receipts last year while the Bank of England transferred £3.9bn of interest payments due on government bonds. When the effect of those tax receipts is stripped out the PSND in June is £0.1bn lower than the same month last year.

     
  8.  
    PUBLIC BORROWING 09:33: Breaking News

    Public borrowing was £11.4bn in June, official figures released this morning have shown. The figure is £3.8bn higher than the same month last year.

     
  9.  
    EUROTUNNEL PROFITS 09:17:
    A train leaving the Eurotunnel

    Eurotunnel has released half year results: It says core profit is up 6% to 216m euros (£170m) thanks in no small part to the recovery in the UK economy, leading to more of us taking trips over to the continent plus stronger freight traffic. Revenues are up 8% as well. Eurotunnel has kept its full year guidance the same saying it expects profits to hit 460m euros.

     
  10.  
    CHINA FOOD SCARE 09:06:
    Workers producing food at the Shanghai Husi Food Co., a factory of US food provider OSI Group, in Shanghai

    Chinese police are questioning staff of US food supplier OSI Group for selling expired meat, according to state media. Shanghai authorities on Sunday shut an OSI plant - a supplier to McDonald's and KFC in China - for mixing out-of-date meat with fresh product, re-labelling expired goods and other quality problems following an investigative report by a local television station.

     
  11.  
    TIME WARNER TAKEOVER 08:52:
    Rupert Murdoch, executive chairman of News Corporation,

    Time Warner has tightened up its bylaws just in case its shareholders get twitchy and try to call a special board meeting to discuss a second attempted takeover bid from Rupert Murdoch's 21st Century Fox, according to a report in the Daily Telegraph. It follows the news that Time Warner rejected an $80bn (£46bn) approach from Fox last month. The amendment blocks a standard rule that 15% of a company's investors can vote to call a special meeting.

     
  12.  
    MARKETS UPDATE 08:37:

    European markets have opened higher this morning, despite fears over further European economic sanctions against Russia. Royal Mail is the biggest faller on the FTSE 100 down 3.5% to 450.4p after is said its parcels revenues fell 1% in the three months to 29 June:

    • The FTSE is 0.42%, or 28.57 points, higher at 6,757.01
    • Germany's Dax is 0.67%, or 64.08 points higher at 9,676.13
    • France's Cac-40 is up 0.56%, or 24.07 points, to 4,328.61
     
  13.  
    RUSSIAN SANCTIONS 08:23: BBC Radio 4

    Prof Marie Mendras, a former French government adviser, is speaking on the Today Programme about sanctions on Russia after last week's plane crash. She's particularly talking about Russia's order of warships from France. French President Francois Hollande is "stuck" she says. He may reconsider the sale of the second warship. "Each country is trying to defend its economic interests," she says.

     
  14.  
    RUSSIAN SANCTIONS 08:13: BBC Radio 4

    The European Union's (EU) economic sanctions against Russia are likely to be tightened today, when European foreign ministers meet in Brussels following the downing of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17, the BBC's Europe Editor Gavin Hewitt tells the Today programme. It is most likely those sanctions may see more people added to the list of proscribed persons in an effort to bring EU sanctions in line with those in the US. But Germany and the UK are at odds over how tough sanctions should be, he adds.

     
  15.  
    ROYAL MAIL Via Twitter Kamal Ahmed BBC Business editor

    tweets: Royal Mail: despite parcels performing less well, letters decline is not as rapid as expected. Performance in line with guidance

     
  16.  
    LIDL TAX 07:48: BBC Radio 4

    BBC business reporter Joe Lynam points out that as a German company that operates in the UK, Lidl doesn't have to disclose the amount of corporation tax it pays in Britain, but adds it is likely the supermarket does not want to be seen in the same light as Starbucks, Google and Amazon, who were widely criticised last year over the amount of corporation tax they did or did not pay here.

     
  17.  
    ARM RESULTS 07:35:
    Arm

    Chipmaker Arm posted a 9% rise in second-quarter profit, helped by strong demand to license its technology. The Cambridge-based company, which had previously made microchips for Apple's iphone and receives revenue for selling its blueprints and royalties, reported pre-tax profit of £94.2m.

     
  18.  
    LIDL TAX 07:29: BBC Radio 4

    German discount retailer Lidl has disclosed it paid £25m in tax in 2013 following a campaign to get it to publish its full financial accounts in the UK. Bryan Roberts from retail analysts Kantar Retail suggests that means Lidl is paying around 20% in corporation tax on a 3% margin. Julian Bailey, a spokesman for Morrison's supermarket tells the Today Programme it is "a pity it took Lidl so much time" to disclose how much tax it pays.

     
  19.  
    ROYAL MAIL 07:17:
    Royal Mail letterbox

    Royal Mail says it's had a weaker-than-expected performance in UK parcels, "largely driven by the intensifying competitive environment" in the three months to 29 June. "Given the increasing challenges we are facing in the UK parcels market, our parcels revenue for the year is likely to be lower than we had anticipated," it said.

     
  20.  
    VODAFONE COVERAGE 07:10: Radio 5 live

    Jeroen Hoencamp, the Vodafone UK chief executive has been on 5 live talking about the firm's rollout of 3G to rural areas that previously had poorer mobile internet access. "We need to be very careful there won't be a digital divide between urban and rural areas," he says.

     
  21.  
    CREDIT SUISSE 06:59:
    The logo of Swiss bank Credit Suisse

    It's not a great day to be a Swiss banker, especially one working for Credit Suisse, which has this morning reported its biggest loss in nearly six years. It took a 1.6bn Swiss-franc charge (£1.04bn) as part of its settlement with authorities over tax evasion charges. The bank has also reported a loss of 700m Swiss francs for the second-quarter, compared with a profit of 1.05 billion francs a year earlier.

     
  22.  
    PUBLICIS RESULTS 06:51:

    Communications firm Publicis, which you'll remember tried to merge with rival Omnicom, said it would be "very difficult" to meet its annual target of 4% growth in sales after a second-quarter slowdown. Part of the reason was the end of that merger, it said, as well as the strength of the euro.

     
  23.  
    MARKETS UPDATE 06:44:

    After a rally in Asia in the wake of a softer approach from Russia overnight, following the downing of Malaysia airline's flight MH17, European markets are expected to open a bit higher this morning. The Nikkei rose 1% to 15,368.28, while the Hang Seng rose 1.4% to 23,716.24.

     
  24.  
    RUSSIAN SANCTIONS 06:37: BBC Radio 4

    London houses enough Russian money that the UK could "really hurt" the country through economic sanctions and the freezing of assets - particularly property, but businesses as well - following the downing of Malaysia Airline's flight MH17, should it want to, says money laundering expert Jeffrey Robinson, who has been described by the British Bankers' Association as "the world's leading financial crime author".

     
  25.  
    PENSION PROTECTION FUND 06:25: Radio 5 live

    Lady Barbara Judge is on 5 live. She's the chairperson of the Pension Protection Fund, which pays your pension if your employer goes bust. It's basically a re-insurance system, she says. They manage £16bn of assets. "It's very important people get good guidance on what they're doing" in pensions, she says.

     
  26.  
    TESCO 06:10: Radio 5 live
    Tesco"s chief executive Philip Clarke

    More from Richard Dunbar, investment director at Aberdeen Asset Management, on 5 live, this time talking about the departure of Tesco chief executive Philip Clarke. "He made some good decision tidying up the overseas portfolio," Mr Dunbar says. But, "it was also the UK business that was the problem" which he "didn't get to grips with." He may be asked to work until the start of next year to help the handover to his successor, Dave Lewis, he says.

     
  27.  
    SFO INVESTIGATION 06:02: Radio 5 live

    Richard Dunbar, investment director at Aberdeen Asset Management, is on 5 live talking about the Serious Fraud Office's investigation into the foreign exchange market. "There are 15 agencies now looking into it," he says, and despite being a £15trn market, it is a "surprise such a big market can be manipulated in the way the SFO may feel."

     
  28.  
    06:00: Matthew West Business Reporter

    Morning everyone. The big news from overnight is that Yahoo has acquired app analytics firm, Flurry, to help boost its advertising revenue from smartphones. As always you can get in touch with us at bizlievepage@bbc.co.uk and on twitter @bbcbusiness.

     
  29.  
    06:00: Howard Mustoe Business reporter

    Good morning everyone. There's a number of financial results and some economic data slated for today, so we'll be bringing you the best of that, and much, much more. Stay tuned.

     

Features

  • ScissorsWithout Scotland?

    How might things change for the rest of the UK


  • VigoroAnyone for Vigoro?

    The bizarre Edwardian attempt to merge tennis and cricket


  • Payton McKinnonLeft behind

    Why do so many children die in hot cars?


  • Dr Mahinder Watsa Dr Sex

    The wisecracking 90-year-old whose agony column is a cult hit


BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.