While CD Almunecar City continue to dominate in the seventh tier and push to rise through the divisions quickly, there is also another arm to the club that is proving successful, Malaga City Academy.
This is by no means just a side project by owner George Jermy, using it as a platform for young footballers to train as if a professional and giving them somewhere to showcase their abilities and get noticed by the bigger clubs.
It is no surprise that they have a 16-year-old goalkeeper on trial at nearby CF Malaga and players currently trying to impress at Segunda B side El Ejido.
But makes then so different from club academies?
Professional, unique and playing the big boys
Malaga City do not play in a league like their Almunecar City, yet test themselves against the B teams of some the best in Spain, having already played Valencia, Villarreal and Sevilla, among others, while they will be heading to Atletico Madrid on Monday.
However, their current squad, which has 20-30 youth products in, do train alongside the senior side, practicing six days a week, much like a full-time professional would. And like CDAC, they tend to bring in players from all over the world, looking to make it big in the Iberian nation.
It all sounds too good to be true. Yet, these youngsters are not living and playing off Jermy’s generosity, nor does he just accept anyone.
Costly but worth it
Applicants must send in videos and showreels of themselves playing before they are even considered and then will have to pay for the expertise of the club’s coaches, while also having the option to stay in their accommodation and with meals and transport all included in the package.
Malaga City’s most expensive deal is worth a staggering €13,250, which covers an entire season from August to the end of April, but does also include Spanish tuition, as well as, becomes eligible for student visa for those outside of the EU.
However, this is the cheapest professional football academy in the world and there are great opportunities to be awarded with full-time contracts, either at clubs higher up the Spanish league system or at Almunecar City when they turn 18.
Akin to Glenn Hoddle Academy, but sustainable
Jermy’s set-up is no ordinary ‘B’ side that a lot of Spanish outfits have, but has been compared to the Glenn Hoddle Academy, which started in 2008, but folded a few years later because it was not bringing in any money.
Malaga City have found a way around that and are proving a success, providing a much-needed platform for young footballers to showcase their talents on a stage where they will be noticed.
With Jermy having a host of contacts within the Spanish game, he ensures that his students are getting the very best opportunities to become a player in the upper echelons in the Iberian country, nor does he hold them back to ensure the progression of Almunecar City.
To find out more about Malaga City Academy or where to apply for next season, head over to www.fcmalagacity.com.