Bayern Munich have vowed to catch up with the world’s best clubs when their new academy opens in August, admitting their failings in developing home-grown talent in the past.
“FC Bayern Campus,” the club’s new academy, is due for completion at the end of July and will open its doors from August at a reported cost of €70 million.
Since building work began on the youth academy in October, eight football pitches — two of them artificial — a multi-purpose sports hall and a clubhouse with office space have sprung up on a 30-hectare campus a short distance away from the Allianz Arena stadium to the north of Munich.
Speaking at the naming of the new academy, Bayern president Uli Hoeness said: “In the last few years, the results of our work haven’t been good. No player has even come close to making the first team since David Alaba.”
Hoeness said Bayern had been “overtaken” of late when it comes to youth development by fellow Bundesliga clubs such as RB Leipzig, Hoffenheim and Borussia Dortmund.
“We were a little negligent and have to step on the gas,” he said. “The demands of the board will become even greater and we must try to be more successful in this field.
— FC Bayern English (@FCBayernEN) May 17, 2017
“Like many big clubs around the world, a youth academy has been our dream for many years. What you can see here today can make us all feel proud. Our staff have an infrastructure better than any other.”
Hermann Gerland, currently Bayern coach Carlo Ancelotti’s assistant, will oversee the sporting side of operations.
Long-serving Gerland, 62, played a major role in developing players including Alaba, Philipp Lahm, Bastian Schweinsteiger, Thomas Muller, Holger Badstuber and Owen Hargreaves at Bayern.
“I’ve told Uli that it will take time and I can’t guarantee anything,” Gerland said. “But I can promise you this, I will give it everything. And all who don’t give it everything have no business here. It’s that simple.
“We need talents with rough edges. Everyone must want the ball. Our motto is: ‘don’t give the opponent any time to think.'”