Hearts today announced Forza Futbol Club as the first partner club in their Global Youth Partner Programme. Forza, based in Utah, are considered one of the premier clubs in the US with more than 4,000 player members.
The Forza Executive Director, David Newman, explained:
“A football club like Heart of Midlothian has so much experience that we can use to improve the skills of our young players and staff. They have an ethos we can identify with as a youth focussed club - both on and off the pitch. This partnership is a great investment for us. They have such a wealth of knowledge to share and we just can’t wait to get started. “
Forza have signed an agreement that will enable them to benefit from the coaching and backroom skills of the Scottish Premiership club. Forza’s player pool will be closely monitored by US-based personnel and both clubs will work toward a player development pathway.
Craig Levein, Hearts First Team Manager and Director of Football, stated:
“Our collaboration with Forza, and others, will not only directly benefit the North American clubs through our sharing of ideas and experiences, but will also be of benefit to our own teams here at Hearts. It’s not just about the backroom collaboration. It will also give us a view of talent coming through the ranks in a totally new geography for us.”
The partner clubs will benefit from information, experience and support that will develop the skills across their organisation. The program includes an array of exclusive content, including coaching and backroom guidance which will be shared online and face to face when coaches visit the UK.
Ann Budge, Hearts Chairman and CEO, added:
“The interest in this initiative has been fantastic. The clubs, with whom we have spoken, have been impressed with the number of young players in our squad and with investment we are making to build and nurture them.
"Youth is a fundamental cornerstone of our business model and others are keen to learn from us. North America is an obvious place to start, but we may look to expand to other areas as we move forward.”
AM Sports will supply expertise and resources to assist Hearts in both its North American strategy and markets in Asia.