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Dominic Knighton

Where did the idea to form IPTA come from? I was an academy coach at Histon Football Club Academy. After leaving I decided to set up a Youth System that could fully concentrate on just the development of young football players. How has IPTA developed since the beginning? When IPTA was founded we set up a small development centre that ran just once a week. We now have three tiers to our Youth Development System. At the base we have our Community Programme, the middle tier of our youth system we have our development centres & development teams at the tip of the pyramid we have our ever growing elite programme. What has been the biggest success for IPTA? Since 2011 we have seen some very good teams participate for IPTA. Our main focus though is the development of each individual and this comes before anything else. We see the ultimate success as every individual within our system developing and being the best player and person they can be.


of the Ajax & Barcelona academies. We try to work towards the Ajax T.I.P.S model (Technique, Intelligence, Personality & Speed) and the higher up the pyramid we go the more we work towards this. How does IPTA attract interest from academies from the UK and Europe? The reoccurring theme seems to be how all our teams try to play football and have a clear identity, we want our players to be be intelligent footballers that can think for themselves and problem solve. I always receive compliments on the professionalism, the appearance of our players, and the way in which they conduct themselves on and off the pitch. That makes me very proud and is a huge compliment to everyone involved. What are the key aspects of the IPTA philosophy? We have touched a little bit already on some of the key elements to the IPTA philosophy. There are many layers to being a footballer. We try and keep it simple and use the T.I.P.S model for our players, We want our players to develop a football brain where they can make clever decisions under pressure, that they are technically capable to execute the decisions under pressure, we want our players to be self-starters and motivated to learn and improve.

Who has been involved in helping IPTA grow? The work and commitment from the IPTA coaches over the last five years really has been excellent and without it we would not be where we are today. Its hugely inspiring to see how important it is to our coaches to make a difference to all of our players.

What is the most important attribute? We believe that the most important attribute to being a footballer is MENTAL TOUGHNESS. If you think of all the very talented young children in academies & on the local pitches playing week in & week out throughout the country and then think about the very few that actually make it and have a long career in professional football??? The very few that do must be mentally tough. Are you resilient and confident in your own ability, do you have the ability to continue to improve your game in difficult situations and emerge without loosing confidence?

Which academy does IPTA draw patterns from? Through my experiences I have made numerous contacts throughout Europe and have learnt a lot from clubs and coaches throughout Europe when we have attended tours. I always look to educate myself to improve IPTA as a whole and I have always been a huge fan

Which other academies do IPTA work closely with? IPTA has worked closely with many other academies since we have formed both in England & in Europe. Locally we have great relationships with Norwich City & Cambridge United who are always keen to invite us to participate in events they hold.

IPTA December 2016  
IPTA December 2016