The Villarreal Project: PSV Eindhoven – Extra

We’ve all heard the term ‘Moneyball’ banded about and it’s normally followed up with ‘it’s not just sell low, buy high’, but when it comes strategy it’s a means to an end but you need to fill the middle with development and opportunity.  

PSV constantly sells their best players while always finding new ones to ensure a continuous success. Their economic and competitive achievements during this save have boosted the bank balance, but why have £200m in the bank when you could have £400m?  

Two of the ingredients in The Villarreal Project are The Football Complex & Player Recruitment & now that we are three seasons into the project it’s time to introduce our cantera.  Keeping with our Spanish roots, a cantera is a term used in Spain to refer to youth academies, the fact that the word itself relates to stone gives further links to Villarreal and their ceramics background.

The Vogelnest 

Translated as The Bird’s Nest, our cantera’s objective is to provide an environment to nurture the talent produced locally and our investment in overseas talent.

PSV have a history of bringing through talent that would go on to play at the highest level, Ronaldo, Ji-Sung Park, Jefferson Farfan and more recently Memphis Depay & Steven Bergwijn. The mixture of nationalities and size of playing staff require us to provide a philosophy to make sure we capitalise on our opportunities.  

Transfer income is just as important as first team inclusion, since the start of this project the transfer income and spend has increased drastically and to sustain it we need to have processes and standards that can be measured and maintained.

With the current crop already producing on the pitch and in the transfer market, our strategy needs to be a mixture of game time and experience, transfer responsibility and player development. Over the next three seasons we will utilise the Jong PSV side to develop players for two seasons playing together in the second division of Holland and in their third season send them out on loan for more competitive games, unless they have the quality to move in to the first team squad. During the three years we’ll look at which players fit in to our tactical philosophy, whether they can be re-trained to suit our system and if there are any player traits to suit.

Across the three PSV teams we currently have 77 players registered on the books so once they are categorised we will look at how to start their development plan and track their progress. In the spreadsheet below we have started our tracker which can be developed on to incorporate successful training, attribute increases, positive player trait training, loan club facilities etc. etc.

We are in the fortunate position where we have a strong first team squad however the regular starting eleven are hampering the development of the remainder of the squad, using the data above we may give more game time to the fringe players and promote younger players to the first team to provide substitute cover.

The next crop of players making their way on to opposition scout’s radar are listed below with the transfer fee paid and their current transfer value. Using the data collated our philosophy will look to maximise the potential sale value of these players.


I’m certain PSV can become one of the most efficient football clubs in Europe. By following this model we can continue winning trophies and developing young talented players who can be sold in the future for high values. In doing so, PSV will continuously strengthen its finances, while at the same time maintaining a high level of competitiveness.

I hope you liked the introduction to The Vogelnest, if there’s anything you would like to see, or anything you think we can do to develop the cantera, please feel free to comment below or join the conversation on Twitter where you can find me @FridayNightFM. Until next time.

Eendracht Maakt Macht.