“In the end, the season was like a dream,” says Bartosz Bochiński. For the fourth time, Lech Poznań 2023 won the title in the “Central Junior League”, the Polish U19 championship. With the most wins (19), the most goals (76) and the best goal difference (+37) after 30 matchdays. One aspect makes the Lech U19 coach particularly proud. “This achievement is mainly due to the great cooperation between the youth teams,” emphasises Bochinski. Several players were promoted from the U17s to his team during the season, while others made the move to Lech’s second team in Poland’s third-highest league.
“Despite these many rotations in the team, we always had our target in mind and didn’t let first place slip away in the spring,” says the coach proudly. So not only were the targets achieved in training, but also the hoped-for performances and results on the pitch. By winning the title, some players have once again commended themselves for higher tasks. For example, Aleksander Nadolski.
The 18-year-old came to the Lech academy as a ten-year-old and is considered a midfield all-rounder with a strong offensive drive. At the age of 15, he played for the U17s, followed by promotion to the successful U19s in pre-season and has now arrived at Lech II. In preparation for the 2023/24 season, head coach John van den Brom even called him up to the first team. He was to justify the trust placed in him right away with a goal in the test against Slovan Liberec. Van den Brom then invited him to the professional training camp. Because he knows exactly how well he has developed.
His development can be tracked not only by his performance in the championship and in team training. The technical and cognitive development can be seen especially in his performance in the skills.lab Arena. The system has been in operation at Lech Poznań’s training ground in Wronki since December 2021. Since then, the club has been using the Arena not only for individual and small group training, but also to check the performance of all academy players at regular intervals in a ProAssessment.
In the area of technical skills, the aim is to measure, among other things, how pronounced a player’s bilateral agility is, how precise his passing accuracy is and how strong his first contact is. The measurements in the area of cognitive skills relate to visual perception and speed of action, among other things. All the data collected from a ProAssessment flows into a 360-degree analysis that shows eight performance parameters in the form of a spider chart on the basis of which a player is assessed. The skills.lab Arena manages to offer all players fair and consistent conditions better than any other system. Only in this way is it possible to make objective comparisons on several levels.
Alexander Nadolski has already completed his third ProAssessment in summer 2023. This means that his development can be compared directly with the two previous assessments. It is already clear here that he has improved in all areas, and in some he has made really big improvements – for example in dribbling and passing accuracy.
His development is also clearly outstanding in comparison to his teammates. In terms of cognitive processing speed, he delivered the best results of all the U19 players tested in the ProAssessment in the summer of 2023.
As a technology partner of several European clubs, skills.lab conducts ProAssessments with many young talents. This valuable data pool also allows partner clubs to compare their own players, completely anonymously, with a peer group of young players across Europe.
In combination with the subjective perception of the coaching team, regular ProAssessments provide a holistic and fair view of the development of individual players or entire teams. At the same time, the young talents provide valuable benchmarks for possible new arrivals. As part of a trial training, a scouted player can show at a ProAssessment whether he can keep up with his own talents. A ProAssessment can therefore also influence the decision for or against a transfer.
For Aleksander Nadolski, the question of a transfer does not arise at the moment. His goal this season is to make the permanent jump to the pros after regular appearances in the second team. In training with the professionals, he has already been able to draw attention to himself on a regular basis after a successful pre-season. He is thus one step closer to his dream of making his professional debut.
Photo: © Lech Poznań