Be the Best: The Six Attributes every Professional Player Needs – Issue 2

In the second of two insights in academy life here at Moorland, we delve deeper in what has made the academy so successful and some of the inside ‘secrets’ on why Moorland continues to create exceptional football talent. 

Mr Jackson, who is the UK President of Matrix Soccer Academy, uses his tried and tested approach of six basic attributes to gain the very best out of our students at Moorland. His wealth of knowledge and experience really allows our young players to flourish and achieve their goals. Whether this is as a professional football player, or as a professional within the football/sport industry. 

Today we will be exploring the second half of  ‘Six A’s’ and how these are implemented into academy life: Agility, Attack, Achieve. 


Football is a fast-paced game and it’s important to continually improve the agility of young players through technical practices and mini games.

Agility improves flexibility, balance and control whilst helping the body to maintain proper alignment and posture during movement. The purpose of agility is to effectively and efficiently move, change direction and the position of the body whilst maintaining control.

We believe that footballers need to have the ability to turn quickly as the game is played so fast and they are constantly twisting and turning to have an impact on the game. During our technical practices we develop the athletes to learn how to maintain the correct body placement, improve speed, strength, power and acceleration. This will enable them to stop, start and change directions quickly and unexpectedly which will give them a greater chance of eluding the opposition with turns and moves.


We encourage players to improve the attacking part of their game, developing passing techniques and the mental and physical aspects of beating opponents.

Our players have a strong understanding of numerical advantages /disadvantages due to our possession-based approach. We stress the need of numerical advantages in attack. It is critical that players receiving the ball know the numerical situation around them prior to finding the next pass.

We don’t believe in telling players exactly what to do and when. Through the six A’s we develop intelligent players who are able to think for themselves. When attacking our players make decisions based on the game scenarios that we provide them. They will learn how to make better decisions this way and not always look to someone else to decide for them.


For such a small school we have a prestigious history of winning titles which includes 5 Lancashire Cup and 5 ISFA National Titles. By focusing on quality over quantity it has led to us winning the ISFA national champions 2014, 2017, 2018 and joint winners in 2020. Also we achieved a number of boys gaining professional academy contracts. A number of achieved their second National & Lancashire Titles.

The ISFA Cup Finals are as follows;

2014 v KES Whitley

2-0 Moorland

2017 x Whitgift

1-0 Moorland

2018 v Ibstock

5-0 Moorland

The stats for this game are as follows;

Ibstock Game Totals Moorland
0 Goals 5
0 Shots 31
261 First touches 489
16:04 Time of possession 35:02
31% Time of possession % 69%
122 Pass count 350
47% Pass completion % 72%
11 Pass strings (3+) 42
4.4 Average string 5.4
7 Long string 21


2020 v Truro

Joint Champions due to COVID.

Huge thanks to Mr Jackson and Mr Gooden for taking the time to share these insights! Want to know more? We are still offering academy tours throughout the summer. To arrange a visit please visit the ‘Contact’ page on our website.