British Olympian Matthew Syed articulates this view in his excellent talent development book Bounce.
However, a longer term consideration is how this ruling will impact on talent development in New Zealand.
Right now, the best defenders (and attackers for that matter) are from South America.
Empoli FC is a wonderful example of this mindset. Despite being located in a city of just 40,000 people, 11 home grown players were in Empoli’s Serie A squad during the recently contested 2014 / 2015 season.
“An intelligent coach learns from all countries.”
Those seven words from Mirko Mazzantini, coach of the ACF Fiorentina U-14 squad, reinforce the value of constant learning to ensure the very best coaching experience for youth players.
Unstructured play is a missing element in the quest to develop creative players in New Zealand.