IDA and Toronto United FC: A  Meaningful Partnership

IDA is proud to create partnerships with clubs that open doors for players from all over the world. Sebastien Blanchet, a 16-year-old left-back, and Malcolm Thompson, a 16-year-old center-back, recently embarked on such a journey with IDA, the International Development Academy. Both players from Toronto United FC (TUFC) had an enriching summer pre-season experience with IDA, a partnership that has proven to be instrumental in their development.

Blanchet and Thompson’s summer stint with IDA was not just a brief detour but a pivotal chapter in their footballing journey. Having gained valuable insights and training during the pre-season, the duo returned to finish the second half of the season with enhanced skills and a broader perspective on the beautiful game.

Amidst the success stories, it’s crucial to acknowledge the concerted efforts of both IDA and TUFC in delivering quality programs for TUFC players. The collaboration between the two organizations during the last season laid the groundwork for a nurturing environment that fosters player growth, tactical understanding, and skill refinement.

Central to this flourishing partnership is the IDA Partner Program, a platform that goes beyond conventional training sessions. This program is designed to provide TUFC players with unparalleled exposure and unique competitive opportunities, not just through individual programs but also by actively involving them in international events and tournaments.

Eric, the Technical Director of TUFC, shares his thoughts on the collaboration, stating, “Our inaugural year with IDA has been a success. This collaboration opens doors for our players to train and compete internationally in diverse European locations. We also gain access to high-quality international tournaments, offering a unique chance for our teams to excel outside their usual environment. We are consistently impressed by IDA’s professional management and approach, laying a solid foundation for future growth.”

In conclusion, the journey of Sebastien Blanchet and Malcolm Thompson from TUFC to IDA exemplifies the positive impact of strategic partnerships in youth football. As the collaboration continues to flourish, it not only enhances individual player development but also elevates the standard of football programs provided by both IDA and TUFC. The future looks promising for these young talents, who are now equipped to face the global stage with confidence and skill.

James Wielfaert Commits to Rollins College: From Belgium to IDA Valencia to Florida, USA

In the summer of 2022, James Wielfaert embarked on a transformative journey that would shape his soccer career and academic pursuits. Hailing from Belgium, James was initially invited to the Levante Academy, but it was the allure of IDA Valencia that ultimately captured his heart.

One of the key factors that drew James to IDA Valencia was the opportunity to enroll in a foreign academy. The prospect of advancing both athletically and academically resonated strongly with him. Upon a trial visit and a conversation with Rick, it became evident that IDA Valencia was the right place for James to nurture his talents.

The coaching staff, including top trainers like Vicente, Dilan, Toni, Pedro, and the support team with individuals like Jordi, Laura, Ivan, all played pivotal roles in creating a positive and nurturing environment. Notably, the academic aspect, facilitated by the USPA, added an extra layer of excellence to James’s experience, with commendable teachers and the indispensable presence of Alberto.

While the overall experience was described as wonderful, James faced a significant challenge in obtaining a license to play for a Spanish team as a minor, particularly at the Liga Nacional level. However, his determination and the unwavering support from the IDA Valencia team prevailed.

James Wielfaert’s primary goal is to become a professional soccer player, and he saw attending university in the United States as an integral step towards achieving this dream. Grateful for the recruitment into the men’s soccer team at Rollins, James acknowledges the exceptional staff and the conducive environment for both playing and studying. Notably, Kaden Foreman, who also transitioned from IDA UK to Rollins, serves as a testament to the caliber of talent nurtured at IDA academies.

Expressing his gratitude, James credits individuals like Peter, Jordi, and the entire IDA community for their role in his journey. His commitment and perseverance are highlighted by his strong will and character, traits that are undoubtedly contributing factors to his success.

In James’s own words, “IDA Valencia has made me a better person and a better soccer player.” He attributes much of his growth to Coach Dilan Nash, with whom he shares a close relationship both on and off the field. James’s ultimate goal is to turn professional, a mindset that reflects his self-belief and determination. He leaves for the USA with an eagerness for the new challenge, viewing it as the final step toward realizing his dream.

James Wielfaert encapsulates the spirit of IDA Valencia – a place where passion, dedication, and guidance converge to shape aspiring athletes into professionals, both on the field and in life. As he steps onto the soccer fields of the United States, James carries with him the lessons and experiences gained at IDA Valencia, ready to make his mark on the global soccer stage. Congratulations on your commitment James, we are excited to continue to watch you grow in the US!

IDA’s Partnership with Puerto Rico Surf

The International Development Academy (IDA) takes great pride in its enduring partnership with Puerto Rico Surf, a collaboration that has been thriving since the inception of the Academy in 2020. From the outset, Puerto Rico Surf wholeheartedly embraced IDA’s mission, recognizing the potential for growth and excellence in soccer development.

At present, Puerto Rico Surf boasts a robust presence with four players stationed at our Valencia location, featuring talents such as Pablo Loinaz and Ruben Rosado. However, the pinnacle of Puerto Rico Surf’s success within the IDA narrative unfolds in the remarkable journey of Jeremy De Leon. Having joined IDA in 2020, Jeremy dedicated himself to getting stronger and improving his fitness, analyzing his gameplay footage, and immersing himself in a professional soccer environment.

During his two-year stint with IDA, Jeremy’s trajectory reached extraordinary heights—he received a call-up to represent the Puerto Rican national team and gained professional experience with CD Castellon, ultimately culminating in the realization of his dream: signing a professional contract with none other than Real Madrid.

Looking ahead, the ongoing partnership between IDA and Puerto Rico Surf signifies a commitment to expanding collaborative endeavors, introducing more activities both on the island and across various IDA locations. As Puerto Rico Surf experiences rapid growth, providing their players with opportunities to compete internationally becomes a priority. Hector Sola, representing PR Surf, expressed confidence in IDA, emphasizing the program’s quality and highlighting the seamless communication with Jordi and Ivan, which facilitates the support of players in their developmental journey.

Rick Angelicola, IDA’s Global Director, echoed the sentiment of gratitude for the invaluable partnership with Puerto Rico Surf. He expressed enthusiasm about continuing this collaboration to offer transformative experiences for all players, akin to the success story of Jeremy De Leon. Angelicola eagerly anticipates identifying and nurturing the talents of the next aspiring player who will go on to achieve their goals under the joint banner of IDA and Puerto Rico Surf.

Our IDA staff was recruiting at the 2019 Youdan Cup in England when they noticed a stand-out player. In a game between GPS National Team and Sheffield United, GPS player Jeremy De Leon took the spotlight. Jeremey, being a former Puerto Rico Surf player, decided to join IDA Valencia in 2020 to complete his high school education with USPA while training full-time.

A few key factors contributed to Jeremy’s success and growth as a player. At the International Development Academy, we strive to provide our players with all the resources, energy, and motivation needed to achieve their goals. However, success does not come without work. Jeremy embodies IDA’s values; he came to IDA with a rather small stature and built up his strength and technicality over time. His dedication to the game and the culture at IDA was met with a rewarding career at the International Development Academy and beyond.

At just 17 years old, Jeremy led the Puerto Rico Under-20 Team in the 2022 CONCACAF Championship Qualifier with two goals against Bermuda. De Leon also competed in Puerto Rico’s 2022 UNCAF U-19 Tournament in Belize, where he netted 2 out of 3 goals in a 3-3 draw. After one year at IDA, he became a regular with the senior Puerto Rican national team as well as catching eyes from Atletico Madrid and Villarreal.

Following a very successful trial with CD Castellon’s youth team, where he scored 11 goals in 10 games, Jeremy De Leon signed his first professional contract with CD Castellon’s first team—members of the third tier of Spanish soccer. The contract will last until 2024.

Jeremy’s professional debut in the Primera Division RFEF was in CD Castellon’s derby game against Villarreal CF B. He would go on to play against FC Barcelona B at the Estadi Johan Cruyff at just 18 years of age. Since joining the Castellon squad, Jeremy has earned match MVP, gained sufficient minutes, and proven his worth at the professional level. Perhaps Jeremy’s most treasured success to date was scoring in front of a sold-out crowd in Castellon’s 4-3 playoff victory against RC Deportivo on June 11, 2023. 

Added January 24, 2024:

After making his mark on CD Castellon for over a year including 43 appearances and 2 goals, the 19-year old has signed a professional contract with Real Madrid. Jeremy’s two-year contract will last until 2026. He is set to join Madrid’s reserve team, Real Madrid Castilla. The team plays in the Segunda Division B and is managed by Real Madrid Legend, Raúl González Blanco. 

Jeremy will be the second Puerto Rican to ever wear a Real Madrid jersey. We are extremely proud to continue to follow Jeremy’s journey that started at our Valencia Academy in 2020!

IDA offers ambitious student-athletes aged 15-22 the opportunity to develop their game while following a fulfilling academic curriculum. With four locations throughout the United States and Europe, players are in control of their own pathways to college and/or professional levels. Stay, train, and compete in over 50 matches a year while pursuing the next steps in an athletic and academic career.

Reach out to IDA today to find out how we can help you get started on your professional journey today!

At the International Development Academy, we offer several academic opportunities for those looking to continue their undergraduate education. At our UK academy in Reading, England, our players have access to the University of Reading, to study on an award-winning campus steeped in over 150 years of history. 

IDA student-athletes will be able to have flexible class-schedules and be encouraged to prioritize both their athletes and academics. With a wide-range of options, our players have the ability to pursue a degree that they are not only interested in, but can make a living from once their soccer career has come to an end. Combining a high-class European soccer experience and top-level education prepares our players for what comes next in their lives. 

There are many benefits to studying abroad that our student-athletes have the opportunity to take advantage of. It is a great chance to experience new places and cultures, make new friends and learn skills such as learning a new language, gain perspective on the world, and gain invaluable life experience. 

With furthering education comes cost-implications. For our US players who want to study and play abroad, FAFSA is a great way to seek financial aid. University of Reading is among the eligible universities to participate in FAFSA. For an undergraduate degree, you will be eligible to receive funding via a direct subsidized loan or a direct unsubsidized loan. 

Student-athletes may want to study abroad for a single semester or get their entire degree from a school outside of the US. With both situations, FAFSA is a great place to start when seeking financial aid. It is important that you start the process early, as getting things processed for an abroad school takes longer than a domestic university. It is also crucial to compile and complete a checklist of things needed for both our abroad academies and studying abroad such as a passport, visa, insurance, etc. You can read more about receiving international financial aid here and apply for FAFSA here.

Click here to learn more about IDA’s undergraduate academic offerings!

Thane Latzig is a midfielder who joined IDA UK from Fort Collins, Colorado. He is a very motivated and hard-working individual, so when he went down in the Royal Pre Season Cup tournament this year with an injury, he knew he immediately needed to jump into rehab and work towards his next goal: getting healthy.

Thane was diagnosed with a Rockwood Grade 3 ACJ Injury, a joint injury that requires a significant amount of rehabilitation. An example of Thane’s rehab protocol was the following:

 

Thane commented, “For me, being away from football didn’t feel great, especially while being surrounded by it. So I somewhat had to disassociate myself from the team, to speed up the recovery process, which I feel helped me mentally.”

IDA UK prioritizes giving their student-athletes support and resources during times such as injury to alleviate the stress they may endure. As for Thane, he worked constantly with Josh, IDA UK’s designated physio, to get the daily training he needed. Thane found comfort working with Josh and being in the gym day-in and day-out. Thane said, “The gym they provided is a very comfortable space that’s easy to get around and without it I don’t think my rehab would’ve been as effective.”

IDA understands the importance of giving their players all the tools required to be successful: both on-the-field and off-the-field. We understand injuries are an inevitable, yet difficult thing for some players to go through. Having designated staff on the team who know how to be efficient in helping our players navigate these times is an utmost priority.

Although Thane did not expect or ask to get injured, he is thankful for the help he received from IDA. “The Academy did a great job at keeping me in the UK & keeping me on track, as at one point I wanted to go home, but they reinforced to trust the process, which I’m delighted I did, as I am now back playing & really enjoying the opportunity to be observed by pro teams/players, training & games”, said Thane.

Interested in joining one of our Academies full time? View our offerings here!

After a thrilling time at SCI Salou 2023, DME Academy shared with us a recap of their time in Spain:

WOW, what an experience. The 2007, 2010 boys and 2012 girls from DME Academy recently returned home from their Thanksgiving trip to Salou Spain for the International Surf Cup. With hundreds of teams from across the world present, this event changed the lives (for the better) of many of our players and families. We left our bubble of Florida soccer and our eyes are now open to what soccer and commitment should and can be. To experience cultural immersion and the highest level of competition imaginable in another country simply cannot be replicated.  Let’s dig into what made this experience life-changing and instrumental in how DME Academy, Sarasota will grow as a community over the next few years.

Travel & Cultural Immersion 

For nearly 95% of the 45 athletes, this was a first experience overseas. Holding their passport in a customs line, experiencing a 10-hour flight while enjoying full meals crossing the Atlantic Ocean, wearing the new DME Academy custom hoodie (sponsored by Integrity Over Income), and answering questions from bystanders at the airport about who they were and where they were going- all firsts for this group of aspiring athletes.  Upon arrival, players boarded buses and traveled from Barcelona to Salou, roughly 1.5 hours to the most beautiful sports complex/resort a player could dream up complete with housing, pools, turf fields, eateries, and shops, and nearly 1,000 athletes from across the world sharing these services. The only downside was getting accustomed to the time change, something every parent and player had a challenge with. As the week went along, the players used their Spanish with more confidence and it felt right to try and speak Spanish when possible at local establishments, to referees, and to other players. We even started eating meals late (dinner at 8-10) after a tough day on the fields a few siesta’s happened during the day as well.

Look at our trip in pictures!

International Relationships 

While winning is key to all competitors, many friendships were established between nations and teams. Soccer is an international language itself and while words may get lost in translation, passion, effort, and skill translate through performance. We are a lot more similar than we think and through this experience, our players created relationships, if only for a week, that will impact their lives.

The 2010 boys participated in a friendly futsal street game with dozens of other players from across the world. The event organizes split teams not by who they knew but by who they didn’t, forcing players to unite. For many of our boys, this mini-tournament under the lights against friends and with strangers displayed the true joy of the sport. Winners still won, but the smiles on players’ faces as they played freely were the true prize.

For the 2012 girls, it was a quarterfinal match-up against the mega-club and world-famous FC Barcelona. After a stunning victory (we’ll get to that later), these 24 girls connected despite not understanding each other and having just played. FC Barcelona supported the DME girls in their semi-final match from the sideline, gifted items to all the girls, and showed true sportsmanship. The DME girls can’t stop talking about the Barcelona team and how nice they were. Many now wearing Barcelona colors.

For the 2007 boys, meeting with and socializing with other athletes seemed easier. However, their eyes are now open to the level of play needed to be successful. Their tough matchups against professional clubs proved an awakening moment for them. This team now realizes the level of play needed to succeed and if nothing else, their performance in the last two games proved that they do belong with the best of the best.

Other moments of sportsmanship and friendly competition included the bus trips from the resort to the sports complex. This usually involved back-and-forth banter via song between nations and clubs. The lunch/dinner hall conversations centered on sportsmanship with a lot of “good game” messages being spoken between players and coaches. There was no laughing or pointing fingers here, even though some scorelines would say otherwise. In fact, many international teams appreciated the American resolve to never give up and keep fighting until the last whistle, and not just out of pity, they genuinely desired our effort levels and competitive spirit.

Side note: We need a DME song/anthem, many clubs, especially from Spain had full-on bands in tow.

Competition

There were lots of moments, almost moments, and missed opportunities for our teams but one thing is for sure. We do not see competition like this in the United States. Jefferson Cup, Dimitri, and Disney (all good in their own right) do not touch this event. Fact.

We can say with certainty that every DME athlete came home a better player and it’s OK to say, many lessons were learned through defeat. This wasn’t playing a local tournament in Orlando against 75% of the same teams we always play, this was an international stage with all-star teams and professional clubs. In fact, it’s safe to say, that we may have been one of a handful of one-club organizations on the lineup card.

The 2010 boys earned a victory over Canada in the warm-up game but with a short roster, unfortunate illness, and injury – the cards were stacked against them. The boys, a very strong state-side team, learned through defeat that to play at the highest level, an increased level of commitment and resolve is needed. For moments their passing and skill turned heads, but consistency throughout the game is a nonnegotiable.

For the 2007 boys, a rough start turned into a sense of belonging. The last two games ( 2-0 and 2-1 loss) proved to the boys that they do belong and can fit in. At this crucial time of their soccer journey, the time to buckle up and dig in to pursue those college aspirations has never been more clear.

For the 2012 girls, it could not have been scripted more beautifully for an American Cinderella story. Barcelona was 3-0 leaving group play and the #1 seed. DME was a one-team club out of Sarasota that had been losing in group play. With close to 1,000 fans in attendance at the main field (under the parent bar area), our girls fought hard and pulled off the upset of the tournament, a 2-0 victory and advancement to the semi-finals. This win turned heads not only within our group, the tournament organizer but throughout campus. The American fight and resolve were even praised by FC Barcelona’s coaching staff.

Path Forward 

So what’s next? Our players return home tired, a little shell-shocked but certainly motivated to succeed. Their on-the-field classroom sessions are complete, we get back to work and prepare for the second half of the season. The boys jump right back into the EA Showcase. The girls, prep for some upcoming tournaments. The staff gets back to work on technical preparation for practice implementation based on the feedback of professional club coaches who watched our teams play.

Will we travel again? Bigger and better next time? The answer is a YES.

This summer the 2010 boys will compete in the Northern Ireland Super Cup, and next year we will re-visit a trip back to Spain for all teams!

This experience was life-changing for many. A guiding light to the future of their passion for soccer. To be the best player, the best person, the best leader, the best student – it takes more. The words our players have been throwing around are “do more”, “get back to work”, “work harder”, l”earn from the losses”, “play faster”, and “train better”. These words are just that words for now, but if these words to action – watch out for DME Academy players. They are on a path to living successful lives.

Testimonials

“I only have words of gratitude to God and DME Academy Sarasota for allowing my son Adriel #2 the opportunity to have this great experience of playing soccer in Salou- Spain with super competitive and professional teams. Definitely one of his dreams come true and to all those people who with their donations were part of this journey and dream, from the bottom of my heart THANK YOU 🙏🥰😘” – Lany, Mom of 2010 Boy

“It’s a wrap in Spain after coming up short in the semi-finals vs pro academy team RCD Espanyol So proud of Maddy for giving her all, helping her team in whatever position was asked, and showing up at every game! Thanks to DME Academy Sarasota for inviting her! We had an amazing trip exploring Europe and are so excited for the future!!” Stephanie, Mom of 2012 Girl

“What an amazing experience for these boys, made friends with kids from Lithuania, Nigeria, and Estonia just to name a few. Lucas loved every minute with his team!” Patty, Mom of 2010 Boy

“Finally home. You simply can not replicate this. From culture to soccer level- our lives are forever changed.

Leaving the bubble of the peninsula of Florida has opened my eyes to what and how to grow DME Academy Sarasota. I am forever grateful to my friend Tommaso Trevisan for helping our club take the blinders off and travel abroad to play.” Jared, Dad of 2010 and 2012 and DME Owner

Final Thoughts

We leave a bit humbled, a touch more cultured, a lot better, and more determined than ever. The mission to Ignite the Dream through sport has never been more present as we aim to support the dreams of passionate and committed players on their journey. Until next time, thank you Spain. You were great.

Learn more about our upcoming Surf Cup International 2024 events HERE!

EJ Futball Training, located in Washington, USA, is a proud partner of IDA. EJ Futball specializes in 1v1 and group training. EJ Futball recently brought two teams to the Surf Cup International Salou tournament sponsored by IDA.

As official partners of IDA, EJ Futball teams were invited onto IDA Valencia’s campus in order to prepare themselves for the big event. This gave their players the chance to be coached by our Spanish coaches. This pre-experience at IDA Valencia was not only a great time for our staff to interact with our valued partner, but was an opportunity for EJ Futball to prepare and train in IDA’s professional environment.

During their 4 days in Valencia, the teams trained and played in games to prepare for Surf Cup International before heading to Salou. They also had the opportunity to visit the city center of Valencia and did the Mestalla Forever Tour at Valencia C.F. Stadium.

EJ Futball’s 2011 ended the group stage with a 4-0L against FC Porto, 1-0L against Gimàstic de Tarragona, and a 1-1T against Viimsi MRJK. The team went through the silver stage and defeated La Vall D’Uixó 2-1 in the semi-finals and Viimsi MRJK 3-0 in the final to be crowned U13 Silver Stage champions!

The 2013 team kicked off the tournament with an impressive 15-0W vs. City Sports School before falling to Sevilla FC 2-1. They finished the group stage with a 8-1W over FFB Reus. The team went onto the gold stage where they defeated Hamilton Academical FC 4-3 in the quarterfinals, UD Almería 4-2 and finally, fell to Sevilla FC 4-0 to be named finalists of the gold stage.

Playing against professional youth academies was a extremely beneficial experience for EJ Futball. Embrima Jatta, Coach of the team said, “I can’t be happier for the players. This tournament is unique. I have never seen something similar before in the US. The organization, the location, the facilities, and the competition are on another level. These players never thought before they could play against teams like FC Porto, Sevilla FC or UD Almeria, and they faced them and competed decently. 100% we will come next edition, and hopefully, we can win the Gold Stage!”

Click here to learn more about how you can partner with IDA.

International Development Academy was a proud sponsor of Surf Cup International Salou 2023. With just a short 3 hour drive to Salou, our Valencia staff played a critical role in the tournament  and gave the perfect opportunity for them to scout top players for IDA. 

On top of IDA’s support in the tournament, SCI Salou featured IDA’s U17 and U19 teams. Our U17 team qualified for the Gold Quarter Finals where they fell in a tough game to Clube Atletico Mineiro. Our U19 team reached the gold Semifinals where they were defeated in a 1-0 matchup against FFB Reus. It was a great opportunity for our boys to compete against top teams from all over the world. 

During the tournament, IDA offered a two-hour identification clinic with our coaches that focused on individual technical and tactical aspects that reflect IDA’s methodology. The clinic was open to all players and their siblings. It was a great way to kick off the intense competition. Along with the clinic, IDA and Surf Cup International teamed up to give away a free week of camp to one lucky player!

It was an exciting privilege for our IDA Valencia staff to see players and families from all over the world in Spain. Surf Cup International was proud to bring over 2,500 people, including 1,800 players to Salou this November, creating an immense positive impact on the region. Not only were our players and parents immersed in a high-level soccer experience, but they also were invited to explore the many things Salou and the surrounding areas had to offer. 

Congratulations to our Champions and Team MVP’s! 

Champions: 

U19 Boys – RCD Mallorca 

U18 Girls – FFB Reus

U17 Boys – Atlético Mineiro 

U12 Boys – Leicester City FC 

U16 Girls – Real Madrid

U15 Boys – RCD Espanyol 

U14 Boys – Villarreal CF 

U13 Girls – FC Porto 

U12 Girls – RCD Espanyol 

U11 Boys – Sevilla FC

MVP’s: 

U17 Boys – Kristoffern Skarnpo – Ullensakerkisa

U16 Girls – Evelyn Contreras – Surf Select

U15 Boys – Marc Martinez – Valencia CF

U14 Girls – Alex Arasa – Amposta

U13 Boys – Lausley Juliao – FC Porto

U12 Boys – Erik Belkis – Leicester CF

U12 Girls – Carmen Matas – Valencia CF

Boys U11 – Enzo Marquez – Gimnastic de Tarragona 

Jordi Gomez, General Manager of IDA Valencia, commented on the success of IDA’s role in SCI Salou, “It was not only a great experience to scout some of the best youth players in the world for IDA, but also to have our staff play an important role in the tournament itself. It was great to see so many families enjoying all that Spain has to offer!”

Learn more about IDA Academies and schedule a call with a recruiter here!

Sneak Peak of a Week at IDA

The International Development Academy is rooted in giving players a professional and personalized training regime that they would not be able to get elsewhere. Our players train 12-15 hours per week and compete in 50+ games per year, whether that be with IDA or one of our partner clubs.

We got the inside scoop from Simon Wheeler of IDA UK on what a week in his life looks like at the Academy. Simon is a former Chicago City Soccer Club player who came to IDA to strengthen his soccer skills and gain international exposure before going to college. 

Simon’s Week at IDA:

Monday/Tuesday/Wednesday/Friday – 

Normal training days look fairly consistent for Simon. He begins the day with an 8:30 am wake up to get ready and prepare for training. For the next hour he gets a healthy breakfast at the cafeteria and prepares for a 9:30 departure to the fields for training. The team trains together until 12:00 pm and then heads back to campus for lunch and free time until film review at 2:00 pm. IDA focuses on film analysis as an excellent tool to improve player awareness and skills both individually and as a team.

Simon takes advantage of his free time 3:00-5:00 pm by using it to give special attention to his college applications. The boys are allowed to complete gym workouts whenever they would like, so Simon takes advantage of a less-busy gym after his free time and dinner. Each player is given a personalized gym plan from the trainer that is tailored to their specific needs and goals. After completing his workout, Simon wraps up the day with some time with teammates and gets ready for the following day to do it all again. 

Saturday/Game Days – 

Game days are exciting days at the Academy and the day is tailored around prepping for the game, competing, and recovering. Game days are primarily Saturdays, Wednesdays, or Mondays. Simon has found it very valuable to eat properly the day before and the day of, as well as getting ample sleep the night before. Our Academy educates our players  on the benefits of fueling their body and the power of nutrition. Following a game day where he played ample minutes, Simon will take a recovery day in the gym. 

Thursday/Sunday –

These days are usually rest days for the boys at the Academy. It is a great time for some to complete education obligations, prepare for the week ahead, recover, or spend time exploring the local culture. Simon mentioned the team recently took their off day to train at the Reading FC training grounds, where they received coaching from multiple professional players. 

Interested in joining the IDA?

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