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!
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