Academy expanding in ’19

Coaches participate in training from TFC Academy

The 2019 season is well underway, with 14+ teams already training, strategizing and preparing for a banner year. With teams from U8 to U17 participating in the premier Ontario Academy Soccer League and in OPDL (the top academy programs in the province), players will be travelling across Ontario this season to compete against the top players in the province.

“In order to continue to go as a player, it’s important to play against the best … and that’s what OASL and OPDL are all about,” says Paulo Sousa, London TFC Academy’s youth director. “And our coaches are training as hard as our players.”

Proof of this fact was on display in February when London TFC Academy coaches participated in a two-day intense training session with coaches from Toronto FC. These ‘coaching the coach’ sessions focused on tactics and training to optimize both on-field and off-field preparation – for both the practices and game days.

League1 head coach Michael Marcoccia has been finalizing rosters for the upcoming season for FC LONDON’s flagship men’s and women’s teams, both of which won their respective league titles in 2018.

“Between the guidance of Paulo in our Academy program and the training our coaches are receiving from the Toronto FC professional club, we’re truly working hard at preparing players for a professional pathway ahead,” says Marcoccia.

As far as professional opportunities go, FC LONDON’s own Jade Kovacevic has found footing in Rome, playing this winter with the Roma women’s program. This professional contract is an example of how player experience within the FC LONDON program can truly transcend to the next level.

“From our professional team partnership with 2017 MLS Champion Toronto FC, through to our local partnerships with Strathroy United SC, St. Thomas FC and Lambeth Soccer Club, it’s an exciting time for FC LONDON,” says club CEO Ian Campbell. “We’re always looking for ways to create opportunities for players, and we seem to be on the right track to find that right formula to make it a win-win for everyone.”

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Submitted by FC LONDON