Young soccer players to train in England

From left, Jacob Drapotoy, RJ Solomone and Matthew Gouveia havebeen selected to train at a youth soccer academy in England next March. Submitted Photo

Barry Wright

While some of their friends wing their way to warmer climates next March Break, three young players from Sarnia’s GallaDev’s United Soccer Club will take a different approach.

RJ Solomone, Matthew Gouveia and Jacob Drapotoy, all 11 and in Grade 6, have been invited to attend the Sheffield Wednesday Youth Soccer Academy in England for a week to learn the beautiful game from highly qualified instructors.

The invitation followed an evaluation camp in London (Ontario) two months ago.

“It’s an opportunity of a lifetime,” said GallaDev’s United co-founder and co-head coach Brian Devlin.

Solomone, who attends Errol Village School, is looking forward to the trip.

“It’s definitely going to be different,” he said. “We’re probably going to do a lot of fitness and techniques.  We’ll learn a lot.”

Gouveia and Drapotoy, students at St. Anne’s and Holy Trinity respectively, agreed.

“I’m really looking forward to it,” said Drapotoy.

Added Gouveia: “We’ll be living the lifestyle that a player lives. (The training) will be more intense.”

Devlin says the trio will be fully immersed in the culture of the English soccer academy.

“They’ll eat, sleep, and train soccer,” he said. “They’ll have a curfew and a dress code. They’ll live the life of someone who attends the academy on a regular basis.”

But getting there and attending the camp is an expensive proposition. So GallaDev’s is holding a 5 km ‘Fun Run or Walk’ on Oct. 18 at the Dante Club, beginning at 9 a.m.

Details can be found at www.galladevsunited.ca