The 7 Elite Academy tryouts are “an exciting opportunity” for young soccer players to experience a professional training and playing environment – that's the call from 7EA Head of Foundation Phase David Mayer.
Youngsters can join the Academy at a series of tryouts that start on May 13th in Southern Utah and run at various locations across the state until May 31st.
The organization has built a coaching line-up that features experienced staff from top clubs in the English Premier League, Spain's La Liga and the United States.
Last year saw 7EA stage a training camp with English Premier League star James Milner, while the Academy's main tournament in January attracted over 100 teams from across the United States.
Mayer – who himself has worked with clubs in the EPL and Universities in the United States – is looking forward to seeing youngsters benefit from 7EA's approach to training.
He said: “Tryouts are an exciting opportunity for youngsters to see how we operate on a professional level, as they make the important decision of where they want to play for the next year.
“Our curriculum is designed to be more specific to the children themselves. That applies to young players in the Foundation Phase, right through the Academy.
“At the Foundation Phase, children just want to come and enjoy themselves. But it is also a window of opportunity to implement the fundamentals regarding movement and instil a love of the game. That allows them to eventually move forwards to the Youth Development Phase.
“The new structure we have is more age specific. So the Foundation Phase practices, even though we have the curriculum, will be different to those in the Youth Development Phase and of course the outcomes will be different.
“Young people develop at different rates, so having the Phase system allows us to tailor outcomes to specific age groups while retaining a strong, structured curriculum.”
The Academy recently announced proposals for a 45-acre indoor and outdoor facility in St. George, with further designs for a similar base in Northern Utah currently under wraps.
Those expansion plans also include an intention to bring more international teams to the United States, following the recent launch of 7 Elite Academy in East Africa.
Mayer added: “Our plans for expansion, not just in Utah but across several continents, open up numerous opportunities for youngsters to experience different cultures, both on and off the pitch.
“Last year, for example, a group of our players toured Australia, taking part in several tournaments and gaining experiences they simply wouldn't find elsewhere.
“It is exciting to see youngsters develop as a result of these experiences and form lifelong bonds with fellow players and coaching staff.
“We want to make sure the kids get the specifics they need. But football aside, it's about developing them as good young people. So if we can bring in a youngster and and do just that, then we've done our job.
“There is a lot of opportunity for kids if they come here and see what we are doing.”
There is no charge for current 7 Elite Academy players to take part in tryouts, while others will be charged $10 ($20 if paying on the day) which includes an exclusive tryout jersey.
Age brackets will range from under-9 to under-18, although there will also be sample training sessions for Pre-Academy players in the 2012-2015 birth years.
Players are encouraged to attend all days of tryouts for their location and age group. To aid in an efficient check-in process at the try-outs, all players are encouraged to pre-register. On site same day registration is $20 dollars.