7 Elite Academy youngster Maxence Gay is on the pathway towards a career in professional soccer after joining leading NPSL Championship outfit FC Arizona.
The 18-year-old, who grew up in France and opted to play for 7 Elite Academy when he moved to Utah, signed for Arizona after impressing during a week-long trial.
He is the organization’s first graduate to join a semi-professional club in the United States, although 7 Elite Academy players in the UK and Tanzania have already followed similar professional career paths.
Gay was snapped up by FC Arizona for the 2020 Fall season and now trains with the club’s professional and Under-23 teams in Phoenix while studying for college qualifications.
Maxence’s father, Jean-Claude Gay, is delighted to see him working closely with senior players at FC Arizona. He said: “I am so happy that after joining 7 Elite Academy, Maxence has developed into such a great player.
“It is a dream come true for him to join FC Arizona, who have a fantastic training and educational program in place for players when they reach 18.
“Maxence has learned so much from the coaches at 7 Elite Academy, both as a player and as a young person.
“The trial with FC Arizona came as a direct result of that hard work. Head Coach Dave Rogers, who was DOC at 7 Elite Academy before moving to Phoenix, was very impressed with him.”
The young midfielder studied at Salt Lake Community College while playing for 7 Elite Academy, before the Covid-19 pandemic forced the cancellation of the 2020 season.
Daren Woolstenhume, Chief Executive Officer at 7 Elite Academy, said: “Maxence is an exceptional young player who worked so hard to develop his talents every single day, always dedicated and always working hard. We are all delighted for him.
“Here at 7 Elite Academy, we have created a pathway of talent that gives young people regular opportunities to make the most of their potential, both on and off the pitch.
“Our partnerships with professional and semi-professional clubs around the globe are a critical part of being able to offer players that next level in their soccer careers.
“It’s about giving our players opportunities and this shows that when a player has the talent, drive and opportunity, 7 Elite Academy can help them make that next step. That’s what professional youth academies should be doing.
“It is so important that as they move through the age groups, players get access to the tools that can help them realize their ambitions.
“Maxence is a shining example of a player who has made the most of his talent and is now reaping the rewards with a semi-professional club.”
FC Arizona Technical Director and First Team Head Coach Dave Rogers said: “We have a fantastic relationship with 7 Elite Academy and I have regular contact and dialogue with the coaching staff there.
"When I first heard about Maxence I was absolutely delighted to offer him this opportunity with us and when I first saw him play I was equally excited with the potential he displayed. It was a pleasure to offer him a trial with us and I have no doubts will be a great asset to our club.
“His conduct as a player and young adult stood out during the trial and on that basis alone, it was an easy decision to sign him.
“I know first-hand about the training and development facilities at 7 Elite Academy and I hope to see more of their players join us in the future.”