“Relax and enjoy it” - former Liverpool and England soccer star Stephen Warnock has delivered timely advice for players ahead of his trip to Utah for 7 Elite Academy tryouts.
Warnock will be joined at the Utah tryouts by former Everton midfielder Alan Moogan - 7 Elite Academy’s Head of UK Coaching - and well as Academy President Anthony Godfrey.
The three are making the trip across from England to assess the level of talent on display.
Youngsters will be vying for a spot on the academy’s teams at tryouts across Utah from May 16th to May 19th in St George, before moving to Salt Lake City and Northern Utah from May 23rd.
Warnock, who played in the English Premier League and was a member of the 2010 England World Cup squad, has experienced the pressure of tryouts at first hand.
And he wants youngsters to savour the unique experience of joining 7 Elite Academy this month.
He said: “The great thing about 7 Elite Academy is the way the coaches make you feel relaxed. As long as you come to tryouts and enjoy it, you will play your best soccer.
“With tryouts, the biggest issue is usually players putting pressure on themselves, which often limits their capabilities and what they can achieve.
“When I was at the tournament in February, I watched kids enjoy playing soccer with their mates as part of 7 Elite Academy. That’s all we want to see. My advice is to just relax and enjoy it.”
Players at 7 Elite Academy work with UEFA, FA and USSF qualified coaches on a weekly basis, and are given regular support in the college application process.
They also get opportunities to train and study with professional academies in the UK and Africa, as part of the organization's global coaching network.
In addition, there is a comprehensive 7 Elite SABA education program for players who are looking to impress college scouts.
7 Elite Academy Head of UK Coaching Alan Moogan, who shared a changing room with Wayne Rooney during his time at Everton, is looking forward to an exciting time for the organisation.
“To be a player for 7 Elite Academy is a very exciting prospect,” he said.
“We’ve got highly qualified coaches with strong links to soccer and education in the UK, which is a great opportunity for youngsters to enjoy learning experiences in a different environment.
“But we’ve also got coaches with experience of the US college system and the pathways that players can access, and hopefully be in the college system with opportunities for scholarships.
“We’re very much player centred and want to develop them not only on the field, but off the field as well. All these opportunities are really exciting for players who are coming to 7 Elite Academy.”
7 Elite Academy President Anthony Godfrey, who spent over a decade coaching youngsters at Liverpool FC, will be looking to identify youngsters with a range of talents.
He said: “We want players to take part in tryouts and feel included as part of our environment, even if they’re coming for their first ever session with us.
“We’ll be giving players an insight into the type of sessions we run week in, week out. At the same time, we want to give them a chance to showcase their skills and strengths as the type of player they are.
“It’s really important that we don’t miss an individual’s strengths and and player profile, going forward.
“We run multiple type of sessions - technical, tactical, social and physicals, but then what kids love, games. It’s not just typical 11v11 or 9 v 9 games.
“We have the games a bit more competitive, as 2v2 for example. That way we get to see more of the individual and there’s plenty for them to get involved with.”