Some 57 youngsters from around the region attended a high-level soccer camp at the 100 Mile House soccer fields, April 27-29.
They learned many new skills from Saibo Talic, who is the highest-level licensed coach in Canada and owner of the European Football School (EFS) in North Vancouver.
Talic brought along fellow licensed instructors Igor Matic and Igor's father, Rade Matic, who coached extensively in the former Yugoslavia.
Soccer players converged on the fields to receive 1.5 hours of instruction on Friday and Sunday and a three-hour session on Saturday. Participants ranged in age from seven to 18, with some travelling from as far away as Quesnel, Williams Lake and Kamloops.
Lisa Lizzi-Davidson says the instructors were very animated and made things fun and challenging for the participants.
The youth received instruction on skill development, correction techniques and drills in groups and individual instruction. The coaches also taught them about fitness, proper techniques, co-ordination and balance.
They started with the basics, assessed their skill levels and worked from there, she adds. Four students also received specialized time in goalie instruction.
There are some players from the Cariboo who travel on a weekly and bi-weekly basis to North Vancouver to attend Talic’s camps in the Lower Mainland.
Lizzi-Davidson says the head coach was very encouraged to see the players’ enthusiasm. Noting he has worked at many different locations around the province, she adds Talic was very impressed with what 100 Mile had to offer in the way of fields for this sport.
With players sharing their new skills with their teammates, Lizzi-Davidson says they hope to attract more players to these camps and have the one in 100 Mile become an annual training session to kick off the soccer season.
“Players left the camp with a lot of information and skills to share with their fellow players.”
One of the main objectives of EFS is not only to produce players of outstanding ability, Lizzi-Davidson explains, but also to work with these young people to help them build character and become quality human beings.