Eighteen elite young soccer players from The Sydney Football Academy (SFA) have been chosen to tour Uruguay later this month.
The players, all aged between aged between 8 and 13, will spend two weeks in the football-mad country, playing in a tournament of six games, training with former professional soccer players, walking with current players into stadiums, watching live soccer matches and attending school .
George Fernandez, Founder and Head Coach of SFA said the tour supports the academy’s key objective, which is to nurture young players into elite and well refined soccer athletes.
“Part of the strategy is a planned progression of development, which sees our elite young players being introduced and exposed to playing against overseas teams,” he said. “Uruguay is, like the rest of South America and many European nations, crazy about their football. It’s a world game – and a world-class game and we believe exposing our young players to this atmosphere and to international games helps make them more experienced, confident and professional players.”
Segments of the SFA tour will be televised on national television in Uruguay.
Eleven-year-old William Dotson, who has been selected to join the tour, can’t believe his luck. “Everyone trains really hard and only a few players get chosen,” he said. “I feel really lucky to be going. The thing I am looking forward to most is meeting some of the players.”
Uruguay is considered South America's top football team and after ranking fourth in last year’s World Cup has its eye on the game’s top prize in 2014.
Sydney Football Academy (SFA)
The Sydney Football Academy (SFA) is a coaching academy that focuses on developing the young aspiring soccer players of tomorrow. The professional coaching staff, headed by George Fernandez, implements a South American style of training which develops all aspects of skill, knowledge and talent, and potentially produces good players to the highest level.
SFA has been in operation for six years and has three operating regions that encourage players from all areas. They are based in Fairfield, Balmain and Castle Hill. Currently SFA has over 200 members and operates daily. Each region holds extended sessions for selected elite players.