Maui youth train in the Netherlands with professional soccer clubs
A total of 36 young soccer players from across Hawaiʻi, including 12 from Maui, spent their spring break training with professional football clubs in The Netherlands.
The boys participated in training sessions alongside their Dutch peers in the professional youth academy systems of five different professional football clubs. In addition, the group was formally welcomed at the Royal Dutch Football Association campus in Zeist, where they trained with coaches from The Netherlands’ national team.
The immersive, first-of-its-kind opportunity for Hawaiʻi athletes was coordinated by Aleksandar Filipovic, president and director of coaching for Valley Isle Soccer Academy.
“Most of our boys aspire to play soccer at the collegiate or professional level,” said Filipovic. “This was an opportunity for them to learn from elite youth coaches in Dutch football and play alongside their peers in the professional youth academy system. Training in this environment challenged our boys and will help them set benchmarks for their own development. Ultimately, this will help them understand what it takes to succeed at the next level.”
The participants, born in the years 2007, 2008 and 2009, were from Oʻahu, Maui and Hawaiʻi Island. They earned their invitation to Holland following a three-day training camp on Maui last July, where they were evaluated by coaches from the KNVB and professional Dutch clubs NAC Breda and Willem II.
Their Netherlands schedule included the following:
- March 13: Morning training with FC Dordrecht in Dordrecht, afternoon training with Excelsior Rotterdam in Rotterdam
- March 14: Training with NAC Breda in Breda
- March 15: Training with PSV Eindhoven in Eindhoven and KNVB coaches at the National Campus in Zeist
- March 16: Training with Willem II in Tilburg
- March 17: Training with RKSV Spartaan’20 in Rotterdam
Valley Isle Soccer Academy was established in 2012. For more information, visit ValleyIsleSoccer.com, email [email protected] or call 808-866-7899.