While September marks the start of the busy North American collegiate soccer season, of which more than 30 SIGMA FC graduates will take part, it also marks a time when SIGMA FC coaches turn their attention to the next generation of players that will embark on their own soccer journey.
The first step for many of these players will be at the 5th Annual SIGMA ETC Talent Days (September 22 & 29, Hershey Sportszone, Mississauga). The event is aimed identifying talented young soccer players for inclusion in the ETC (Elite Training Center) Program - SIGMA's Development Program throughout the fall and winter months.
SIGMA uses the Talent Day model to assess new players in keeping with the academy's goal of replicating the European development model. Talent Days are widely used by clubs to introduce players to the organization, and have proven to be quite an experience for all attending.
The two weekend dates in September will provide participants an opportunity to become familiar with the philosophy and structure of the SIGMA FC Academy. On the field the players will receive instruction from the staff coaches of SIGMA FC who have been responsible for developing some of the top talent in Southern Ontario. With over 30 players currently playing in the NCAA and CIS, 5 players representing various national programs, 3 professionals and numerous European club trials it is evident that the development program at SIGMA has been successful over its short history in developing talent.
"In the end the players will receive a few training sessions, in a fun yet educational environment by our experienced staff," said SIGMA General Director Constantine Smyrniotis.
"Our technical team will have a good opportunity to identify new talent for our fall/winter long technical training programs. In the end it is important to understand that this is not a tryout, but a means of introducing people to our organization and to our style of development which up until now has been very successful in supporting players to the next level of the game," he added.
According to Smyrniotis, the "Talent Days" have become a key step in identifying talent for the ETC Program. Almost every year, a player emerges from Talent Days that the SIGMA coaches have not seen but fits perfectly into our SIGMA philosophy. Finding those talents is one of the principle satisfactions of running the program.
According to SIGMA Technical Director, Bobby Smyrniotis, as members of SIGMA the players are not only involved in a successful environment of development they are also exposed to a diverse group of technical people and international experiences both at home and abroad. "The environment is simple but most importantly it is structured for the player. The technical curriculum looks beyond the technical aspects of the game and teaches players discipline, self-responsibility, leadership and respect. On the other side the players are in an environment where they want to grow and develop and have all the necessary stimuli to do so."
SIGMA is home to 8 teams from U12 to Senior Men's in 2013. Although there still remains quite a bit of soccer in the calendar year, there have been same great accomplishments already achieved thus far.
Sigma grads Kyle Bekker and Emery Welshman moved to the professional game being selected with the number 3 and 16 picks respectively in the 2013 MLS Super Draft. Bekker has also made his debut with the Canadian men's national team and has gone on to play nine matches this year including those at the 2013 Gold Cup. On the collegiate soccer side, Sigma graduated one of the strongest classes in North America this year. 18 players departed to NCAA and CIS schools to begin their career as student athletes in August, with many headed to top nationally ranked programs.
In league and tournament play, Sigma FC squads continued to put in quality performances playing attractive soccer, while just this past July, SIGMA hosted the 9th International ID Camps for both its FC and ETC players along with new hopeful participants. This year's event proved to be very successful with great coaching from such international clubs as HSV Hamburg (Germany), RCD Espanyol (Spain) and KRC Genk (Belgum). Some top NCAA schools such as the University of Connecticut, University of Evansville, Providence College, Temple University and Syracuse University were represented. The introduction of an Elite Girls Camp week and Future Stars Camp week were also very well received laying the groundwork for successful future events for both these groups.
The fall is an important period for SIGMA as well with many teams in the final part of their seasons and the very popular ETC Program kicking off in October. Also the club hosts its annual University Showcase in December; an event that routinely attracts coaches from across North America. Last year, more than 65 coaches took part making it one of the best events of its kind in North America.
The Talent Days will be for male players born in 2006-1999 and females players born in 2002-1998. Each group of players will be training with various SIGMA coaches for a few sessions.
Talent Day #1
Sunday, September 22nd, 2013 - Hershey Sporstzone Outdoor Field
Talent Day #2
Sunday, September 29th, 2013 - Hershey Sportszone Outdoor Field
|All players wishing to participate in The "Talent Days" must complete the Expression of Interest Form. Select "Talent Days" in the drop down menu. Walk-ons will not be permitted.|
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