Le­ices­ter City Foot­ball Club holds soc­cer camp

The Labradorian - - Sports - BY CRAIG WAL­LACE craig_wal­lace@ymail.com

Young Happy Val­ley-Goose Bay soc­cer play­ers had an amaz­ing op­por­tu­nity and ex­pe­ri­ence re­cently train­ing and par­tic­i­pat­ing in skill de­vel­op­ment with a group of coaches that are part of a club that fin­ished ninth in the English Pre­mier League last sea­son and were the Pre­mier League cham­pi­ons in 2015/16.

Coaches from the Le­ices­ter City Foot­ball Club were in Happy Val­ley-Goose Bay all of last week con­duct­ing their an­nual Pro Soc­cer Camp.

This was the 10th an­nual Le­ices­ter City Pro Soc­cer Camp with just over 100 chil­dren be­tween the ages of six and 14 who are regis­tered with the HVGB Mi­nor Soc­cer As­so­ci­a­tion tak­ing part in the ses­sions held at the Mealy Moun­tain Col­le­giate soc­cer fields. The Soc­cer Camp is man­aged by Chris Hodges, who is part of the Le­ices­ter City FC coach­ing de­part­ment. He brings along an­other five English FA ac­cred­ited coaches with him to as­sist in the fa­cil­i­ta­tion of the week-long ac­tiv­i­ties.

Hodges told The Labradorian that this was his tenth year here or­ga­niz­ing the camps, and dur­ing this time he has built up a very strong re­la­tion­ship with Trevor Paine, co-Pres­i­dent of the Happy Val­ley-Goose Bay Mi­nor Soc­cer As­so­ci­a­tion.

“Trevor is a big rea­son and a big push be­hind get­ting us here,” Hodges said. “It’s not easy to get to a place like Goose Bay with all the travel that you need to do, but he is a sound guy and ev­ery­thing he does is for the kids and for the good of the kids.”

With over 100 chil­dren from a wide age range and skill level, this pro­vides its own lo­gis­tic chal­lenges in mak­ing sure that all of the par­tic­i­pants get the most ben­e­fit out of their week-long coach­ing ses­sions.

“There is a mix­ture of abil­i­ties and ages among the kids at­tend­ing, but it’s an op­por­tu­nity for them to get out, have a bit of fun and de­velop their soc­cer skills,” re­marked Hodges.

Hodges said that three of the coaches who were here with him are all full-time em­ploy­ees with Le­ices­ter City FC and work ex­clu­sively with the ju­nior academy pro­grams. One of them, Eric Od­hi­ambo had pre­vi­ously played pro­fes­sion­ally with the club, along with pro­fes­sional stints with Scot­tish Pre­mier League club, In­ver­ness Cale­do­nian This­tle and Turk­ish first di­vi­sion club, Deni­zlispor.

In the train­ing ses­sion the Labradorian at­tended, Od­hi­ambo was cer­tainly a favourite among the par­tic­i­pat­ing chil­dren.

Paine said the chil­dren were amaz­ing last week, cop­ing with the hot and hu­mid weather, and bursts of pour­ing rain.

Next month, a group of lo­cal play­ers will be head­ing over to Eng­land for the bi-an­nual UK Soc­cer Trip hosted by Le­ices­ter City FC. Ev­ery two years play­ers from Happy Val­ley-Goose Bay make this two-week trip to Eng­land and have the op­por­tu­nity to ex­pe­ri­ence the in­ner sanc­tum of the Foot­ball Club.

“The kids that come across to the UK for the soc­cer trip prob­a­bly get to ex­pe­ri­ence more than what most English kids do,” Hodges said. “I am for­tu­nate with my links and con­tacts with the club that the kids will be at­tend­ing the Le­ices­ter ver­sus Liv­er­pool match and they will be on the pitch be­fore the start of the game hold­ing the ‘big’ Le­ices­ter City Shirt in the mid­dle of the ground.

“They will also get a tour of the Clubs train­ing ground and will most likely get the chance to meet some of the play­ers.”

Paine wanted to give spe­cial thanks to Brad But­ler, the Town of HVGB fire chief for bring­ing down the fire truck and soak­ing the chil­dren on the hot days, along with Pizza De­light, Sub­way and the HVGB Ro­tary Club for their sup­port of the soc­cer camp.

Hodges summed up his time here in Goose Bay by say­ing: “We got num­bers, we are made to feel very wel­come and the kids are very well-be­haved. We like the ap­pre­ci­a­tion we get from the chil­dren. Some­times as much as what we give as coaches we look for some­thing back from the kids, and we get that here, I guess that’s why its my tenth year back here.”

PHOTO BY CRAIG WAL­LACE

All the par­tic­i­pants and coaches in the soc­cer camp.

PHOTO BY CRAIG WAL­LACE

Eric Od­hi­ambo, Le­ices­ter City FC Coach and Ry­der Fox, a soc­cer camp par­tic­i­pant.

PHOTO BY CRAIG WAL­LACE

Soc­cer camp par­tic­i­pants with coaches Eric Od­hi­ambo and Chris Hodges.

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