In past years the youngest participant at SIGMA's Ajax of Amsterdam I.D. camps were nine years of age, whereas this past August of 2008 a group of players as young as seven took to the playing field with a (little did they know it), decision to impress...
Technical Coordinator, David Zonneveld stated "when the requests came in we had a few concerns on opening our doors to players that young as it is a full week of soccer! And to be honest, the attention span of a seven year old in many camp scenarios becomes a baby sitting service and that's really not what we are all about".
To their delight, the kids just did what they know best, played their hearts out for the love of the game to a point where all they did is impress the SIGMA coaches not only in effort but in talent.
"The level of play for such young participants was strong enough that we felt we had to consider the option of creating an ETC winter training program for them and possibly other talents within the GTA at that age" said Bobby Smyrniotis, Technical Director of SIGMA.
As he continued, Bobby commented that "after our last technical staff meeting, we were all in agreement that we should open the doors to these younger aged players in an effort to provide them the foundation for a better future within the game. We look forward to building a base of younger aged players that will be able to come through the ranks of SIGMA for years to come".
Zonneveld added "It is a well known fact that stronger coaches tend to work with older players looking to reach a National Final whereas we believe the youngest ages are equally as important as this is when you can create a players technical base. By the age of 13 or older, players will learn new skills but it will not be innate within his or her playing characteristics. Skills become like "walking", executed without thought when players are developed properly at a young age when their motor patterns are still being developed"
Overall, the SIGMA technical team felt that an ETC program for this age was more than feasible and in keeping with their current level of standard as set for the older age players.
For those players that missed the SIGMA AJAX ID Camp and would like to take advantage of the new ETC Program for 2001 and 2000 born players, we suggest that you complete an expression of interest (EOI) form and take part in one of our open talent days throughout October and November. The program will commence in late October and will have Rink City, a new indoor facility in Mississauga (Hwy 403 and Mavis) as its home.