Recently, SIGMA FC player Chris Nanco travelled to England to train with two of the most storied football clubs in the world Liverpool and Newcastle. The opportunity for Nanco came after the player was identified through scouting arranged by SIGMA staff and initiated through the annual SIGMA International ID Camps.

Nanco spent two weeks in England, the first with Liverpool, and the second week with Newcastle. According to SIGMA Technical Director Bobby Smryniotis, the 15-year old Brampton, Ont. resident performed well and left a strong impression with the youth academies at both clubs.

"He got to see two different environments. We know from our report that he performed well at both clubs," recounted Smyrniotis.

"They constantly work at 100 per cent maximum effort. They really work hard every training session," he explained about the main difference that Nanco encountered on his trip. "It's just the intensity they bring to training."

Following is a short Q&A with Nanco on the trip and his lasting impressions:

Reporter: When you were told you were going to go to England, what was your first thought?

Nanco: I was excited. I knew it would be a higher level of competition over there, and I was excited to go over and do the best that I could. I wanted to get better by training with those guys.

Reporter: Was it difficult to go over alone and not with your teammates?

Nanco: It was. But that is something that you have to be ready to do, if you want to go places. It was a good experience.

Reporter: What was your first impression when you arrived at the Liverpool training facility?

Nanco: It was amazing. The fields were great, the facility was big. The coaches came to greet me and they were really nice. The feeling was amazing.

Reporter: And their first impression?

Nanco: I think I surprised them. They were surprised at the speed that I played at. I don't think they were expecting that from me.

Reporter: How did the players at Liverpool and Newcastle treat you?

Nanco: The players were very nice. They took us in and supported us.

Reporter: What did you notice about the level of training?

Nanco: Once training starts they were down to work. There was no fooling around. And I think that is why they are good players. And that is why they can play at such a high level.

Reporter: How much did you know in advance about your trip? Did you know that you would be going to more than one club?

Nanco: They told us it was Liverpool and Newcastle and that there was an uncertainty that there might be another club in the second week.

Reporter: In the movie Goal, a young player from the United States goes to train at Newcastle for a trial. Have you seen that movie, and was that going through your mind when you arrived at that club?

Nanco: Yeah (laughs). I was thinking about that when I was going there. It was pretty good at Newcastle.

Reporter: What about the big clubs? Did you see any games at Anfield (home of Liverpool) and St. James Park (home of Newcastle)?

Nanco: Yes, it was an amazing experience. I was amazed being in those stadiums. I saw Liverpool vs. Arsenal and Newcastle vs. Aston Villa. It was the first time seeing the Premiership in person. It was incredible seeing the big name players. We also go to watch the first teams in training. At the hotel we were staying at, Aston Villa was there, so I got to see the players up close.

Reporter: When you were training at Liverpool and Newcastle, did you see any similarities with the training you do every day back in Canada with Sigma?

Nanco: Definitely, some of the passing and moving drills, the possession drills, are the same stuff that we do in training here.

Reporter: What advice did the coaches give you before you came home?

Nanco: They just told me to keep going, keep doing what you are doing. Be an individual, be who you want to be. Don't follow what other people are doing. Be yourself.