“Spain is a soccer powerhouse, where players can train 6-7 times a week. Our select athletes got to learn from and train with the very best,” says Mark Cristante, Technical Director of Barrie Soccer Club.
BSC athletes travel to Europe to sharpen their skills
Soccer’s popularity continues to grow in our community. Likewise, the skill of our local athletes improves by the day. Because of this, Barrie Soccer Club aims to help its athletes reach the next level of competitive play.
As a result, two U15 boys from the club’s rep program received a golden opportunity.
Joseph Marandola and Rocco Camacho recently travelled to Barcelona to train. There, the BSC stars visited soccer academies while honing their skills.
“They were at a skill level where I felt they could go there and challenge themselves,” Cristante shared.
The players gain invaluable experience
Ultimately, the goal is to elevate the players. Access to a European network helps ensure that happens.
“In terms of talent, Europe has top players and a high level for players to aspire to,” Cristante stated.
Additionally, other players made their way to Spain. Conversely, some are taking an educational path. These individuals currently attend Malaga City Academy, immersed in the European culture.
Then, there is Justin Avonyo. Avonyo is a U17 Regional player who travelled to Barcelona in July 2021. Consequently, Avonyo joined the Spanish club EE Guineueta. The team competes in the Catalan Football Federation.
“It’s great to see young players from Ontario getting these opportunities,” said Avonyo.
Cristante sees these as great opportunities for professional play in the future. Moreover, the club shares an important partnership with the Simcoe Rovers in League1 Ontario.
“If you can play in Europe and do well, you have a good shot at making most international teams someday,” he elaborated.
In addition, BSC plans to send several teams to attend a European tournament next year. The future looks promising as both the girl’s and boy’s clubs are rich in aspiring talent.
Given these points, alongside Team Canada’s recent World Cup berth, expect more local athletes to pursue the great game of soccer!