09 Jul Center of Excellence to replace United Airlines National Academy
[December 26, 2017 – Harmon, Guam] In order to best meet growing demands of youth soccer athletes transitioning to elite levels, the Guam Football Association Technical Department will be introducing a more modernized, holistic approach with its new United Airlines GFA Center of Excellence beginning in 2018, replacing the previous National Academy.
“The new program name ‘Center of Excellence’ alludes to the holistic approach GFA is taking in youth development; we are looking to cultivate excellence both on and off the field,” said Bryan Cadiz, GFA Player Development Officer. “During a recent youth conference in Kuala Lumpur, Asian Football Confederation Technical Director Andy Roxburgh made a profound statement: ‘Few realize the dream, but many face reality.’ As youth coaches, we have the responsibility to try to develop high-character individuals, as well as elite athletes. Instilling the right values and virtues will help the athletes attain success whether involved with the game or any other in life.
“The Center of Excellence is just one of the program the GFA Technical Department has been preparing in an effort to build a culture of sustainable success. We aspire to build athletes who can compete at the international stage. Although there is a lot of work to be done, we believe the Center of Excellence will play a significant role in helping us close the gap,” added Cadiz, an AFC licensed coach and former player on the Guam men’s national team.
The new Center of Excellence, supported by the Japan Football Association, will be a free-of-charge program for the athletes, with trials for the Spring 2018 program beginning Feb. 5. The open trials will span two weeks, with four trial sessions for both boys and girls from each age group. The first week, Feb. 5 – 10, will consist of the entire pool of players who register, with the second week, Feb. 12 – 17, reserved for the athletes who make it past the preliminary trial session and need more time for assessment.
To register, an online registration form for parents is available by clicking the Center of Excellence Web site banner on the home page of GFA’s Web site, http://www.guamfa.com
The form must be completed and submitted by Feb. 2.
“We understand that performing well in a high-pressured environment such as a “tryout” can be an intimidating process,” Cadiz said. “Additionally, it is difficult to truly gauge the ability and character of a player in such a short span of time; talent identification needs to be a continuous process. For this reason, players will have the opportunity to be recruited during the course of their respective seasons; however, parents and players need to keep in mind that the amount of time they spend in the program is directly related to their growth as footballers.”
The GFA Technical Department hopes to attain AFC endorsement to help get the program recognition throughout the Asian football community, while also using the GFA Center of Excellence model for Guam’s youth clubs to develop their own programs, Cadiz said.
Elite youth athletes who completed requirements of the 2017 United Airlines GFA National Academy, pose for a group photo on the final day of the program, Dec. 15, at the Guam Football Association National Training Center. The GFA Technical Department will be introducing a more modernized, holistic approach to develop elite youth athletes with its new United Airlines GFA Center of Excellence beginning in 2018, replacing the previous National Academy. The new Center of Excellence program, supported by Japan Football Association, will officially launch Feb. 5 with trial sessions for youth athletes in U9 through to U14 age divisions.