Spooner and Dolinsky Team Up
Want to have fun and really develop as an elite soccer player? Then find dynamic and passionate coaches who can inspire and train in a positive environment. This summer, there is a new choice in Southern California – ASPIRE Soccer Group- led by San Diego Surf SC coaches Mark Spooner and Pauley Dolinsky, with half-day and full-day programs.
For most kids, summer is a time for relaxing and trying to forget everything they learned in school over the previous nine months, but for dedicated soccer players it brings the opportunity to hone skills for the next season. With that in mind, summer is also the time when soccer camps spring up like mushrooms after the rain – in places where it actually rains, that is.
In the vast assortment of options, one of the most exciting summer soccer camps is run by ASPIRE Soccer Group, a new soccer training company founded on the philosophy of developing youth players to reach their potential by “concentrating on the technical and tactical skills they need to succeed.” The company was founded by Mark Spooner, who is currently the head coach for the San Diego Surf SC Girls U11 Academy I and U12 Academy I teams, as well as the Girls U7-U13 Coaching Director. He has recently been joined by former professional player and youth soccer star – current Surf SC Girls U16 and U17 ECNL Academy coach Paul Dolinsky.
Together the two coaches bring magic to the soccer field. It is more than the wealth of knowledge and experience they bring and it is beyond their commitment to helping young players develop their own skills. It is the sheer joy for soccer their passions ignite and their contagious ability to inspire players to want to be better.
“I’m extremely excited to form a partnership with Paul,” said Spooner. “Whilst I haven’t known him for long, it’s clear we share a very similar vision for the game and our styles complement each other perfectly. I hope this is the start of a long and prosperous relationship.”
Spooner grew up as the son of an English professional and came up through Crewe Alexandra Academy, but acknowledges that he “was not quick enough to play professional.” Instead, Spooner took to coaching and went on to have success on both sides of the Atlantic.
Over the years, Spooner coached NCAA Division I men’s soccer at Niagara University, Longwood University and Western Michigan University, before moving on to be the Academy Manager and U23 Head Coach for Chicago Fire of Major League Soccer (MLS). More recently, he was the Head of Player Recruitment and Scouting for English Championship League side Birmingham City FC. When he was given the opportunity to run a session for Surf SC, he jumped at the chance.
Dolinsky also grew up in a soccer family, and interestingly his father worked with Spooner at Chicago Fire. “Pauly” Dolinsky was one of the top youth players in his day, and at age 15 was invited to play in the Netherlands for Dutch side Feyenoord Rotterdam. Loek van Zijl, a former Dutch player and founder of Premier International Tours, has called Dolinsky, “one of the best young players I have ever seen.” He later played in the Fire organization before starting his own coaching career.
This summer ASPIRE Soccer Group will present a series of four half-day and one full-day camp at locations around San Diego County.
Half-day camp sessions are from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. on June 16-19, July 7-10 and 21-24, and August 5-8.
Full-day camp runs from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. on July 21-24.
The camps will focus on technical training for players in both individual and small-group settings.
The curriculum for the camps will include a daily focus on speed, agility and quickness for players, as well as ball handling skills. Sessions will also teach players how to work under pressure, how to beat opponents individually and with teammates, and how to understand the tactical details of defending.
Fees for the camps are $200 for the half-day camps and $360 for the full-day, with “early bird” and team discounts available.