San Diego Football Academy and Celtic FC Present International Development Academy Camp
In a sea of “Elite Youth Soccer Camps” SDFA and Celtic FC offer a unique chance to train with coaches from a highly respected professional academy in Scotland in a fun environment created to inspire players to love the beautiful game. Run by Technical Director Johnson Asiedu, SDFA is well known for focusing on developing individual youth soccer players, not just teams to win trophies. Asiedu has helped train many youth soccer players who have gone pro.
In 2013 San Diego Football Academy (SDFA) and legendary Champions League club Celtic FC of Glasgow, Scotland, announced an agreement that created a partnership between the American club and the Celtic Development Academy. Through this partnership SDFA gained access to player development coaching sessions and age- and stage-specific coach education from the vaunted Scottish club. That partnership first bore fruit in the successful Celtic FC/SDFA International Development Academy Camp in July of 2013. Now players will have another opportunity to experience the Celtic Way with the 2014 Celtic FC International Development Academy Summer Camp, presented by SDFA.
The International Development Academy Summer Camp will provide youth players ages 8-18 with a week of training with specific soccer-related themes each day, designed by Celtic Soccer Academy coaches. These themes will help participants to develop their skills and technique through individual and group practice sessions. Celtic Football coaches will staff the camp, and there will be a major focus on skill development, skills testing and small-sided games where lessons can be put into practice. In addition to the unmatched training players will receive, at least two campers will be chosen to attend a week of training in Scotland with Celtic FC.
Celtic FC are one of the most highly decorated clubs in the Scottish Premier League, having won the league title 44 times in their history, which stretches back to 1887. Celtic have also won the Scottish Cup 36 times and the Scottish League Cup 14 times. In 1967 the club took the three major Scottish championships, the Glasgow Cup and what was then known as the European Cup for a rare “quintuple.” The partnership between the two clubs has been a huge gain for SDFA and has provided Celtic with increased exposure in the United States.
Celtic FC Academy coaches Greig Robertson and David Bowland had the pleasure of running the 2013 camp, and both were impressed with the enthusiasm of the players who took part.
“We have recognized the massive growth in football over the years in the U.S. in terms of participating numbers and, of course, talent,” Robertson told SoccerNation News in 2013. “We want to ensure that every player within each of the partner clubs has direct contact with Celtic FC annually, should that be through attending a Celtic FC Soccer School at their own club delivered by authentic Celtic FC academy staff, by travelling to Scotland with their team to train and play for a week, or by elite invitation to train with our academy.”
Following the 2013 camp, SDFA Technical Director Johnson Asiedu reflected on the success of the training that players had received. “We now have our players doing the Celtic Turns, which are specific turning moves named after famous Celtic players,” he said at the time.
This year Celtic FC coaches Jonathan Burns and Jonathan McFarlane will handle the duties during the International Development Academy Camp. Both have been with the club as players as well as coaches and bring strong dedication to the Celtic philosophy.
McFarlane is a four-year coaching veteran who played goalkeeper for the Academy as a youth. He is currently part of the Celtic Women’s first team staff and the head of girls’ goalkeeping at the Academy. McFarlane has coached in the U.S., Canada, Australia and Ireland as part of Celtic FC’s international program and will be working directly with keepers during the camp.
In his fifth year of coaching with Celtic Youth Academy, Burns played with the first team from 1994-1997 and helped Celtic to a Scottish Cup title. His father, Tommy Burns, was one of the most celebrated players in Celtic history, making more than 500 appearances and taking a turn as manager. The younger Burns brings the same dedication to the club and love for the game as his father, and has represented Celtic in the U.S., Australia and Ireland.
“Get the ball and attack. Pass and move,” Burns told the Herald Scotland newspaper in a 2012 interview. “When you come into Celtic as a coach it’s something you are reminded of time and time again. You try to be the free-flowing, attacking team.”
The 2014 Celtic FC International Development Academy Summer Camp will run June 23-27 at Mesa Verde Middle School in San Diego. Boys and girls ages 9-18 of all ability levels are welcome, and SDFA and Celtic coaches will provide regular feedback and advice to players during the camp. The cost for the camp is $200, and daily sessions run from 8:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. To register for the camp, visit the SDFA website.