Why Northern Ireland Successful at Euros 2016

During the last few weeks I have been asked many times why my country Northern Ireland are doing so well at Euros 2016. Why, as a country of 1.8 million people has the team been able to navigate through a tough qualifying group containing Germany, Poland and the Ukraine to qualify for the last 16? Why do they hold the record as the smallest nation to win a game at the World Cup finals? How can they be ranked as high as 26 in the FIFA world rankings?
Rory McIlroy sent an inspirational video to the team before the Euros started. It filled us all with pride and made us realize that for many years our wee country has punched well above its weight and produced world champions and top sports teams. Many of the same attributes have all been said about Leicester City this year when they went on to win the English Premiership against all the odds. Hard-work, determination, persistence, togetherness as a group, good management and a humble group of players that have had to overcome many obstacles to reach the higher levels. In addition, a good Manager who understands the mentality of the group of players and plays a style that best suits their abilities.

rory mcilroy

The Leicester City players overcame any obstacle put in front of them to achieve success with their Manager Claudio Ranieri. The Northern Ireland players do the same for Michael O’Neill. Also, don’t forget the fans! Leicester City fans backed their players throughout the entire league campaign this year and made a difference, especially at home when the side needed a little extra encouragement to keep going during tight games. Northern Ireland fans have widely been recognized as the best in the tournament and have enthusiastically backed their players before, during and after the games. It gives the players a lift and they have a bond with the fans that not all of the bigger teams have.
The tide is turning! The top teams and the so called big players are under pressure. They are being out-worked, out-fought and sometimes out-thought by supposedly less talented opponents. In football (soccer) there is no place to hide on the field. If you are not putting maximum effort in and supremely motivated, you will be found out. Some of the top teams and players who are not on top of their game and letting their standards drop are now been humbled by their smaller opponents.

Yesterday, the Northern Ireland goal-keeper Michael McGovern make 28 saves against Germany, the World Champions. When asked about his performance in an interview he simply shrugged his shoulders and said “I had a busy day!”.

I think everyone is ready for a new era when the players and teams who are humble, hard-working and willing to do whatever it takes to overcome any obstacles in their path are achieving success. It is a refreshing change and provides our young players with better role models who are humble and demonstrate on a daily basis that success has to be earned and that it is achieved over the long-term with great determination, persistence and hard-work!
As we say frequently in Northern Ireland these days ……..Dare to Dream!

1v1 Soccer FC and Pro Stars Announce Partnership Agreement

1v1 logo clean prostarsAncaster, ON — 1v1 Soccer FC is pleased to announce it has entered into a formal partnership with ProStars Football Club Academy (PFC), to work with and focus on the development of players for High Performance professional opportunities overseas and within North America.
Both organizations believe that young players in North America are capable of performing at the highest levels of the game providing they are exposed to a high level of coaching, a training environment dedicated to excellence and are dedicated and committed to continuous improvement.
This agreement will provide 1v1 players and other players from Burlington, Hamilton and the surrounding areas with a dedicated pathway to League 1 ( which is a semi-professional league for Men & Woman, sanctioned by the Ontario Soccer Association. The objective of the agreement will be to work together, share resources in a combined effort and to elevate the performance of both programs. This agreement will result in a larger talent pool of dedicated players with more pathways to higher levels of play.
PFC has selected 1v1 Soccer FC to work with based on it’s established track record of contributing to the development of players in preparation for moving them on to higher levels of play. 1v1 Soccer FC has a successful partnership with the Wolves academy program in England and several other European club contacts, based on its successful strategic partnership with Global Image Sports. PFC also has several important European club contacts that can benefit both organizations.
There will be additional announcements during the coming weeks as the organizations begin to align both development programs.
For more information, please contact:
Ian McClurg (1v1 Soccer FC)       Josef Komlodi (ProStars FC)
E: E:                 E:
P: 289-239-9602                           P: 416-876-5601

Wolves FC Player ID Camp – Summary Notes

Thank you to all the players and families that participated in the Wolves Player ID Camp last weekend.
Marc Campbell presented to players and parents last Sunday on what professional clubs look for in young players. I have included some notes below.
We are also delighted to announce that our partner Metrifit have provided our families with a special offer on how to monitor our young players athletic development. Information on this special offer is below.
Next steps are that players will be notified shortly on their selection for travel to England directly or selection for the National Camp in Georgia. We will also be announcing upcoming Wolves North Academy training days once a month and players selected for this program will form the Global Image Sports Regional Squad for Canada East.

wolves fc logoKey Success Factors for Youth Development

Marc touched on a number of key points during his presentation on Sunday on how young players can improve their performance levels. Young North American players must overcome some challenges in order to each the performance levels required at professional club academies in Europe. These challenges are difficult, but not impossible to overcome.


1) Training Hours: Youth players at Wolves complete the following number of training hours, which includes ball mastery, movement preparation and technical/tactical sessions based on 4 phase model. Young players in North America must put additional time in at home or seek supplemental training to reach these levels.


U9/10 – 7.5 hours/week + game
U11/12 – 10 hours/week + game
U13 – 14 hours/week + game


2) Game Understanding: Players at Wolves are taught all four phases of the game (as covered in the camp). Young North American players must be exposed on a regular basis to this type of training. 1v1 Soccer FC follows this training model and we will be offering Wolves North American Academy training days on a monthly basis beginning in August.
wolves philosophy


3) Balanced Training Loads: While young players at Wolves reach a high number of training hours on a weekly basis, rest & recovery is build into training cycles. Rest & recovery, sleep and proper nutrition is considered just as important as training hours for youth development. Our partners Metrifit can provide our players with a tool to help monitor and improve these factors. (see below)


4) Growth Mindset: Players and their families receive growth mindset workshops during the season to reinforce the importance of being open to new learning experiences. Resilience and successfully overcoming set-backs and disappointments is an important factor in becoming an Elite player Learn More


5) Positive parental support. Parents are the most important influence on a young players development. Therefore, it is important to positively support your child in their development and reinforce the same message as the coaching program. See English FA Respect Below


metrifit constant contact

Play the 1v1 Way! Observations from Italy – Chievo Verona International Academy

Article one in a series of how we can accelerate our youth development success in North America  

Last month I travelled to Italy to spend time at the Chievo Verona Academy. Our global partner, Global Image Sports, is establishing an international residential academy there, beginning in September 2016. (Learn More) I travelled with 6 players from 1v1 Soccer FC to train with the Chievo academy coaches and gain an insight into the training experience for the upcoming international residential program.

chievo verona academy photo












The trip provided me with an opportunity to observe a youth development program in Italy and expand upon my previous trips to Sevilla FC in Spain and our partner club Wolverhampton Wanderers in England.

Observations from Sevilla FC in Spain (Learn More)

Observations from Wolverhampton Wanderers (Learn More)

What I have learnt from these experiences is that European professional club academies do a much better job at supporting the development of the individual player, rather than developing great teams. My experiences in North America are that we spend too much time selecting young players for immediate team success (bigger, faster, stronger) rather than identify the young players who learn quickest and have the growth mindset (learn more) to evolve and progress to be the most talented players in the future. In North America, we still have a culture where young players move from team to team on a frequent basis as they try to ensure they are on the “next big team” coming through. It simply does not work – North America has yet to develop a truly world class outfield player! (Learn more)

In contrast, the training activities that I observed in Italy where predominately based on individual technique – tactics is only introduced at the U15 levels!

chievo verona vid 1


Young players travelling from North America to Europe typically perform at a high level when training with or playing against young players from Europe up until the U12 age-group. Technically, we have some outstanding players. After that a gap occurs due to the increased contact time, the lower ability of coaching in North America and the fixation with short-term success versus long term development.


“At the youth levels we focus on improving the individual player. If we coach the team, then all we do is hide deficiencies” (Chievo Verona Coach)

Our young players can improve in their training mentality and decision-making abilities. Every minute counts on Europe and players maximize their time. They are prepared for training with proper diet, sleep and hydration. They are prepared to commit to “deep learning” (learn more) where they face challenging training activities and are prepared to embrace the targets set, make adjustments and achieve them.  In North America, we are still fixated with immediate outcomes, rather than embracing youth player development as a long-term process.

Chievo Verona have a very unique technical program that is very challenging. A large majority of their ball mastery work is completed in the air. I estimated that their young players “failed” over 60 % of the time in their training activities. However, they worked tirelessly to figure things out, make adjustments and overcome the challenge. Chievo’s methodology is based on the fact that if young players can master the ball in the air – then they can easily master the ball on the ground. Their teams frequently play 4v4 games “in the air” where the ball cannot hit the ground.

Chievo Verona training 1

Decision-making by young players in Europe is much more advanced than our young players in North America. This can perhaps be attributed to soccer not being the main sport in North America. Young players in North America are surrounded by parents and coaches who have never played the game. They have limited options to watch top players live and there is a “naivety” around what it takes to play soccer at a professional level. Young academy players in England have a 1 % chance of graduating to play at the professional level (learn more). What are the chances for the young North American player? Soccer is a very, very competitive sport at the highest levels and I see a tremendous gap between young player’s goals and aspirations……and the amount of sacrifice that they are prepared to make to truly play at the highest levels.

My own philosophy is that the game is a sport to be enjoyed. Develop your passion for it, be the best you can be and take advantage of the best learning experiences available. If you do have aspirations for playing at the highest levels…then be fully prepared to dedicate your life to the sport day in day out and understand that there are no guarantees. There are no guarantees for the young players that I observed I Italy and they are part of a professional club’s development system. What are our young players prepared to do that will push them ahead of these players and what can we do as coaches to help them?

Decision-making I believe can be improved in North America by establishing more positive learning environments. Young players should not be receiving as much information from coaches and parents on the sidelines. They should be allowed to assess situations, make decisions, review their own outcomes….and learn! We must help them with that. They should be encouraged to try things and make mistakes, if we wish to develop truly creative players. (Learn More) 


What are some of the changes that we can make in North America to accelerate our youth development success in North America?

  • Challenge our players more technically on a daily basis – introduce “deep learning” to training activities
  • Help young players increase ownership of their own development
  • Educate parents and players that young development is a long-term process, patience and persistence is required

Look for upcoming articles in this series. If are interested in reading more about my views on youth development (Read More)

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To purchase a Hard copy of Play the 1v1 Way or the ebook version, please visit our website (Learn More)



Wolves Player ID Camp – June 3-5th in Burlington

1v1 Soccer FC is delighted to announce that Marc Campbell, Wolves Academy Assistant Manager will be visiting Burlington on June 3-5th to train and evaluate young players (Boys & Girls) aged U8-U18.

The best players will be selected for a National camp and potential selection to travel to England to train at Wolves. Players can register directly for the camp here 2016 will be a big year for Wolverhampton Wanderers Football Club as it seeks to continue to grow on the international stage, in conjunction with its partner, Global Image Sports (GIS). Since coming together a few years ago with the aim of growing Wolves in North America and South East Asia – the club has seen large numbers of players attend regional identification camps and then later National Selection camps in both Atlanta, Georgia and Singapore. Wolves will only send out the top academy coaches from Compton Park to work with these players in a bid to possibly one day identify a potential new recruit into the club but also to provide the opportunity and experience for partner club development. Fundamentally – the partnership enables the Wolves coaching staff to work directly with these clubs in America, Canada and South East Asia, develop and instil the ‘Wolves Way’ into the clubs and ensure a better standard of coaching provision, player development and international growth of the brand that is synonymous with the club.

Learn More About Wolves


Wolves FC: Global Image Sports Link Growing

marc campbell-gis

2016 will be a big year for Wolverhampton Wanderers Football Club as it seeks to continue to grow on the international stage, in conjunction with its partner, Global Image Sports (GIS). Since coming together a few years ago with the aim of growing Wolves in North America and South East Asia – the club has seen large numbers of players attend regional identification camps and then later National Selection camps in both Atlanta, Georgia and Singapore.

Wolves will only send out the top academy coaches from Compton Park to work with these players in a bid to possibly one day identify a potential new recruit into the club but also to provide the opportunity and experience for partner club development. Fundamentally – the partnership enables the Wolves coaching staff to work directly with these clubs in America, Canada and South East Asia, develop and instil the ‘Wolves Way’ into the clubs and ensure a better standard of coaching provision, player development and international growth of the brand that is synonymous with the club.

The international academy players benefit from greater levels of coaching from a category one academy at the EPPP level and some are chosen year on year from the National Selection camp (last year there were circa 150 players in total at this event) to return to Compton Park in the spring. Here – they are treated as academy players and get to experience a week in the life of a young player at a Category One academy. Training sessions, nutrition, match preparation and evaluations are all carried out whilst the players and their families get to attend live matches, days out in Birmingham and London as well as a guided tour of Molineux! This year alone – there will be approximately 80 players who will work under the guidance of Gareth Prosser, Marc Campbell and Steve Cullis to help them get familiarised with what it takes to train alongside their peers in the UK. They have all been hand-picked following a 4 day residential camp carried out last summer and are chosen directly by the academy coaches who want to give them the opportunity to train within a professional UK academy setup.

Global Image Sports are responsible for representing Wolves in the USA, Canada and South East Asia and through their expertise in the regions – have helped grow the club into a leading entity – with more partner clubs year on year signing up to link with Wolves. Through collaboration with the Compton Park team, GIS are also able to provide resources and assistance to the partner clubs so that they can access coaching content, player development tools and also ensure that the ‘Wolves Way’ is ingrained into these clubs in order to ensure adequate delivery of good quality coaching. GIS will also help young players in these regions by preparing them for the demands of the schedule in addition to giving advice in social media education, player welfare and access to high quality camps where they can be seen by the Wolves staff. They will also provide the coaching staff and club with full access to a huge number of regional identification camps, look after logistics and marketing of the club at these events – as well as maximising exposure through the media in these parts of the world.

GIS have also begun to work more actively in the UK and help Wolves by providing support via the EPPP to any player who may be released at 16. Here, they will offer a free service to help find the player a place in a North American College or University, providing a world class education whilst also giving the player the chance to continue a playing career in a fantastic environment with plenty of scope for professional development. This link is also extending to Thomas Telford School near Wolverhampton where a large number of former Academy players attend. Both the Wolves Academy and the school can also use GIS to send teams abroad to play in GIS organised tournaments against other European/American/Canadian academies in order to garner valuable international experience for the young players.

Recently – Wolves welcomed the GIS Singapore Elite group across – all chosen from a coaching residential camp back in August of 2015. After a fantastic week of high quality training sessions and guidance under Marc Campbell, Assistant Academy Director, both the club and GIS managed to interview Marc about the way the week had gone – including asking him about the upcoming groups of players selected from the USA and Canada that are due to train at Compton Park between 27th March and April 10th.

Both Wolves and GIS are tremendously excited about the future of this partnership and maybe one day…a GIS player will be able to join the ranks of those at Molineux!

The Importance of Self–Motivation in Becoming a Top Player

wolvesin dome

A recent interview with Arsène Wenger, manager of the topflight English club Arsenal, outlined the importance of young players learning to be “consistently motivated” in order to play at the highest levels of the game.

In his typically thoughtful style, Wenger defined a motivated person as “someone who has the capacity to recruit the resources to complete a goal.” He then gave an example of how he got lost jogging in Japan. He explained how he was motivated to come back to the hotel but could not find his way back. He could have hailed a taxi but as a sportsman he was determined to find a solution himself and find his own way back.

In summary, Wenger believes that when you look at people who are successful they are the ones who are consistently motivated and always willing to made sacrifices to achieve their goals. This mirrors what I see at our academy at 1v1 Soccer. We have had players join our program at various ages and abilities. The ones I focus I most on and believe will go on to play at higher levels are the ones who are determined to truly make themselves players. During training, they simply get on with it. They train like it will be their last session and are constantly on the edge during our technical warm-ups, trying new things and not being content with their current level of skill.

When we play small-sided games and constantly change conditions, they are the players quickly working out how to succeed within the changing environment. They are the players who are capable of playing at a high level themselves but also inspiring and helping other players around them. In football (soccer) your teammates are the best judge of your performance. Despite what parents and even coaches see on the sidelines, teammates are the ones who truly know if you’re making yourself available for passes, making runs off the ball into open space, changing the point of attack based on what the opposition is doing, making tracking runs back to assist the defence and able to produce something a little different when the pressure is on.

Players and their parents do not often realize how much coaches learn about players when you observe them off the field. Are they mixing well socially, do they carry their own boots and training bag, do they tie their own laces? These behaviors can all be indicators of how self-motivated players are and can give a very good idea of whether or not take responsibility for preparation themselves. Do players ask questions during training to the coaching staff as they try
to understand instructions? Can they work things out for themselves, solve problems, and are they determined to overcome obstacles?

Think of the last time you truly had to work out something by yourself. Maybe you had a flat tire, your lawnmower was not working or you just could not get in touch with your boss to make an important decision. We’ve likely all been in those situations where we have had to work things out for ourselves and have had no other options. Chances are you probably exceeded your own expectations of yourself and successfully resolved the issue. You probably also felt a surge of pride and confidence in accomplishing that.

That is exactly the type of feeling that we should be trying to instill in our young players. Parents and coaches can both contribute to this. Parents can give young players the responsibility of checking on their training times and game schedules, emailing the coach if they cannot make a practice or game. The players can be responsible for packing their own equipment and water, carrying their own training bag and tying their own laces. Coaches can help by giving players the responsibility for warm-up, taking care of equipment and even providing them the responsibility to think up and organize the small-sided game at the end of practice.

As a player gets older, this approach becomes more and more important. One of our 1v1 players recently attended a camp at a US university, where she learned from the coaching staff that if a parent sends an email to a coach inquiring about the team’s program and showing interest in their daughter being recruited, that player’s name goes to the “bottom of the list” — since those coaches are only interested in dealing with players who take the initiative on their own, and not with potentially intrusive parents.

We have many good technical young players in North America. If they can marry good technique with consistent motivation as outlined by Wenger, then we can expect great things from our young players. If we shelter them from decision-making and responsibility on and off the field, my fear is that we will develop skillful young players who will struggle later on with the skill-sets they will need to overcome the inevitable set-backs that elite sport will throw their way.

Let’s teach young players to be determined, demanding of themselves to improve and to be consistent with it. If young players can do that, they might just be having a chat with Mr. Wenger one day.


This article is an excerpt from “Play the 1 v 1 Way: Soccer Tips From and Emerging Talent Centre.” This book is aimed at parents, coaches and players, and details both McClurg’s philosophy on development, as well as practical tips for building young male and female players looking to take their game to the next level.

If you enjoyed the article you can purchase the complete eBook version click here 


1v1 Soccer FC Launches New U16-U20 Program

Ian McClurg Interview

I am delighted to announce the launch of our NEW U16-U20 team program for the 2015-2016 season. It has long been a goal of mine to provide an intensive training and competitive games program for this age-group to prepare these players for higher levels of play. I will be Head Coach for this new team.
Trials will be held on Monday September 28th, Tuesday September 29th and Thursday October 1st at City View Park in Burlington (5:30-7:00pm)  Register Here

Our NEW program is committed to providing players with the technical, tactical, physical and mental training necessary to take their game to the next level. In order to successfully compete with players from other soccer countries for professional playing opportunities in Europe and North America and scholarship opportunities in the US, young Canadian players must participate in an intensive training environment that can provide the following:

  • Technical Development to improve comfort and proficiency on the ball
  • Tactical knowledge and understanding
  • Soccer specific physical training
  • Mental preparation to improve discipline and commitment


This training program will train players to compete. The greatest challenge for Boys aged 16 and above is to make a successful transition from the youth game to men’s soccer. The adult game is faster, more physical and there are more tactical challenges. Some players are ready to manage the transition early, while others may require more preparation and time to successfully complete this transition. For players looking to pursue professional playing opportunities and/or US Scholarships at top programs it is important that they begin to participate in an intensive training program that facilitates this transition as soon as possible.

1v1 Soccer FC will be structuring our program to optimise fitness preparation, individual and position-specific skills as well as performance. More advanced tactical elements of the game will be introduced. During this phase, high intensity individual, and position-specific training will be provided to players. Soccer specific skills will be performed under a variety of competitive conditions during training.

Development pathways 2015


Player Development Scorecard for North American Players

How can young North American players successfully compete internationally?

During the last few weeks I have been travelling across Canada conducting player identification camps for Wolves FC. This is my 3rd year of coaching and observing and in that time I have coached and observed over 600 players across the United States and Canada. In addition, I have coached at the Wolves National Camp in Rome, Georgia and travelled to Wolves on five occasions to observe academy training, watch academy games and work with the Wolves academy staff to continue my own education as a coach.

Coaching in GeorgiaI launched 1v1 Soccer FC back in 2000 with an aim to provide young players in Canada with training experiences comparable to leading soccer nations. During that time we have produced young players that have been invited for trial at Sevilla FC (Spain), spent extended stays at the Wolves FC academy in England, and gone on to play for Toronto FC academy, Canadian national teams and the Ontario provincial programs. Several players have also successfully pursued scholarship opportunities at US colleges.

My coaching work has always been focused on how young players in Canada can reach international standards and successfully compete at that level. I quickly identified that technique was one area that the typical North American players have struggled in comparison with their international counterparts. It is for that reason that our programs have always had a strong technical focus.

Coaching contact time in Europe far exceeds North America

Our strong technical focus has allowed our players to succeed in the modern game and train at a good level when mixed in with young academy players in Europe up until the U12 level.

GRAPH TRAINING HRSHowever, the increased coaching contact time in Europe places young North American players at a significant disadvantage. Young players at professional academies in Europe (at U12 levels and above) are now receiving 15-20 hours of quality training by UEFA “A” and “B” licenced coaches.



coaching ratio





As a result I am now seeking significant gaps develop between young European and North American players. I have begun to document these based upon my coaching observations and in a series of articles in the coming weeks I will begin to document what young North American players can do to close these gaps.constraints


 The Modern Game

The game of soccer continues to evolve. In order to provide successful direction on technical planning it is important to identify and recognize trends within the game. This defines the attributes that players must have in the future to be successful.

The game is much quicker and the technical, physical, tactical and mental demands now being placed upon players is much higher than they were in the past. For example, at the top levels of the game, players now cover 50% more distances during games than they did in the mid-1960.

Technically, the players of the future will be required to be able to pass with both feet accurately over a variety of distances. First touch control will be a key requirement for players to thrive in tighter and more congested playing areas. In order to retain possession and then beak down more organized defences, players will have to execute technical skills with greater speed and precision. Those players who are capable of eliminating an opponent through individual play or through combining with teammates will be the most successful in the modern game.

The Attributes Required to be a successful player in the modern game


  • Ball Mastery Capable of close control with quick feet to make quick changes in direction. They must learn creative 1v1moves to eliminate defenders from the game
  • Passing and Receiving – capable of playing quick one and two touch passing on the ground with both feet. Can receive on the turn with the aim of playing forward when possible
  • Turning – Capable of shielding and executing sharp turns and accelerating away from defenders into open space
  • Shooting – Capable of shooting accurately and consistently from different angles and distances


  • Ball Possession & Movement – Ability to retain possession playing one or two touch passing. The ball should be moved quickly and players should immediately make movements to support or receive after playing a pass
  • Transition – Players must be capable of transitioning quickly between attacking and defending situations
  • Build up play from back – in order to establish an attacking rhythm in games, players must be capable of successfully playing the ball out from the back and into the midfield areas


  • Speed & Agility – Players must have good agility, balance and co-ordination control and look to maximize their acceleration and deceleration speeds in small-space situations
  • Endurance – Players must be capable of maintaining high levels of performances over the distance requirements of their age-group. This can be developed more at the older age-groups.
  • Strength & Power – These attributes become more important once young players reach puberty. They help prevent injuries and allow players t be more competitive during game situations.


  • Respect for the game – players should respect at all times their coaches, teammates, referees and opponents.
  • Cooperation – players should fully participate, as part of the team, to help make the soccer experiences of the entire group a positive one
  • Commitment to Learning – players  should demonstrate at all times a “deep thirst for learning” in order to maximize their potential

my observations





 The Way Forward for the Young North American Player

The key to modern youth player development is to engage the player and facilitate their learning within a positive environment that will ignite a life-long passion for the sport.

The fundamental requirement for successful player development is a LONG-TERM curriculum that places young players at the centre of the learning process.  True player development occurs when each player’s daily training and playing environment is of the highest quality. If this environment is consistent, with a clear vision of what lies ahead for the players, development is maximized

As we are living within a country where soccer is still considered a “new sport” for many the role of the youth coach takes on greater importance.

In a series of articles in the coming weeks, 1v1 Soccer FC will provide training content from our proven training methodology ( that can help assist young North American players to close the player development gap between themselves and their counter-parts in leading soccer nations.

How to provide your Children with the best Opportunities for Soccer Advancement

During the last few weeks I have been involved in comprehensive discussions with Global Image Sports and Wolves on how young players in Canada, like ours can successfully compete with the development programs in leading soccer nations.

The challenges we face is that our men’s team is ranked 109th in the world and our women’s team is ranked 8th. Belgium with a population of 11 million is ranked 2nd on the men’s side while other small nations in the top 30 include Costa Rica, Wales and Scotland. My own country Northern Ireland, with a population of only 1.8 million is ranked 44 in the world. As it is my home country I will mention that it is the smallest country to ever progress beyond the group stages of the World Cup! We have accomplished this on every time we have qualified – 1958, 1982 and 1986!

Development pathways 2015On the women’s side we are ranked 8th in the world. However, after watching this world cup it is clear that other less known nations in the women’s game, like Holland and China, are much better technically than our players. As other nations invest in quality coaching development in the next few years, we will fall further behind.

The reason that we are falling further behind in Canada on the national stage is due to a lack of qualified coaches and development structure. This is why our young players will struggle to compete against players from other countries for opportunities in the professional game and at US colleges.

If you are a player at Wolves academy at the moment you will receive 8 hours/week contact time with your coaches up until age 10. After age 10 you will receive 12-16 hours/week.

I started 1v1 Soccer so that young players in Canada could receive the same learning experiences as other young players in leading soccer nations. That is why we have worked with Wolves and Global Image sports and will be strongly building upon this partnership in years to come.

Player ID camps like the Wolves Player ID camp that we are hosting on July 3-5th is designed to provide all our players with access to 6 hours of coaching by European coaches to improve them as a player.

Yes, some players may get selected yes….but EVERY player will leave there a better player who can compete more successfully against teammates to earn more playing time, be better equipped to succeed in SAAC games and be better prepared to take full advantage of any soccer opportunities that may come their way in the years to come.

Again, I would strongly encourage ALL players in our academy to take full advantage of this opportunity.

Learn more about this opportunity  or call us at 289-239-9602 or email