Georgia Soccer has partnered with a famous European club called Sporting Clube de Portugal (Sporting CP) to enhance our player development process. This is an exciting partnership with a club renowned worldwide for their quality academy and player development programs. This is the club that produced Cristiano Ronaldo, Nani, and Figo, to name just a few well known players. Eight out of the fourteen players who played for the Portuguese National Team against Bosnia recently have been developed in the Sporting CP Academy.
As part of the partnership, Sporting CP has invited Georgia Soccer to send our best ODP players for a week’s stay in their famous academy complex in Lisbon, Portugal. The partnership was finalized in December 2011 and Sporting CP invited our players for a March 2012 stay. Georgia Soccer’s Director of Coaching, after consultation with the ODP staff, has selected 17 players for the inaugural trip. The number of players invited from each age group was determined by the depth of talent and previous performances of the age group at region camp. The age groups considered were boys from the 99’s to the 95’s.
For this first trip, the players will join the sporting CP youth teams and train with their respective age group under the tutelage of the same coaches that developed Cristiano Ronaldo and all the other famous graduates of this academy. This will be a unique opportunity to experience the life of a Sporting CP youth player, interact and train with these talented Portuguese players and learn from the best. The Sporting CP coaches will also arrange for exhibition games during the week, in which our ODP players will play with Sporting CP team against local teams.
The Sporting CP academy complex is used by the U-14 and older Sporting CP teams and the dormitories are permanently occupied by around 50 youth players. The complex is completely self-contained with all the necessary staff and infrastructure to house dozens of players and take care of all their needs. The complex is situated in a suburb of Lisbon in a safe and secluded area.
Here is a link to some footage of the Sporting Academy:
Congratulations to the following boys as they head to Lisbon at the end of March! (Players in BOLD designate Atlanta Fire United SA players)