Ever since the Sigma FC International ID camps were first held nine years ago, the coaches and organizers have attempted to provide a first-class training environment that primarily catered talented male soccer players.
However this year, Sigma FC is making some changes to the camp model. The academy will be adding a girls camp to the program as well as a third week that will allow inexperienced players a chance to train with Sigma's Elite coaches to learn skills that might allow them to move into more competitive levels of play.
"We'll have the traditional international ID camps with all the International coaches and U.S. university coaching guests. But at the same time, as things expand and Sigma expands, there is need to get into the grassroots. We've seen more need to add more training at the grassroots level. So we are going to offer training for 6-13 year olds."
Smyrniotis says the "Future Stars" camp will be open to any and all interested in training the Sigma way. The camp will be meant to be fun and challenging.
Over the years, as Sigma has developed a strong reputation for developing players on the boys side, and as a result the academy has often been approached about coaching girls.
"There has been a lot of interest in girls training with Sigma, with the success we have had at the boys end, the question has been asked, ‘how can we get that type of training for the girls?' " said Smyrniotis.
"We've been hesitant to start anything new unless we feel we can do it properly, so we thought we would start with one week of camp, to provide girls the same type of training we do in all our programs and let's start from there."
Many of the familiar faces will be coaching at the camp as former camp directors Henk Mariman of Belgium and Real Mallorca's Arno Buitenweg are slated to return. Joining them will be the following coaches: Florian Wolf (Hamburg SV, Germany), Peter Reynders (KRC Genk, Belgium) and Xavier Peco Diaz (RCD Espanyol, Spain)
On the U.S. scouting front, the following coaches will be on hand: Tim O'Donohue (UConn), Mike Jacobs (Evansville), Craig Stewart (Providence), Brian Clairhut (Temple) and Mike Miller (Syracuse)
As usual, the camp will be held on the turf fields at the Hershey Centre in Mississauga. The breakdowns for the weeks is as follows:
To register online, please go to: www.sigma-sports.net/idCamp