SIGMA has completed year four of its well known "Ajax of Amsterdam I.D. Camps" and it was noted by many as one of the best years to date without a doubt. "I am pleasantly surprised that we have managed to top our efforts from previous years on many levels" said David Zonneveld, Technical Coordinator at SIGMA.
"We successfully introduced and executed a new structure for the camp format, we also managed to make a great addition to an incredible line up of Ajax coaches and, most importantly, we increased the already existing strong talent pool within the SIGMA membership" added Zonneveld.
For the 2008 camps, SIGMA's technical staff had decided earlier on in their preparations to take on a new approach by dividing the three weeks into specific targeted age divisions. "By taking this step, it permitted our SIGMA scouting staff, the Ajax coaches and, as well, the US university coaching staff the opportunity to provide an even better focus than in past years" stated Bobby Smyrniotis, Technical Director of SIGMA.
Week one, with just over 100 players participating, was focused on ages U8 (2000) to U12 (1996), week two, with approximately the same number in participation, was from ages U13 (1995) to U18 (1990). The third and final week was for all existing SIGMA ETC Program members only (U10 to U18) along with specific players that had been identified from week one and two as future SIGMA prospects.
Along with the new format was the addition of an even broader line up in coaching staff present. It is not easy to improve the coaching roster when you have five Ajax of Amsterdam youth coaches with the first three being their Technical Director, Patrick Ladru, their Technical Training Specialist, Simone Tahamata and as well their Co-ordination trainer and specialist, Renaldo Landberg.
To add to this world class line up of Dutch coaches, Henk Mariman, Technical Director of Club Brugge in Belgium, Fred Thompson, Head coach of Bowling Green State University and Rhett Goldsmith, coach of Long Island University joined in to train the older players during the second week of camp. Between all of these coaches, not only did the participants receive a great week of training but it was an unbelievable opportunity to showcase themselves directly to two University coaches and, as well, a new European club along with our friends at Ajax.
Henk Mariman was very complimentary towards SIGMA for providing the players and himself with such a wonderful experience. "You have created an excellent training environment and have set very high standards of professionalism across the board with respect to your development program" noted Henk as he spoke to several SIGMA coaches and players afterwards.
With the success of SIGMA's 2008 I.D. camps, the talent level will definitely continue to grow for all of its age divisions. "We are very pleased with the new prospects that were identified this July and look forward to inviting them to train with us during the winter months" said Bobby Smyrniotis, Technical Director of SIGMA.
As summer ends and we move into fall and winter, the new prospects that were identified during these camps, along with our existing membership, will look to get started with the ETC Program beginning in October.
Those players that missed the summer I.D. camps and are interested in SIGMA's ETC Program, should contact our office or email us an expression of interest for a potential trial session.