Over the period of June 29 - July 13, 2007 the management of Sigma Sports provided several European club scouts the opportunity to gain a greater insight to Canadian soccer. With the U-20 FIFA World Cup in Canada scouts from all parts of the world were provided a reason to visit Canada in order to seek the next hidden talent. Sigma Sports in cooperation with MT&V Sports International (Netherlands) had the opportunity to host a handful of scouts from clubs such as Arsenal, Olympique Marseille, Olympiacos, AFC Ajax, AZ Alkmaar and Darlington to name a few.
Within this time period the scouts were not only provided the opportunity to view the matches of the FIFA U-20 tournament in various Canadian cities but had the opportunity over a two day period in the Greater Toronto area to watch and evaluate the talent within the Sigma ETC Program. ETC Program players born in 1990 and 1991 showcased their skills in front of these various scouts with the hope of garnering their interest for future trials in Europe. This event was a great success with the scouts remaining very pleased with the level of play in whole and especially from a handful of players.
According to Barry Simmonds (current Technical Director at Darlington FC and formerly of West Ham United) "The quality of the boys training with Sigma was very high. There are a few gems on the training pitch that will certainly have a future in this sport. The management and coaching staff at Sigma has done a great job in scouting the talent and providing a professional environment of training for these boys. It is also impressive to know that their talent pool includes players at younger ages as well, assuring us that Sigma will be a continued source for talent into the future here in Canada. It is great to be in Canada to watch the U20 tournament and also have this great opportunity to see the younger talents in action. We definitely look to build on this relationship with Sigma".
Alex Kroes, director of MT&V Sports International and co-host of the event alongside Sigma Sports commented as follows, "Our relationship with Sigma Sports is based on providing players the opportunity to play in Europe and provide our European based players the option of North American professional soccer. I have seen many of the boys within the Sigma program especially during their most recent trip to Holland and am happy to see that they are making progress. I have my made my appropriate notes on certain players and along with Constantine (Smyrniotis) we will now decide on a proper location for these boys to have a trial. In addition, I am hopeful to announce some very good news in the near future in regards to our group's ongoing presence in Canada alongside Sigma."
Along with the European scouts a good friend of Sigma Sports was also in attendance to scout players. Fred Thompson, Head Coach of Bowling Green State University took part in the event and was thoroughly pleased with the level of play and many of the talents in the group. The event also allowed Fred Thompson the opportunity to best view the talent prior to taking part as a special guest coach during the Sigma AJAX Academy Coaches Camp, His involvement in the camp provides a great opportunity for some of the older aged participants to work under a coach from a top American soccer program and school, and get a better understanding of the environment and expectations present at such an institution.
Sigma Sports Solutions would like to thank all of our European and US colleagues who took the opportunity to provide our players the ability to showcase their skills.
The initiative of Sigma is to provide players a training program geared to providing future opportunities in soccer and education. Our goal to have our players reach high levels of success will lead to many more of these type of events in the future.
To find out more about the Sigma ETC Program click here.