Bottom Photo: (Right) Brennan McCullen dribbles the ball away from defender Zach Rogers during drills at the UK Elite Camp.
While the camp for the American version of football takes place at the CYL football fields, the rest of the world would recognize the football camp taking place at Northview High School where the UK Elite Camp for soccer players is in full swing.
Head boys soccer coach Todd LaComba has more than doubled the campers from last years group that included just 14 players, all varsity competitors. This summer there are 38 players taking part in the camp and once more LaComba has the benefit of hosting a coach from outside the United States.
James Jeffries, a two-year coach from Bristol, England, is part of the UK Elite program that brings coaches over from England and gives them, along with many players, the chance to learn from each other with soccer as the common denominator.
"I think the kids really enjoy (having a UK coach)," commented LaComba. "Having an extra person gives the players a different perspective and it adds to the number of coaches per kids and offers a much more intensive week."
According to LaComba, the players begin the workout by taking part in a Brazilian style drill that includes 10 different stations that incorporate different aspects of the game along with stretching. Following the more individualized workout, the players practice more team oriented drills.
This year's camp includes a wider age range of players, featuring high school players down the junior high and elementary age groups as well.
"It's really good to have some youth here," noted LaComba. "To get a couple of middle school players in and get them out here. . .I'm really looking forward to bringing in more younger players to teach them the game."
Another benefit of the camp is that it gives the high school players a chance to come together in a team environment before tryouts begin in August.
"To get in and do some detailed sessions is great," commented LaComba. "We're already starting to see some camaraderie develop and that's important as a team. It really gives us a headstart on some other teams who might not have this type of camp."