The ANB Academy will be traveling to Europe over March Break, 2014. Three teams (2 boys & 1 girls) will be playing games against professional youth academies in Italy, England and France. The boys (’99 and ’98 / ’97 teams) will first travel to Rome and stay at the renowned Italian Olympic Centre where they will play 2 games within one week. They will then fly to England for another week and participate in games, including traveling to Manchester to face youth teams from Manchester United. The girl’s team (’99 / ’98) will be based in London where they will train as well as play games against top female youth teams, including Arsenal and Chelsea. There will also be the opportunity to travel to Paris to face Paris St. Germain.
A lot of planning has taken place to ensure the trip’s success and the Academy expects positive results, both on and off the field. The experience will be memorable for these young players. The purpose of the trip is to expose ANB players to a professional environment and continue to establish European professional relationships between teams and coaches.
Additionally, two young Academy goalkeepers will stay behind in Europe for a one week trial in France:
Ali Ghazanfari (1997) and Noah Ryan (1999) will be showcasing their goalkeeping skills in the youth academy of the Ligue 2 professional club, ESTAC Troyes (south-east of Paris, France).
Ali is a player in ANB Academy Futbol Sr. Boys program and has been a member of the Academy for the past 5 years, developing his skills to take advantage of this rare opportunity. Noah joined ANB Academy Futbol in 2013 and is an integral part of the U-15 / U-17 programs.
Emeka (Emy) Onoye has been named a “Top 100” prospect for the 2015 MLS Draft. Emy is a junior player at Wright State University (Div. 1 – Horizon League) and has developed into a solid defender who is being recognized for his skills and leadership on and off the field.
Many ANB Alumni who are on scholarship in the United States have finished their fall college playing season and are preparing for their spring training sessions with their schools. ANB Academy anticipates these players will return in the summer to join the Sr. team in league play.
ANB Academy Director, Bassam Naim, has been working hard to secure trials for promising players and preparing for the European trip saying, “It is a great experience for these young athletes to go overseas and witness first-hand what it takes to be a professional futbol player. They will see the top training academies in the world and will develop an awareness of the beautiful game at its highest level. I am especially excited for the young goalkeepers and the fact this is the first time we are bringing girls on an European trip. It also great to see an ANB player being recognized for his talents at the University level.”
ANB academy’s vision is to become Canada’s leading soccer development organization. Its mission is to identify Canadian soccer talent, and to maximize the potential of players at any level, through professional coaching and training.