A professional Italian football team has kicked up a partnership with a Winnipeg youth soccer club.
FC Northwest (FCNW), which operates out of Garden City Community Centre, announced it’s teaming up with Italy’s Serie A club A.C. Chievo Verona and sports management company Global Image Sports (GIS) on Fri., May 30.
FCNW president Martino Vergata said the club received an email from GIS in October, 2013, inquiring about a possible partnership.
"They sent us some information, wondering if we were interested in partnering up with a professional club," Vergata said. "They manage about nine professional clubs (in Europe) and basically what they do is market these professional clubs into the North American market, and they also look at some youth soccer clubs to see about partnering up with them."
"Chievo Verona was a club they said were looking to come into North America. Also, GIS has a whole bunch of other opportunities that our club was really looking for, connections to the U.S. universities, travel opportunities, ID camps for players, and we’re always looking to partner with a professional club anyway, so this is a lead in to a great opportunity for us."
FCNW players will have the opportunity to work with Chievo Verona academy coaches and players at identification camps on July 4, 5 and 6 in Winnipeg (will add in exact location). There will also be a rural ID camp in Brandon on July 14, 15 and 16, as well as a coaching seminar on July 17.
FCNW staff coach Laurie McIvor said the partnership with Chievo Verona and GIS is good for players and coaches alike.
"The potential for the development of our players, and maybe even more importantly, our coaches. Just the exchange of philosophies in coaching and different styles of play in coaching is always beneficial. That’s what I’m really looking forward to," McIvor said.
Vergata said there are plans for FCNW coaches to visit Chievo Verona in Italy and learn from the pro club’s coaches. FCNW club head coach Larry Ladobruk said he’s excited about that possibility, as well as the potential for the GIS partnership to open up U.S. scholarship opportunities for FCNW players.
"It should open up lots of college opportunities for the kids, and I think that’s the main thing. We know most of the kids aren’t going to become professionals, but if they can get an education, that’s a big plus," Ladobruk said.
Not only does FCNW’s partnership with GIS provided the chance to work with Chievo Verona and U.S. universities, there’s also the opportunity to work with GIS’s other partner pro clubs.
"It’s the contacts everywhere, West Ham United, Glasgow Rangers, teams like that. And they’re all looking for young talent," McIvor said.