More than 110 soccer players were sharpening their skills last week during the European Football School camp.
The Vancouver-based EFS has loyally brought its talented coaching staff to Williams Lake, including head coach Saibo Talic and his son, Amar Talic, for the past 14 years teaching skills and tactical knowledge of the game to youth soccer players.
“This is the biggest numbers we’ve had in Williams Lake,” Amar said. “It’s a great turnout from all ages — six all the way to 18, and it’s great to see lots of goalkeepers this year.”
The camp ran Monday through Friday at the Esler Sports Complex, with each of the two groups receiving 10 hours of coaching throughout the week.
Amar said the focus of the camp is to allow players to continue to improve throughout the summer as they prepare for next year’s season — whether it be rep or house soccer.
“We work on individual skills, very fundamental skills like receiving the ball and diving headers, but tactical knowledge, as well,” Amar said. “We work one versus one, four versus four all the way to 11 versus 11. We try to cover a big range.
“It’s our duty to provide these kids with as much information as possible so they can, on their own, work on some stuff and take it to their teams.”
The EFS travels throughout B.C. during the spring and summer taking its coaches to Whistler, Williams Lake, East Vancouver, Salmon Arm, Kamloops, North Vancouver and Squamish.
Williams Lake Youth Soccer Association rep co-ordinator Brian Hansen said he’s thankful EFS has been so dedicated to Williams Lake over the years.
“It’s really good coaching,” Hansen said. “And they’re really committed to our town. It’s not fly in and fly out.”