European Football School head coach Saibo Talic (second from right) provides instruction.

European Football School head coach Saibo Talic (second from right) provides instruction.

European Football School celebrates 11 years in lakecity

There’s an undeniable passion Saibo Talic brings to the pitch in his coaching style.

There’s an undeniable passion Saibo Talic brings to the pitch in his coaching style.

In the 11 years he’s been hosting his Vancouver-based European Football School soccer camp in the lakecity many players have experienced it and many more have benefited from his instruction.

Close to 100 players split into sessions by age spent Monday to Friday last week at the Esler Sports Complex working on skills and tactical knowledge of the game from Saibo and his coaching staff. There was also a select camp and a coaching clinic held during the early evenings.

Saibo, joined by his son, Amar Talic, EFS technical skills coach Steve September, goaltending coach Ryan Ritson, Patrick Logan, Thompson Rivers University WolfPack men’s soccer team head coach John Antulov and local soccer players Vanessa Hansen and Jake Walsh guided players through the paces during the week.

“I’m really impressed with the skills of these players,” Saibo said. “It’s been a pleasure to work here in Williams Lake again. There’s lots of quality players in the older group (under 13 to under 18) and the second group (under 13) is also very good.”

Saibo — who holds his Canadian license ‘A’ and UEFA licence ‘B’ in coaching — suggested to several of the older players during the five-day camp they could be groomed to play soccer in Europe as he regularly brings teams from the EFS to compete at tournaments. Last April two Williams Lake players — Justin Hansen and Scott Cramer — both travelled to Europe with Talic for a series of friendlies.

“I think I’m going to send one or two boys from this association for a tryout in Europe and three or four good girls who should look for scholarships,” he said.

September, who has been a coach with the EFS since 2001, said he looks forward to coming to Williams Lake for the camp annually.

“It’s a fun camp,” he said. “We’re surprised by more athletes coming every year and more people enjoying it. We’ve seen a different level of players coming through so something good is happening at the club level and that’s important to us because it makes our jobs a little easier, too.”

Saibo and the EFS host camps in Whistler, Williams Lake, East Vancouver, Salmon Arm, North Vancouver, Kamloops and Squamish throughout the summer.

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