Providing opportunities for players is something Seacoast United prides itself on. For over 23 years, many groups from the Club have crossed the Atlantic to sample “football” UK style, but never has a group of players been presented with the chance to play against the very best teams currently competing in the UK Academy league system.
Consisting of players 11-14 years old, the group from Seacoast United will make Brighton & Hove Albion their home for the next two weeks. Through their relationship with Nike and CMT Learning, accommodation is provided on the campus of Lancing College. Players will participate in training sessions daily at first-class facilities that include Manchester City’s training ground and Brighton & Hove Albion’s training ground.
Matches have been scheduled against youth sides from Manchester City FC, Chelsea FC, Portsmouth FC, Cardiff City, and Brighton & Hove Albion.
In addition to playing in games, their schedule will include three professional matches as well as allow for sightseeing in central London.
“I am in no doubt that the teams we play will be of high quality and will teach our players a thing or two about football, however if one or two of our players can impress, then we are on the right path with our development program,” said Iain Scott, Seacoast United Director of Soccer.
The group includes players from New Hampshire, Maine, and Massachusetts, all of whom play for teams under the Seacoast United umbrella. The 31 girls will compete at the U14 and U15 age groups this fall when their club seasons commence, while the 34 boys will be competing at the U12 and U13 age groups. The players will be accompanied by 6 full time Seacoast United coaches.
A major change in coaching philosophy within SUSC has resulted in placing the best coaches to work with the youngest players. This change has created what we believe is the best group of young players to come through the Club’s system.
“We are playing against the best academy systems in the UK and in reality know it will be the hardest challenge the players have faced on the field,” commented Scott, who is traveling with the group. “But without this experience, we will never know where our current crop of young players rank.”
The idea for this unique trip became a reality as a result of the blossoming relationship between the Seacoast United and Brighton & Hove Albion, both of whom are partners of Nike.
“One thing is certain," added Scott. "Every player attending the trip will have an experience that will change their outlook on life regarding the soccer landscape.”
About Seacoast United
Seacoast United was founded in 1992 and is based in Hampton, NH with facilities in Epping NH, Kingston NH, York ME, and Topsham ME. The Club is a member of the U.S. Soccer Development Academy and the Northeast Pre-Academy League, as well as US Club Soccer, the New England National Premier League, and the New England Premiership. The Club fields competitive adult teams in the Premier Development League, National Premier Soccer League, and Women's Premier Soccer League.