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UK soccer players host Troy soccer camp

United Kingdom soccer players Ashley Whiteley and Stuwart Davies came to Troy this week and taught their special brand of soccer skills to Pike County youth.

The week-long soccer camp was held at the Troy Recreation Center for age groups 4 to 6 and 7 to 14.

Whiteley and Davies coached at the camp and taught the children soccer principles and tricks to improve their game.

Davies is from Exeter, England and says that they teach a “wide range of skills.”

“We work with every aspect of the game,” he said. Davies said that both he and Whiteley are qualified coaches and their camp brings Pike County youth a “totally different style of soccer.”

The program was hosted by Challenger Sports, an independently owned British soccer company that goes all over the U.S. coaching soccer.

“It’s a great company and we move all around the United States,” said Whiteley. “We were in Georgia just last week.”

Whiteley is from Leeds, England and says this is the first time they’ve come to Troy, but plan to come back next year.

According to Whiteley, “the heat’s been really tough” this summer, but next year they plan on doing camp later in the day, perhaps at night, and using the lights on the field.

During the camps, children shuffled to the shade and drank water and sports drinks to stay hydrated.

They then hurried back onto the field to continue their very own “Miniature World Cup.”

The “Mini World Cup” split the campers into teams, and each team represented a different nation; among which were USA, Mexico and Spain.

As of Friday, the U.S. team was leading.

According to Davies, the campers would compete in scrimmage games and be awarded extra points for utilizing the tricks they learned at camp earlier that day.

Billy Shipman, from Troy, was on team Spain and said the camp has been “awesome.”

“I woke up early anticipating coming,” he said. “No two days were exactly the same.”

Tyler Wares, a 10 year old from Goshen, said that he learned about about doing turns and “360 Spins.” According to Davies, the camp this year was smaller because it was the first year, but he is anticipating a larger crowd next year as word gets out about the program.

Camper Kayla Dendy said she heard about the camp from a friend at school who had been given a brochure.

Dendy was also a participant in the bonus camp that took place after regular camp activities.

According to Whiteley, cost to participate in the camp was around $60, which included a week’s worth of instruction by the professional coaches, equipment and a free t-shirt.

The Troy Recreation Center provided the field and refreshments.