Young Troy soccer players learn from British footballers

Published 10:37 pm Wednesday, July 9, 2014

While the eyes of the soccer world are planted firmly on the nation of Brazil as the 2014 World Cup draws to a close, over two dozen Troy area players braved the heat of the day to hone their skills.

All this week, Troy will play host to the British Challenger Soccer Camp at the Troy Sportsplex. The camp allows local youth to learn from some of the best up-and-coming soccer players from Great Britain.

English experts Ali Jardine, Tom Fry, along with two other instructors, lead young players through drills to improve their game.

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Jardine says the camp is designed to “build the basic skills of soccer.”

“We working on dribbling to make sure they are keeping the ball close to them and using the right parts of their cleats,” Jardine said. “We also work on passing and shooting skills, defending and heading and volleying. The kids like to do freestyling as well. Freestyling shows you have complete control of the ball.”

Temps climbed in to the 90s during the morning session of camp on Wednesday, and while the campers were raring to go, Jardine and Fry backed it down a little.

“It never gets the host back home,” Jardine said. “It has been about 72 or so the last few days over there and that is about as hot as it gets. We have been taking plenty of water breaks, and I know I have been drinking a lot of water even before the day starts.”

Despite the heat, Fry liked the weather conditions.

“It is so different from home,” Fry said. “It is hotter, but to be able to get out and play soccer almost every single day is great. It is perfect soccer weather over here.”

The United State Men’s National Team is fresh off an impressive performance at the World Cup in Brazil.

The Americans transferred out of the group stage by downing Ghana and drawing with Portugal, before being eliminated in extra time by Belgium.

Jardine said everywhere he has been, fans want to know how he feels the United States stacks up.

In his opinion, the sky is the limit for the USA.

“The Americans played great this year,” Jardine said. “The entire country should be proud of them, and with all the great kids that are learning the game now, the United States will more than likely get better in the future.”