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By Steve Breazeale
The 200 youth soccer players who took to the fields of Vista Hermosa Sports Park earlier this month were under the watchful eyes of members of the most prestigious clubs in world soccer. Once again, as part of the SC United summer training camps, coaches, former players and current liaisons from clubs like Manchester United, Manchester City and Newcastle United came to the camps to offer guidance and coach the youth of San Clemente.
San Clemente United director of coaching Chris Murray grew up in the United Kingdom and played professionally in Scotland, making ties with players and coaches along the way. Those relationships he built have lasted and laid the groundwork for the English entourage’s annual visit.
Coaches spent time with players, ages 8-17, honing their technique and overall soccer ability. They even had Daniel Nicol, a strength and conditioning coach for the Scottish Premier League team Patrick Thistle, work on running and jumping technique.
“Once a kid sees the level of the coaches and former players, it’s a great learning experience,” Murray said.
The coaches worked with the high school age players in an effort to help them become more polished as they move on to the next level of competition, according to Murray. Den Davis (Manchester City), Eric Macmanus (Newcastle United) and Matt Broadhead (Manchester United) are all involved in their club’s scouting initiative and keyed the players in on what scouts look for when assessing young talent.