NORTH LOGAN – The i2i International Soccer Academy brought former Premier League soccer players from England overseas to Elk Ridge Park last weekend to host a soccer camp.
According to Kent Mayall, commercial officer for i2i, the organization came on an invitation from the Aggies FC soccer club, and often recruits players to come train in England. He said that gives players an opportunity for three things.
“The first one is an education,” he said. “That is really important to us. Every academy we operate at whatever age group has a pathway through to education. Education is massive to us. The second is to try to fulfill the dreams of these young boys who have a desire, who have a dream to go and be a professional soccer player. The third one is to give them that cultural experience of studying in and playing in somewhere like England.”
Three soccer players with Premier League experience joined Mayall to carry out the camp. Goalkeeper Michael Ingham coached his position while midfielders Bryan Hughes and Jonathan Greening coached the rest.
Mayall said that even if the kids in the camp haven’t heard of Ingham, Hughes or Greening, they have heard of the players the i2i coaches have faced.
“I might be more star struck than they are,” Mayall said. “When they start talking about the players they have played against and the 20 years of experience at top level, the amount of league goals they’ve scored and the amount of games they’ve played – to actually hit that peak performance over such a sustained period of time, you can see the lightbulb go on in their mind thinking by the end of the camp.”
James Gore, the Chief Operations Officer of i2i, said there has long been a good relationship with Aggies FC and i2i.
“We’ve been to Utah several times,” he said. “We’ve been to out Cache Valley and Logan quite a lot in recent years and we’ve been very well received. We’ve had teams from Logan come over on trips to England.”