2 Steamboat soccer players accepted to soccer academy in U.K.
Steamboat Springs is a hard place to get exceptionally good at soccer. With long winters, short summers and no indoor facility, it’s hard to get enough playing time in to compete with players from warmer climates or who can play year-round.
That hasn’t stopped 16-year-olds Charlie Welch and Cameron Daly from pursuing excellence in the beautiful game of soccer.
Not only does the pair compete for the Steamboat Springs High School soccer team, but for the last 2 1/2 years they’ve been receiving private training from Steamboat resident Mario Boschi. Their extra effort has paid off, as both were accepted to the Macclesfield FC International Academy where they’ll spend six weeks improving their skills from a high-caliber coaching crew while competing against professional and semi-professional clubs.
Welch found the camp online and both decided to apply.
“With skiing, it’s easier (to find new opportunities) coming from a ski town,” Welch said. “But soccer we don’t have as many opportunities, so it should be fun to see what we get out of it.”
Six weeks is a lot of soccer, but both boys love it. Daly loves the team aspect, but he’d be lying if he said the elation of scoring wasn’t his favorite.
“And I like winning,” he said.
He’s hoping the camp will be a strong addition to his resume and college applications. He wants to play at the Div. I level. He thinks the academy could open doors and build connections that could help him achieve that goal.
For Welch, he’s hoping it will help him feel less torn between soccer and skiing. He’s not only a varsity soccer player and one of the go-to goalkeepers, he’s also a competitive Alpine skier. Welch isn’t sure if he wants to focus on one sport — let alone which one he would choose. His experience in the U.K. might help him make a decision.
The pair could be offered a scholarship to the full-time Residency Programme.
Daly and Welch have worked with Boschi for more than two years, a relationship that began when Welch’s mother bumped into the former Canadian Premier League player. Welch met with him the next day and loved the experience of working with Boschi. Daly soon joined.
Boschi has connections and knowledge from playing and some coaching of the game, so he just wanted to pass down what he knows. The three work year-round, mostly when there’s no snow, running drills, perfecting technique and simply putting in hours on a field.
“They come in, they’re very respectful kids. It’s always about, ‘Thank you, thanks coach,’ and I learn from them. We have that relationship,” Boschi said. “They have vision. They’re great soccer players and great skiers too. It’s amazing. It’s nice to see that these kids have the opportunity to do other stuff too. Soccer right now seems to be it, maybe it’s skiing, but at least there’s some doors open for them.”
The boys leave early Saturday morning and hope to watch the Sailors girls take on Evergreen in a second-round playoff game while waiting to board their flight.
To reach Shelby Reardon, call 970-871-4253, email sreardon@SteamboatPilot.com or follow her on Twitter @ByShelbyReardon.
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