The STATE of Soccer in WASHINGTON
Fuerza FC (Marysville) Directof of Education Tony Carrillo has just returned from a trip to Brazil here he sought to get his BFUT Level 1 license. He traveled to Taquaritinga, met with footballer Edmilson, was interviewed on radio, coached, and got his license. Along the way he couldn’t help but also reflect on how different things are run at the youth level in Brazil and the USA. See his thoughts below.
by Tony Carrillo
I went to Brazil to receive my Level 1 BFUT license, which requires an understanding of how to run a professional soccer club as well as many other areas that are required by FIFA. Running a pro soccer club has a lot of moving parts, so it was a great 3-week experience. From understanding tactical schemes, marketing, sports management, women’s game, sports administration, sociology, community and even working with the political side of a club. Another reason was helping BFUT with getting things going in this city (Taquaritinga, Brazil) as it is a new project for them in that city. Edmilson grew up there and was finally able to convince President Thadeu Goncalves to start a BFUT program there, so apart from the Level 1, we were all there on a soccer mission trip of a sort.
A memorable moment was during the Edmilson/BFUT event where they handed hundreds of kids a soccer jersey- it was an amazing experience. We are talking about kids who were in the streets or are in a bad situation a few months prior. Soccer and sports in general helped me tremendously and is probably why I am so passionate about it. This trip brought back memories of my growing up in Mexico my early years and it definitely hits you right in the heart.
Other memories were spending time with Edmilson and understanding why he is doing this, which he talks about in his session how he became a professional. these are stories you don’t read about in newspapers or the internet. He recently helped a very popular national team player come back to his faith to get him back on the right track. Many of the pro players in Brazil don’t succeed because they don’t have the proper support structure growing up, so it is hard for them to make the jump to pro player with money. What BFUT and Edmilson are doing there is creating a future for these kids.
I also got to meet the mayor of the city who officially announced that he was giving the pro stadium to BFUT to do as they wish. We also did two radio station interviews talking about BFUT there and our BFUT program with Fuerza as we are the only club in the US who has fully implemented this program. There are other countries doing BFUT like we are doing here, but we are the sole US Club.
Having said that, the moment that had the greatest impact for all the international coaches there, including myself, was watching the Youth Development Director get a gift from Edmilson and BFUT and watching him in tears talking about how in all the years he has been running the program, this is the first time he has seen a difference in the kids and the community.
Back in the USA
There is so much to do now, but we have to take small steps because it takes an army to do what they are doing there, plus here in the US it takes a lot more money. There they have the support of the city and the schools, so they are able to use their facilities at no cost and the entire parent community helps. Clubs here don’t work as close together, even from within, plus much of the focus becomes on how they can grow and protect their own program instead of how they can help their communities.
Our mission is a little different in that we focus on the underserved and underprivileged kids in the communities we serve, so that these kids can give something back to their communities later in life. Of course, if they want to be a pro player, we have ways to get them there. Also, being level 1 licenses we can now start providing our own coaching licensing and individual player training programs for players via the BFUT methodology and with our professional club in Brazil being run by BFUT we now have the ability to send players who aspire to become a professional there for a tryout there. Or if they want to train in a pro environment all year long we can provide them that. If they are accepted to become a professional they will managed by Edmilson and his company- As you can imagine he has hundreds of connections along with Thadeu Goncalves, President of BFUT. Before I left they sent an American player, Jeremy Potter, to train with Real Madrid. He is doing quite well there last I heard.
Finally, we are always looking to partner with other clubs to help them implement this program within their own community, they just need to join our partnership program. We will help them with education of the Educators (coaches) and give them ideas on how to reach out to their communities. Joining our family gives these clubs access to our training manuals, videos, plans and membership discounts with hundreds of vendors without the high costs of franchising. This allows for them to keep the cost down because much of the work is done by volunteers instead of paid professionals. Of course, having good educators is a must, so we realize that some do need to get paid, but many are willing to do it because they believe in the mission. We build the club to be successful for years to come instead of revolving it around a few good coaches who end up leaving for a higher pay at another club. You have to have the passion to help the kids and egos must not get in the way or the kids will suffer. We have been working with the schools, churches and Snohomish Human Health services in our community and not only do our coaches help with these events our own players come to help.
On a different note, we are in need of more Educators. Reach me at 425-530-2849 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. We provide them with everything they need to understand our methodology and put them through our internship program to make sure this is something they are looking for. We are especially short in our Development Academy program U5-U11.
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