Posted at: 05/18/2013 11:40 PM
Updated at: 05/19/2013 12:14 AM
By: Eyewitness Sports
Duluth, Minn. - The Gitchi Gummi Soccer Club have a connection with West Ham United F.C. of the English Premiere League, having recently partnered with West Ham United International Academy and this weekend, coaches from West Ham are in Duluth.
They are holding Player ID Camps with about 300 athletes registered. The boys suited up at St. Scholastica and the girls at UMD. The camp started Friday and goes until Sunday. West Ham sent some of their coaches and representatives to work with the players and even scout for development.
"We have these 40 partner clubs and we go in and do a three day camp and a couple of hours each session and we try to identify the best talent and then we then invite the best talent to a national camp, which is in Georgia," says Ross Klinefelter, who coaches the U-12 team for West Ham United Academy.
"I think like a lot of other countries now, they are seeing that there is a talent pool over in the United State and they want to tap into that. It is also benefiting the clubs here that they get involved with, to let them understand and see the way things are run back in England and especially at West Ham, which is one of the top academies in the world," says Ian Bishop, who was a midfielder for nine seasons with West Ham United.
"To be coached by the caliber of coaches that are over here with West Ham is an opportunity of a lifetime, it really is. For us and for the kids, we are all as coaches learning as well," says St. Scholastica Men's Assistant Coach David Robinson, who also coaches with the Gitchi Gummi Soccer Club.