LaLiga has hailed the ”hunger to learn” and passion of young footballers in KwaZulu-Natal after the completion of the first LaLiga Camps in the province at Durban’s Hoy Park.
LaLiga Uefa Pro-Licenced coaches Saúl Vázquez and Javier García conducted the LaLiga Camps, which were attended by 150 promising young under 10 to under 17 KwaZulu-Natal boys and girls footballers – and 30 local coaches – in Durban this week.
The LaLiga Camps, which were previously also held in Johannesburg and Cape Town, are part of LaLiga’s flagship global Grassroots programme, which has seen more than 900 young players participate in LaLiga Camps in the last year in countries including the United States, United Kingdom, Japan and South Africa.
The LaLiga Camps in Durban from April 27 to April 31 were held in partnership with the KwaZulu-Natal Department of Sport, Arts and Culture and SAFA KwaZulu-Natal, who identified the footballers from the local football community who participated in the camps and whose participation was sponsored and facilitated by the Department.
“We always find talented players wherever we go and Durban has been no exception. What has been outstanding on this occasion is the hunger that these players have to learn more. They are so passionate about football, which is great as the sport is a tool for them to develop not only on, but also off the field. During the week the improvement was amazing, as we started with simple sessions to assess the level of the players, but we had to increase the difficulty of the training sessions every day. The players’ adaptation was incredible and we really believe there is a pool of players with good potential,” said Vazquez, who is an experienced LaLiga Sports Projects Specialist in the LaLiga Grassroots programme,
The LaLiga Camps are geared at giving talented young local footballers exposure to LaLiga’s football methodology and to world-class coaching in the four areas of the technical, tactical, physical and psychological aspects of football at the highest level.
Vazquez said the Durban camps, which were also supported by former Bafana Bafana international Delron Buckley, had a particularly strong focus on the players’ tactical development, decision-making and on how to use their technical skills and express their talent in match situations.
“We would like to sincerely thank the KwaZulu-Natal Department of Sport, Arts and Culture for partnering with us on the LaLiga Camps and for ensuring they take place in the province for the very first time. The LaLiga Camps in KwaZulu-Natal were a huge success in providing young footballers from the province, who would not ordinarily have the opportunity, access first-hand to world class coaching and a sense of what it takes to succeed at the highest levels of global football. We look forward to continuing this strong partnership as we continue to actively support the development of football in South Africa at grassroots level,” said Marcos Pelegrin, LaLiga Southern Africa’s Managing Director.