The Ontario Soccer Association's Player Development Program mandate is to increase the opportunity for players to reach their full potential and ultimately be selected to one of Canada's National Youth Teams.
A goal of having nine players selected to each of Canada's National Youth Teams in both genders has been set. In order to achieve this goal The Ontario Soccer Association has continued to look at ways to improve player training and at the same time work in conjunction with Ontario's hectic Club Season schedule.
The compromise was to make better use of the indoor season and leave more time for players to serve their clubs during the outdoor season. Hence, the creation of the Under-14 and Under-15 age group program that started in the fall of 2004 and continued on through 2005. Through the cooperation of the Districts and Clubs the Male and Female the 2006 U14 Programs like the 2005 Programs enjoyed much success at this past National All-star Championships, with the Females winning the Gold Medal and the Males winning the Silver Medal.
In addition to the two medals there were also 11 Female Players and 13 Male Players identified by the Canadian Soccer Association while competing at this ID tournament. The ability by the Province to have the highest number of players identified out of all of the Provinces will assist in the fulfillment of the goal being to have as many players as possible selected to each of Canada's National Youth Teams in both genders.
The foundation has been laid for which now it is time to expand and continue to develop these young players. As a result the U16 program will move into Phase III and like the current U14 and U15 program it will follow the same model of success.
This system will allow the Clubs access to players from May 1st, 2011 through the duration of the club season (mid-October 2011), apart from a week-long National All-Star Championship training camp (June or July dates TBA) and the National All-Star Championships (July dates TBA). This alleviates the problems of rescheduling league matches, Cup matches and important Club training sessions.
How Does it Work?
The U14 Provincial Program begins with the Provincial Identification Camps which take place the weekend of September 21-23 (Girls) and the weekend of September 28 -30 (Boys). The best U13 players from 2011/2012's U13 Regional Program will be participating in the event. The individuals chosen to advance to the next level will begin the training phase of the U14 Provincial Program in mid- October 2012.
The U14 and U15 Provincial Players from the 2012/2013 season will be invited into the Soccer Centre to compete for positions along with scouted U14 and U15 players for this seasons U15 and U16 Programs. Players who have not previously been asked to Provincial Team Tryouts must obtain a letter of recommendation from a current member of the District Coaching Staff, Club Head Coach or a Coach who possess a minimum of a Provincial B Licence. The recommendation along with the players resume must be sent into the OSA offices to the attention of The Manager of Player Development.
The final selection for the U14, U15 and U16 Programs will be finalized done by the end of November 2012 with the each squad comprising of approximately 25 - 30 players.
Prior to final selection, Players are permitted to sign with their Club of choice however, they cannot compete or train indoors or outdoors with their Club after the final selections have been made, except during the December holiday break. Players are permitted to train and compete with their Club during the time period from May to August in accordance to the Provincial Team and Club Schedule Policy.
Players will train four times weekly at the Ontario Soccer Centre in Vaughan. In order to accommodate those players traveling from excessive distances, three satellite training centres will be put into operation, one in the West (London), one in the East (Ottawa) and one in the North (Sudbury). The Ontario Soccer Association's full time Coach in the satellite centre areas will train twice weekly with the players unable to travel to the Soccer Centre on weekdays.
The season will commence on Saturday October 13th, 2012 and conclude on April end 2013. A holiday break will take place from December 23, 2012 through January 2nd, 2013. It is during this holiday break (December 24, 2012 to January 1, 2013) that the players are free to train, play, travel with their Club teams. They must, however, report back to their Provincial Team for the first scheduled event in January, 2013.
An international travel week has been set aside in and around the March Break with the U14 and U15 Girls, the U14, U15 and U16 Boys Teams all traveling to various destinations. The international travel is optional for the player to participate with no reprisals for not being able to travel.
Players will return to their clubs on May 1st, 2013 and will participate with them throughout the conclusion of the outdoor season (mid-October 2013) with the exception of a week-long training camp in June/July 2013 for the Regional and National All-Star Championships in June/July 2013. The program will then shut down until mid-October 2013. Players will be scouted and monitored by Provincial Staff while playing with their clubs.
Players that had been identified within the Regional Program but failed to make the initial roster of the U14 Provincial Team will continue to scouted within their Club Teams and the ones displaying the highest technical abilities will be invited into the Soccer Centre to be reassessed in June/July 2013. Players already on the Provincial U14 roster will NOT be attending these sessions.
Reasons for Implementation
Between their hectic club and Provincial schedule, some players are playing well over 60 games per year, not including indoor league, Ontario Cup, club tournaments and high school soccer. By introducing a monitored training and playing schedule the amount of fatigue and stress on the Provincial player can be reduced from the months of October to May .
From the months of May to July we have noticed that the Provincial player's average attendance is poor. Due to the increased conflicts in training and playing schedules between these months, the Provincial player is not able to meet the obligations of both programs.
Due to such a demanding schedule we have seen an increase in chronic injuries, hindering the development process even more. Psychologically the player is less inspired both for club and Province. The opportunity for a player to compete for her Province and be scouted by a member of the National Coaching Staff should a major part of the season along with their league and Ontario cup matches.
- To provide a forum for our elite Provincial athletes to receive professional quality training within a high standard development model.
- To develop a stronger National Team candidate by expanding up on the present Provincial training format to now include the U16 players.
- To create a more professional Provincial training environment by increasing the amount of training time with the Provincial Program from the months of October to May, eliminating the club indoor commitments.
- To provide a 7-month Provincial Program that would incorporate a consistent technical, physical, tactical and mental preparation.
- To develop and offer a stronger National Team candidate.
- To enhance the possibility of attracting Educational Institutions.
- 11 v 11 environment training through the majority of the program.
- The Provincial player would be able to focus more on academics with a decreased amount of training time during the school year. By creating a monitored playing and training schedule the Provincial player would be able to balance her Provincial training regimen with her studies thereby creating a consistent schedule.
- Player preparation for international travel during the months of March, April and August would greatly increase, enhancing performance at these tours and training camps.
- The club would receive the benefit of having a more enthusiastic player that will be physically and mentally prepared for the club outdoor season.
- Training time will be provided in the East and West Training Centres for Provincial U14, U15 and U16 players. Dependent upon distance traveled, players could maintain Provincial standards by training 50 to 75 percent within these Regional Centres.