The following is a list of programs that players may pursue if interested. Please note that these programs run outside of the Blizzard program. This list may not be exhaustive and the programs may change without notice. Any questions regarding these opportunities should be directed to the organizers themselves. Our technical team can also advise as to the appropriateness of these programs for your child.
Mini Stars Program: This program is for boys and girls who are at the Learning-to-Train stage of Canada’s Long-term Player Development Plan. The program is viewed as an “Introduction to Excellence.” Participants typically have aspirations of participating in Alberta Soccer’s Provincial Training Program. The Mini Stars program consists of 10 sessions, plus access to the Mini Stars Showcase in April and residential program in May. Interested players simply register (typically held in September) with ASA to participate.
Provincial Team Program (Girls & Boys, U13 & U14): The Provincial Team Program encompasses both Alberta Soccer’s Winter Training Program and Provincial Team Training for players. The program’s goal is to bring like-skilled and like-minded players together in order to expose them to a higher level of play as well as provide opportunities for exposure to national team coaches. Selection for the U13 boys and girls Winter Training Program is done through an open-trial held in the Fall. Selection for the U14 teams and all U14 programs (winter training and team) is on an invite-only basis.
Girls Elite REX Prospects and Boys Whitecaps FC Alberta South Academy: The Vancouver Whitecaps FC and Alberta Soccer have partnered on a Boys Residency program in Calgary in addition to a Girls Elite REX Prospects program for U14-U18 players. The programs will operate out of the Calgary Soccer Centre and will identify top players from clubs in Southern Alberta. The program will give players the opportunity to travel to Vancouver for further evaluations and tournaments with the Whitecaps FC. Selection for this program is on an invite-only basis.
Alberta Summer Games: The Alberta Soccer Association helps facilitate local soccer associations, such as Calgary Minor Soccer, participation in the biannual Alberta Summer Games. Local associations hold tryouts and select teams for their region for boys and girls in the U12/U13 age group. Please contact your local soccer association for further details. The next Alberta Summer Games will be held in Grande Prairie in 2018.
Many of our players have been scouted and received University scholarships in Canada and the US while playing for Blizzard teams at College Showcase tournaments. Our technical team has also developed strong relationships with colleges and universities that actively look to recruit Blizzard players. See our list of recent Blizzard players who have gone on to earn college and university scholarships here.
Danone Nations Cup (World Cup for Kids): Danone holds a yearly, all-expense paid trip to an international tournament for 10 and 12 year olds. Since its inception, more than 65,000 young Canadians have participated in selection camps for the event. In years past, Danone has scouted both a western and eastern Canadian team which went on to compete against each other in a national final to determine which team would represent Canada at their world cup. Due to a change in structure over this past year, Danone has only scouted in Ontario and Quebec. Please visit www.coupedanonecup.com for up to date details on their program.
Professional Club Team Camps: On occasion, professional teams will come to Calgary to offer community camps with potential opportunities for players to have the chance to travel to the participating club’s home-base. For example, over the past several years, AC Milan, Barcelona FC and Stoke City FC have all traveled to Calgary to offer young players an opportunity to participate in one of their branded camps. Details of upcoming camps can normally be found through Calgary Minor Soccer Association (CMSA) www.calgaryminorsoccer.com.
UK Training Opportunities and Tours: Brendan O’Connell, our boy’s technical director, has arranged training opportunities for some of our players in the UK. Most recently, Finn Linder and Will Antoniuk from the Blizzard SC04 boys team had a fantastic experience training and testing their skill with the Wigan FC academy. Brendan not only played for Wigan in his professional days during the late nineties, but he was also a coach for their academy and reserve teams. Brendan said of the experience, “It is important for our players to gauge where they are in their development with teams in Europe. This experience will give the boys a chance to test their abilities in unfamiliar surroundings, providing them with a physical football challenge as well as character building being placed in a new team, in a new country! I look forward to creating more opportunities like these for our Blizzard boys program in the future.”
The Blizzard SC02, SC04 boys team and SC03 girls team are currently planning a 10 day UK tour for Spring Break 2018!