Challenger’s Sports representatives Richard Hamilton and Owen Lavers are conducting the annual British soccer camp this week and getting used to the weather of South Texas.
“It’s very, very hot,” said Hamilton, who has been playing soccer for “as long as I can remember.”
Hamilton is making his third trip to the United States for Challenger’s Sports. Previous trips found him coaching in Chicago, the northwest part of the country and even the big sky country of Montana.
Hamilton plays soccer at the college level and with a semi-pro club team around his home area of Wolverhampton and Birmingham, England.
When asked if he saw any future World Cup players in his Beeville charges, he said, “You never know. There are some pretty good little players at the camp.”
The second coach, Lavers, is on his first trip for Challenger’s and is from Wales. Lavers is also a college level player and grew up playing the game “all my life.”
“The kids here are brilliant, really easy to coach,” said Lavers.
The British Soccer Camp is part of the Beeville Soccer Club program, with a little more than 30 participants this year from the youngest at four years to teenagers.
The skills are presented in the form of drills and exercises that help with ball handling, passing and general knowledge of the game. A local “World Cup” tournament of games is usually part of the camp’s grand finale.
Both Hamilton and Lavers will be heading on to another location for a four-day clinic or camp after Friday, but they have enjoyed this part of South Texas.
“We were in Dallas last week and got a little bit of the heat, but we went to South Padre Island this week, and it’s really beautiful,” said Lavers.
Soccer is slowly becoming a major sport in the United States with more and more youngsters taking to the sport. Thanks to the World Cup and other major events, national exposure is on the rise, and the number of youngsters gravitating to the round ball brand of “football” is increasing.
Maybe, there will come a time when college level players here in the States can go to Europe and coach the young players there.