Winnipeg’s AK Soccer Academy has become the first Canadian soccer club to join Everton’s International Academy Affiliate Program (EIAAP).
The Blues’ EIAAP initiative will provide AK Soccer Academy with access to the best coaching knowledge from Everton’s distinguished academy to support the growth of the club and its player development programmes.
The EIAAP program includes:
– Full access to the Everton Academy program
– Weekly support from a dedicated Everton Academy coach
– Holistic approach to player, coach and club development
– Technical support to Everton Finch Farm training ground, home of the men’s, women’s and Academy teams
– Commercial and marketing support from Everton staff based at the club’s UK headquarters in the iconic Royal Liver Building in Liverpool
Everton international technical manager Paddy Byrne will visit AK Soccer Academy later this year to help share the Everton Academy curriculum and teaching methods used at the Everton training ground Finch Farm, while working closely with the club to develop the skills of players and coaches.
AK Soccer Academy staff will also have the opportunity to visit Everton’s state-of-the-art facilities to further their education and training and see how the club operates.
Founded just four years ago, AK Soccer has grown from just 15 players to nearly 500. The Winnipeg-based team has ambitious plans to further expand and improve its player development programs, with a focus on quality, providing valuable experiences and bringing in elite players. .
Along with external competitions and college showcases in the metropolitan area, AK Soccer Academy operates its own internal league based on ability rather than age or gender, promoting high standards and allowing players to develop and consolidate their skills in all technical areas.
The club is also investing in new facilities by building a new sports hall and a fitness center for the players.
The link will allow AK Soccer Academy to utilize the expertise of Everton Academy coaches across all age groups and abilities, and support their planned growth and wider club development.
AK Soccer Academy shares Everton’s strong player-centric and family-oriented ethos – it is led by former football player turned physiotherapist Anisha Kinnarath and her family.
Anisha is the technical director of AK Soccer Academy, her father Tony is president and her mother Margaret vice president, while her husband is the club’s strength and conditioning coach and her sister is the club secretary.
Anisha said: “AK Soccer Academy is an ambitious club. We’ve come very far, very quickly, but we never want to lose the strong sense of community that we have. People aren’t just a number here; they are welcomed as part of our family. It’s something we have in common with our new partner, Everton Football Club.
“Our mission is to give every player the opportunity to realize their potential and provide them with enhanced experiences not currently available in Winnipeg. We believe working with English Premier League club Everton, renowned for their player development, will help us achieve this.
“Football can change people’s lives. I started coaching at 12, played at the highest level in my age group, trained with the U17 national team, and won a full college scholarship to the United States. Now I want to give back to the community on a larger scale with AK Soccer and help expand opportunities for kids here in Winnipeg.
“We have high standards, and with the resources of an EPL Academy behind us, we want to further improve our coaching and player offering and compete with the best. It’s a really exciting time to be part of the AK Soccer Academy.
Everton International Technical Manager Paddy Byrne said: “We are delighted to welcome such an ambitious club as AK Academy as our first Canadian Affiliate. With recent World Cup qualification, there is so much potential for the growth of soccer in Canada, and AK Academy is at the forefront of developing the game in Winnipeg. With a focus on quality and player-centric development, we have a common approach and look forward to accompanying them on their exciting journey.
The Everton International Academy Affiliate Program (EIAAP) is available for grassroots teams, professional teams, youth academies, girls and women’s teams, as well as colleges and universities.
AK Soccer Academy becomes the ninth team to join the EIAAP which also includes Columbus United SC (Ohio, USA), FC Highland (Florida, USA), Joondalup City FC (Western Australia, Australia), Sligo Rovers (Ireland), Western Pride FC (Queensland, Australia), Schulz Academy (Florida, USA), Everton De Vina Del Mar (Valparaíso, Chile) and Clifton Park (Saratoga, New York).
To learn more about the EIAAP visit www.EvertonInternationalAcademy.com