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Men's U-17 camp recap


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Men’s U-17 Team

04 December 2008

Canada returns home from Guadalajara

Canada's men's U-17 team has returned home after a successful camp in Guadalajara, Mexico. The two trained for two weeks, over which time it took part in five exhibition matches against local youth clubs.

"The first camp has to be considered a success," said coach Sean Fleming. "There was great progress over the 13 days – although we do have a lot of work to do before qualifying. Great credit has to be given to the players for their effort and attitude throughout the whole camp."

Spending the first week in the mountains of Guadalajara at the Universidad, the team began with two-a-day training sessions. The sessions provided a tough introduction to heat and altitude, especially for those coming from across Canada and as far away as England, France and Italy.

After the first week, the team moved to downtown Guadalajara. Like it was in the mountains, the team was treated fantastically with great quantities and quality of food, not to mention extremely hospitable service.

The camp objective was to establish a playing philosophy and to work on the team's defensive organization and shape. Those objectives were certainly met, but it was also all the much better because they were met in a CONCACAF environment. Next year's CONCACAF Men's Under-17 Championship will take place in Mexico.

"The competition we played provided us with a great test to see how the players could compete and adapt in CONCACAF," said Fleming. "It will be critical that in our next camps we have international games to help prepare the players for a successful qualification."

Canada's five matches included the big-three in Guadalajara: Chivas, Atlas and Tecos. Canada won 2:0 against Tecos on 24 November, lost 1:2 against Atotonilco on 26 November, lost 1:2 against Atlas on 28 November, won 5:1 over Quertero on 30 November, and then lost 1:4 to Chivas on 2 December.

The games were all competitive and allowed coach Fleming to give all of his players good game time. The games allowed the coaching staff to assess how the players reacted to this new level and how they were capabale of achieving the demands of the tour.

"The team is expecting to travel again on its next project in early February," said Fleming. "We hope to get away two more times before the CONCACAF Men's Under-17 Championship which begins in April."

Canada, whose title sponsor is BMO Financial Group, is looking to qualify for the FIFA U-17 World Cup Nigeria 2009. Canada has previously participated in the FIFA U-17 World Cup at Ecuador 1995, Japan 1993, Scotland 1989 and Canada 1987. Over the past decade, Canada’s U-17 program has produced current national-team players such as Marcel de Jong, André Hainault, Iain Hume, Jaime Peters and Tyler Rosenlund. Canada’s U-17 team features players born 1992 or later for its road to Nigeria 2009.

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