This year 33 UDA soccer students arrived on campus at The University of Chester. It has been a long road for many students and families, beginning with the recruitment process, involving recruitment camps and personal visits to campus.
The initial target set was for a limited intake, one squad, for each specific year to ensure a quality student experience for all players. However, the overwhelming demand for a top class and integrative university experience, in a professional soccer academy, exceeded expectations leading to the development of two squads.
Coach Jon McCarthy, B.Sc former professional player and Head of UDA soccer academy gives students an introduction to the UDA soccer program.
Finding their feet. Students playing their first inter-squad game.
Director of Recruitment, Coach Reilly stated, “We are aware that all students need the same experience at all levels – this is why we were limiting squads sizes so that training and playing time would meet expectations. There is nothing worse that just training all the time without playing regular games. It was clear, very soon, we would be in a strong position to create two squads.”
Coach Reilly added, “The recruitment this year will be much easier as we already have a quality prospect pool given that we have held recruitment events around the country last year and will do so again this year. Also the UDA soccer summer tour was a great success and this has created a very strong pool of candidates for the 2019 class.”
While last week was about soccer orientation, this week is about the academic orientation with a week full of academic and social activities that UDA soccer students will be integrated into. The soccer orientation included a presentation to families, individual meetings with all the students and families.
Joel Roberts, M.Sc., Program Director, welcomes families to the UDA soccer Academy
UDA students get to relax at the UDA social event.
Coach Roberts discussed with families the UDA soccer code of conduct. Students then met with UDA soccer staff and support staff to discuss their own expectations and setting up the policies and procedures to be successful within the university, the classroom and on the field. The UDA welfare officer met and continues to monitor and support as and when needed across the academic and the soccer platforms. After all it's about graduation!
After a long day of individual meetings with students and families the UDA soccer Social Event was attended by the University of Chester International Office and the UDA soccer staff.
The wait is now officially over!