A.K. Soccer Academy in Winnipeg has become the first Canadian soccer club to join Everton Football Club’s growing International Academy Affiliate Programme (EIAAP).
The English Premier League club’s EIAAP initiative will provide A.K. Soccer Academy with access to the finest coaching knowledge from Everton’s distinguished Academy to support the growth of the club and its player development programmes.
The EIAAP programme includes:
- Full access to the Everton Academy curriculum
- Weekly support from a dedicated Everton Academy coach
- Holistic approach to player, coach, and club development
- Technical support from Everton’s training ground Finch Farm, home to the Men’s, Women’s and Academy teams
- Business and marketing support from some of soccer’s most knowledgeable staff based at Everton’s UK headquarters in the iconic Royal Liver Building in Liverpool
Everton International Technical Lead, Paddy Byrne, will visit A.K. Soccer Academy later this year to assist in sharing the Everton Academy curriculum and teaching methods used at Everton’s Finch Farm training ground, along with working with the Club closely to develop both player and coaching skills.
Staff from A.K. Soccer Academy will also have the opportunity to visit Everton’s state-of-the-art facilities for further education and training and see how an English Premier League club operates.
Founded just four years ago, A.K. Soccer Academy has grown from just 15 players to nearly 500. The Winnipeg-based club has ambitious plans to grow and further enhance its player development programmes, with a focus on quality, delivering valuable experiences and bringing through elite players.
Alongside external competitions and college showcases across the Metropolitan Region, A.K. Soccer Academy runs its own in-house league based on ability rather than age or gender, promoting high standards and allowing players to develop and consolidate their skills across all technical areas.
The club is also in the process of investing in new facilities by building a new gym and fitness centre for players.
The link-up will allow A.K. Soccer Academy to use the expertise of Everton’s Academy coaches across all age groups and abilities, and to support their planned growth and wider club development.
A.K. Soccer Academy shares Everton’s strong player-centred ethos and a sense of family – it is run by former women’s soccer player turned physiotherapist Anisha Kinnarath and her family.
Anisha is A.K. Soccer Academy’s Technical Director, her father Tony is President and mother Margaret Vice President, while her husband is the club’s Strength and Conditioning Coach, and her sister is the Club Secretary.
Anisha said, “A.K. 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 are not just a number here; they are welcomed as part of our family. That is something we have in common with our new partner, Everton Football Club.
“Our mission is to give every player the opportunity to fulfil their potential and provide them with enhanced experiences that currently aren’t available in Winnipeg. We believe that working with English Premier League Club Everton, who are renowned for their player development, will help us to do that.
“Soccer can change people’s lives. I started coaching at aged 12, played at the top level at my age group, trained with the U17 national team, and won a full college scholarship to the US. Now I want to give back to the community on a bigger scale with A.K. Soccer and help develop the opportunities for kids here in Winnipeg.
“We have high standards, and with the resources of an EPL Academy behind us, we want to further enhance our coaching and player offer and compete with the best. It is a really exciting time to be part of A.K. Soccer Academy.”
Everton International Technical Lead, Paddy Byrne, said, “We are delighted to welcome a club as ambitious as A.K. Soccer Academy as our first Canadian affiliate. With recent World Cup qualification, there is so much potential for the growth of soccer in Canada, and A.K. Academy is at the forefront of developing the game in Winnipeg. With a focus on quality and player-centred development, we have a shared approach, and we are looking forward to accompanying them on their exciting journey.”
The Everton International Academy Affiliate Programme (EIAAP) is available to grassroots teams, professional sides, youth academies, girls’, and women’s teams, as well as colleges and universities.
A.K. 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 find out more about the EIAAP visit www.EvertonInternationalAcademy.com
A.K. Soccer Academy: https://www.aksocceracademywpg.com/