Five Sipa project players play for Grêmio training school
By: William Schütz*
Five young Canadian athletes from the Soccer International Performance Academy (Sipa) project are temporarily living in Palhoça. The players are aged 15 to 18. Currently, they train at the Grêmio FBPA/MZ Futebol training school, where they have started to form a team that mixes Brazilian and foreign players.
The Sipa players arrived in Brazil two weeks ago and are already very well integrated. Everyone is in a set of apartments located in Nova Palhoça, accompanied by guardians and even the father of one of the athletes. During this period, training was constant at the Balduíno school, in São José.
The preparation has already yielded results: combining the strengths of Brazilians and foreigners, the Grêmio team made its debut on Saturday (25), at Antônio Carlos, against the C10. The under-17 team competed in the King Pelé Cup and won 4-3. And one of the foreign reinforcements was crucial to the result, with 15-year-old midfielder Rayan Chacón chosen as the star of the match.
“I was able to have a good match and have fun on the field with the team. I was looking for a hat-trick (three goals in a match), but I didn’t achieve it and I stopped at the second goal, but it was a really cool match”, emphasized Rayan, just after the debut. match.
In addition to the midfielder, also present in Brazil: defenders Diego Salas, 18 years old, and Nathan Hikspoors, 16 years old; midfielder Adam Guzmán and striker Rayan Ako MBuagvaw, both 16 years old.
The athlete exchange project began in early 2022. Since then, there have been four comings and goings of foreign players. “In fact, we brought two of these players in December last year to participate in the Copa Floripa for Grêmio, where they reached the quarter-finals. Then they returned to their home country and we decided to continue the project. Now it’s even better. We have facilities in Nova Palhoça, where everyone has their own apartment. The boys are very calm and adapt well,” says Flávio Bortolin Júnior, Sipa Soccer representative in Brazil.
Midfielder Adam Guzmán speaks almost Portuguese. This is the fourth time he has visited Brazil. All arrivals were via Sipa.
Outside, the young man has even climbed the youth ranks of major clubs, such as Manchester City, in England.
In the routine readapted in Brazil, the project athletes continue their studies normally, with online classes in the morning. In the afternoon, the young people go to the industrial zone of São José, where they carry out training.
In addition to trade between Canada and Brazil, Sipa also has projects in Mexico, Spain and Italy. The project is led by Hugo Guzmán and Marcelo Chocho Martínez. Soon, horizons will broaden as in April two more young foreign players are expected to come to Brazil. The idea is also to take young Brazilians abroad very soon.
Coach Diego Carvalho, responsible for the team’s preparation, says the players are “doing very well with the team.” “The different language does not bother, after all, football is a universal language,” he emphasizes.
* Under the direction of Alexandre Bonfim
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