Manchester United Soccer Schools Coming to Hiroshima

Do you or your friends have kids who love soccer? How do you think they would like to spend three days honing their skills under the guidance of top youth soccer coaches from English Premier League team Manchester United? How about the chance to play at Old Trafford and meet the stars?

Last night, newly crowned J League champions, Sanfrecce Hiroshima, made it through the first stage of the FIFA World Club Championship. They are now only two (tough) wins away from a possible confrontation against English Premier League team Chelsea in the final. Sanfrecce clinched the J League title in front of a sellout crowd at Big Arch Stadium here in Hiroshima, and doing well in this competition should further get this traditionally baseball-mad town excited soccer.

It is perfect timing, then, to hear that Manchester United, the most famous and most followed soccer team in the world, will be holding a series of soccer camps for young lads excited about the game here in Hiroshima next spring. What better way could there be to inspire the imagination of a budding player?< This will be the first time Manchester United Soccer Schools will hold their well respected camps in Japan. Usually, this kind of thing gets put on in cities far away from Hiroshima- usually up in the Kanto area, eventually finding its way to our neck of the woods a few years later. The promoters responsible for bringing the school here, however, love Hiroshima as much as they love soccer and desperately wanted to kick off here.

Whatever your feelings about the Manchester United first team (any team as successful as United have their share of haters), the club’s dedication to youth development is second to none. All the coaching staff share the same vision; to coach players to produce high quality attacking, exciting football. The objective of each Manchester United Soccer school is for each young player to attain their optimum level of performance and benefit from being coached the ‘Manchester United Way’ . All activity is directed to the developmental age of those taking the course.

The camps are open to girls and boys aged 8-18 and we are told that programs will be “challenging but achievable, guaranteeing that each child leaves the courses with raised confidence and most importantly having experienced fun and enjoyment.” Kids don’t need to be great players to take part, just be keen to have a go, do their best and have fun.

Hiroshima University of Economics’ excellent facilities in Asa-minami-ku will host the camps and participants will be put into a group of 16 players, all of a similar age, and they will stay with the same expert coach for the whole camp. This enables the coach to really get to know his players and in turn he can then bring out the best in each and every child. The Manchester United Soccer School coaches who are flying out to Japan for the camps, will work alongside a bilingual Japanese coach so that all players understand instructions and all the tips on how to become better players.

As well as world class instruction, at least one lucky kid will be selected to go to Manchester in the UK and have the opportunity to play on the pitch at Manchester United’s home ground (Old Trafford) and meet the team’s stars.

The camps will be held in March and early April with each camp lasting 3 days and are open to boys 8-18 years old.

CAMP 1: 22/03 – 24/03/2013
CAMP 2: 26/03 – 28/03/2013

he cost of each camp is ¥63,800 per child and includes transport from central Hiroshima to the venue at Hiroshima University of Economics and back again, lunches and a full Manchester United Soccer Schools kit, bag and drink bottle. Payments can be made in installments and early-bird discounts are available.

Paul Walsh

Paul arrived in Hiroshima "for a few months" back in 1996. He is the co-founder of GetHiroshima.com and loves running in the mountains.