IROQUOIS – It is not every day that local soccer players get to train with a professional, but for a group of South Dundas Soccer goalkeepers, they did just that last week.
The club welcomed Atlético Ottawa starting goalkeeper Dylon Powley on August 10 to the South Dundas Soccer fields. Over the span of nearly three hours, he worked with 10 players from the area on advanced skills development for one of the most important positions in the game.
Powley is the starting goalkeeper for Atlético Ottawa, one of eight teams that compete in the Canadian Premier League.
The CPL is the highest level of men’s professional soccer competition outside of the MLS in Canada.
“It’s really great to have someone professional like Dylon to come here and work with our soccer players,” said Bryan Holmes, South Dundas Soccer vice-president. “This does a lot to help develop player skill and confidence in this tough position.”
The one-day clinic worked on several different skills necessary for the challenging position of goalkeeper. Talking to many of the South Dundas players involved, the consensus is that the diving training was the favourite part of the training.
“It was a lot of fun,” said Brody Ortwein, one of the clinic participants. “It was cool learning with a pro. I learned a lot and really liked all the drills.”
Holmes explained that the goalkeeper clinic opportunity was made possible through a former player.
“We were contacted by a family who started out in the SDSA program and they put us in contact with Dylon,” he said. “This was a great opportunity for the players and something we want to build on for future years.”
The clinic had eight players from the SDSA in the U11, U14, and U18 divisions, and also hosted two players from the Brockville Soccer Club.
Working with other clubs to access skill-building training is another goal of the SDSA.
“Anytime we can work together and partner with others to get this type of training for players, the better,” Holmes said. “The ultimate goal is to make sure the kids are active and develop in the sport.”
Powley is in his second season playing in the CPL, and his first for Atlético Ottawa. He also played professionally in Sweden.
Atlético Ottawa is a joint venture between Spanish powerhouse soccer club Atlético Madrid and Ottawa businessman Jeff Hunt.
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