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News - Details

New Olympic Development Program season kicks off

November 3, 2023 11:14 AM

odptrainingA new season of the Eastern Pennsylvania Olympic Development Program kicked off on Sunday with the first training session at multiple sites.

A new season of the Eastern Pennsylvania Olympic Development Program kicked off on Sunday with the first training session at multiple sites.

The first 90-minute sessions of the 2023-2024 season were a chance to introduce and re-introduce players to their teams at age groups ranging from U12 to U17. 

"We've got good numbers and had a great turnout today," U15 boys coach Tom Dodds after their Sunday afternoon session at United Sports Training Center. "There's a lot of quality so we have to determine who's going to play where for the next 10 sessions getting ready for the regional finals." 

Among the points Dodds emphasized during the session was the importance of them coaching each other on the field.

"If you're not just worrying about your game, you're worrying about others, those are the players that are confident and feel good about themselves," Dodds said. "It's important that they get their heads up to help others. It's a skill they need just like any technical skill they need to be able to coach each other on the field."

Padraig "Paddy" Nayak is in his fourth year of ODP, playing this year for Dodds and coach Julian Digruttola. 

“It’s a lot of fun and it’s a higher level so it’s more competitive, which helps when you go back to club,” said Nayak, who lives in Emmaus and plays for Hex FC. “A lot of these kids have been on the team before so it’s a lot of friends of mine.”

Four younger age group teams trained over at Ukrainian National Sport Center in North Wales later Sunday in a light rain. Michael Price, coach of the U13 Philadelphia girls team, said players were trying to get a feel for each other and he was still learning names of some of the girls.

“It started off a little rough,” Price said. “But as we got into it you started to just see the quality come out.”

Rowan Studley, who is from Yardley and plays for Yardley Makefield Soccer Club, is back for a second year of ODP.

“It’s a great opportunity,” Studley said. “It’s a really great place to learn how to be a better player and develop like it says in the name and it can lead to a lot of different things.”

In addition to USTC and Ukrainian National Sport Center, sessions were held Sunday at Muni Park in Glen Mills, Hempfield Quad in Landisville, Susquehanna Township High School and Moravian Academy.

Training sessions will be held in November on the 12th and 19th.

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