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The second annual Chicago Fire Elite Female Player Identification Camp took place last weekend in Lake Forest, Illinois. Last year we sent 9 players to this elite camp/tryout. This year we felt that 20 of our own MFJ players (ranging from U13 - U17) were ready to train and compete against the best players from all nine Fire Juniors clubs!
Mike Dickey, Chicago Fire Juniors Technical Director and ODP Region II Head Coach, gave the opening address on Thursday night. This was a perfect kickoff to the four day event. Mike spoke about the Women's National Team standards and expectations. Every player in the room was inspired to play her very best over the next four days. The rest of the camp consisted of skills testing, trainings, games, classroom sessions and a trip to Toyota Park to see the Chicago Fire reserves play against the Charlotte Eagles. The camp atmosphere was certainly challenging, competitive and professional. I know our players improved much throughout the weekend and walked away from this camp with a much better understanding of what it takes to play at the highest level.
The coaching staff for the 2013 Chicago Fire Elite Female Player ID Camp consisted of all top-level coaches from many of the Fire Juniors clubs including Illinois, Michigan, Florida and Kentucky. Our own Coach David Wood was able to go down for the weekend and lead the U14 group. I was fortunate enough to work with the U16's.
Many college coaches came to watch the training and ID games. They were impressed by the level of talent we have in the Chicago Fire Juniors program. I received multiple emails after the camp regarding our U17 girls!
We could not be prouder of the 20 players who represented the Michigan Fire Juniors. They came into the camp much more prepared (technically, physically and mentally) than last year as they have been working toward this for over a year. Coach David and I both felt that our players showed well in every age group. They were also very professional off the field -- arriving early to every training and classroom session, being respectful of the staff and displaying good sportsmanship.
Congratulations to all 20 players for being selected to participate in this fantastic event. We want to wish them the best of luck on making the Fire Juniors Select Teams as well. Also, a huge thank you to all of their Michigan Fire club coaches for helping them develop and reach their full potential. None of this would be possible without you!
We hope to send even more players to this outstanding event next year. To all interested players...keep training on your own, get as much as you can out of your team trainings (work hard, stay focused) seek advice from our staff, stay positive and know that you have what it takes to make this dream a reality. GO FIRE!!!
- Kristin Englehart