Pre-pubescent players from age 9 to 12 years have a special ability to learn. Therefore, this is the right age to work on specific soccer techniques and skills. Developing good technique is essential at this age.

1v1 and 2v1 attacking and defending situations are important to develop individual skills as well as the passing techniques to develop the necessary team game.

Use small-sided games to develop basic attacking and defensive principles. Other important aspects of tactical training are possession, combination play, transition and finishing in the final third, as well as zonal defending. Players will rotate in two or three different positions to avoid early specialization.
Speed, coordination, balance and agility are the main physical aspects of this stage.


At this stage from ages 13 and 14, training sessions are orientated more toward tactics and the player will practice in bigger spaces. Players must practice all different types of techniques at this stage.

Strength and endurance should be part of the fitness training. Coaching methods have to consider and preserve players’ health since they will be experiencing many changes due to puberty at this stage. Warm-ups and cool downs are essential
as is dynamic flexibility.

Players must develop discipline at this stage by following the instructions of the coach both during and outside training sessions.


At this stage ages 15 to 17, Tactical training and small-sided games are an essential part of the training at this stage. Attacking and defending principles must be part of all games. Important aspects of the tactical training are speed of play, quick transition, counter attacking and finishing in the final third, as well as pressing.

Technique will focus on speed and accuracy. Passing and finishing are two of the main techniques emphasized at this stage. Part of the technical training will be position-specific (e.g. defender: passing, center midfield players: receiving to turn and strikers: finishing).

The physical aspect of the game is key at this stage: endurance, strength and speed will be part of the weekly training routine.

Players should be expected to show commitment to the team, concentration in training sessions and competitiveness during the game.

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For 25 weeks of training players get 4 hours of team training (plus 2 hours of soccer school IDP), and 1.5 hours of a technical Ball Mastery session with our designated Technical Coaches.

As players progress through the Etobicoke FC Grassroots, Recreational, Competitive Programs, our club has a comprehensive curriculum that is aligned to stages of development and learning. The curriculum is the Technical Blueprint that encompasses a holistic 4 Corner approach (Technical/Tactical, Physical, Mental, Social/Emotional) to provide players with continuous high-quality training contacts from U9 to U18. Once a player has completed a stage of development, they are prepared to advance into the next stream that will be progressively more challenging and advanced. This systematic progression is based on research of best practice from Canada/Ontario Soccer and leading clubs across the world to ensure that Etobicoke FC is providing the optimal environment to allow players to be the best they can be.

The Etobicoke FC 4 Corner model is a holistic approach to training and development that aims to develop the whole person and not just the player. As players progress through the stages of development, their 4 Corner competencies will evolve, and the desired outcome of our pathway is the following:

1. Players who can apply the right technique on demand while
under pressure and in tight spaces
2. Players who possess the physical qualities to play at a high
tempo across the full duration of a match
3. Players with confidence and love for the sport
4. Players who model positive behaviors on/off the field


The Etobicoke FC Competitive and Advanced MLS NEXT Travel Program, will benefit from a development network of 65 MLS NEXT youth clubs and 30 MLS academies. The year-round program will focus on ELITE athletes looking to prepare themselves for the professional academy environment, which will include more than 8,000 players throughout the U.S. and Canada.

Our program consists of;

– 12 to 16 MLS NEXT flight games per year through tournaments, friendlies, and showcases (in additional to regular Ontario Soccer league games).

– Player identification initiatives

– Player education and individual player development and mentorship opportunities.

– Additional programming to create the premier player development environment tailored to each group and their specific needs.

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