Two young Eagleclaw players, Malia Suehiro (2007) and Jimmy Merrell (2009) travelled to the Valencia CF youth academy in Spain this month to meet the club and train at the academy. Malia and Jimmy were 2 of 18 players selected by Valencia CF to travel to Spain for the opportunity. Malia was the only girl selected, which makes everyone at Eagleclaw especially proud. Valencia CF have a top level women's professional team and perhaps Malia will play for them one day!.
For both Jimmy and Malia, the trip proved to be an absolutely incredible experience. In addition to training at the Valencia youth academy with other talented players, they were presented to Valencia fans during opening ceremonies of Valencia's regular season game against Real Valladolid.
During the trip, Jimmy and Malia had free time to tour the famous Mestalla stadium, where Valencia CF plays their home games. They also toured the city, spent time at the beach and even attended a professional basketball game.
Jimmy and Malia return to Seattle this week and will rejoin their teams. We are extremely proud of their developmental progress to date and the well-deserved recognition for their achievements. Looking ahead, we expect both players will continue to be observed by Eagleclaw and Valencia coaches and we expect them to be competitive in the upcoming tryouts for teams in our new Valencia Discovery Program.
Eagleclaw's player development philosophy is focused on training players in a modern style, matching the demands of Valencia CF and other top European clubs. Working from an ideal player profile described by Valencia, we work to prepare young players so they can pursue professional playing opportunities. In partnership with Valencia CF, we provide platforms for the most talented and ambitious players to showcase their abilities and pursue their dreams. Not every player can make the leap to the professional game in Europe. However, Eagleclaw training prepares players to pursue playing opportunities at the highest levels they aspire to reach.