Seamus' Op Ed January 2017

In my last article I mentioned how we are designating 2017 to be The Year of Individual
Technical Improvement for All Penn Legacy Players.  The goal behind this is to a). provide as many opportunities for our players to practice and perfect skills, moves, and first touch with BOTH feet, and b). motivate the players to practice on their own, both replicating what we have shown them, but also improvising and creating new ways to improve their skills, and thus their comfort on the ball.  Below are some of the ways we hope to accomplish this goal:

FLASH CLINICS
As often as possible over the next few months we will host clinics where players can sign up for a nominal fee to work with me on a selected technical topic.

JUGGLING CLUB 2.0
Starting very soon we will be bringing back our PL Juggling Club where our players can earn recognition and small awards for reaching different levels of juggling expertise.  The new version of our juggling club will feature levels both for number of juggles, but also distance.  In other words, static juggling and then motion juggling.  We hope to launch this program in the next few weeks.

SENSEBALL TRAINING
You may have noticed some teams go through a pilot program with myself where we were using a ball on a string.  The balls we were using are called senseballs and we plan to bring these into more and more of our training and clinics moving forward.

THE ZIDANE SESSIONS
Starting in the spring we will be offering “mini technical clinics” that will begin about 20 mins or so before team practices on select days where kids can just show up with their ball and go through some technical exercises with either myself or a member of our coaching staff.   Then, once practice time arrives, off they go with their team.  Simple concept, and hopefully they will be helpful for players to work on their skills in a very relaxed environment.

TECHNICAL PLAY AREA
Once the summer rolls around, we plan to set up a designated area at the East Pete venue that will have football tennis nets, mini goals, and a few technical-based items for our players to come and play and practice on their own. Of course, our winter and summer training programs have always been rooted in individual player development, and hopefully this will all compliment with our team trainings to help all our players achieve marked improvement in their overall game, and especially in their technical ability.

Seamus.
Seamus Donnelly
Director of Coaching and Player Development
Penn Legacy Football Club

College Prep Sessions Coming Soon

Penn Legacy FC will be holding several College Prep Mini Training Sessions along with several College Recruiting Q & A sessions in conjunction with the WSOX sessions. These sessions are all optional and will be held just before the WSOX Older Age Group training which start Saturdays at 11:00 am which will allow the players to also attend WSOX. The Mini Sessions will be at LANCO Fieldhouse and will start at 10:30 am and end at 10:50am. The sessions will cover a variety of topics that relate to college prep and recruiting. This will allow the players to come to WSOX 30 minutes early and be exposed to important college recruiting information, get answers to their questions, and then train at WSOX. Details of each session will be coming in future Penn Legacy Newsletters so please check back! Any questions please contact Mike Logan.

2017 International Trip Announcement

Penn Legacy is excited to announce the first annual Penn Legacy/Generation Adidas International Team Trip to Real Madrid C.F. in Madrid, Spain in August 2017.   Penn Legacy in conjunction with Adidas and its Generation Adidas program are planning to make this an annual trip for boys and girls players at our u15 and/or u14 age groups. This August, 19 boys and about 22 parents from a combination of our u15 and u14 boys' teams will be attending the trip as they spend 9 days in Madrid, training at the Real Madrid training facility with training sessions led by coaching staff from Real Madrid's famed Academy.  In addition, Seamus Donnelly, Penn Legacy's Director of Coaching will be joining the group along with coaches David Simpson and Nicholas Ruhl from the u14 age group.   

Seamus Donnelly notes, "this is such an exciting opportunity for these boys.  They will get to immerse themselves in the Real Madrid experience and the Spanish culture.  They will receive coaching from some of the top youth coaches in the world and also rub shoulders with the Madrid youth academy players every single day at The City of Football, as Madrid's Training Complex is called.  They will play friendly matches against local opposition and even attend La Liga matches at the famed Santiago Bernabeu stadium.  For sure we want to make this an annual trip where our kids grow and develop in our program and have this European trip to look forward to arriving at the u14 and u15 age group".    

We have been planning to add an International trip for quite some time and have been working with Adidas towards implementing this opportunity as an additional program offering for our travel side of the Club.    

The traveling players and their families will be spending the next several months conducting fundraising efforts to help assist in the cost of the trip as they have several fundraising events in the planning stages for this spring.  These events will then be carried on next year by the age group that will be travelling in 2018.  The plan is to make fundraising events that bring the Penn Legacy family closer together as well as raise money for the players going to Europe.  Stay tuned for more on these events, future destinations for 2018 teams, and even more exciting news for Penn Legacy and Adidas.

We fully intend to send both girls and boys from designated age groups on European trips on an annual basis beginning in 2018. Together with Adidas we tried to do a girls and boys trip for 2017, but simply did not have enough commitments on the girls' side to proceed with a 2017 trip, but we hope to build on the momentum of the 2017 trip, plus our continued excellent partnership with Adidas and Generation Adidas International, and provide this incredible opportunity for both the girls and boys going forward.  Details for the 2018 trip will be announced later this year. 

2017 MLK Day Flash Clinic

 

FLASH CLINIC - Monday, January 16, 2017

Players and parents, I will be holding clinics on Monday based on Individual Technical Training using the Senseballs and other exciting exercises.  The focus will be on the weaker foot, first touch, and basic footskills.

It is a simple concept; go to the link below to sign up, there is room for 24 kids each hour in the designated age groups.  Bring $5 along to the clinic which will take place at Lanco Fieldhouse on the far end of field 1.  No need to bring a ball, just a water bottle and appropriate soccer footwear.

Sign up HERE

Any questions, contact me at seamus@pennlegacy.org

Seamus' Op Ed December 2016

The year 2016 has certainly been a tumultuous one in youth soccer. The switchover to birth year is complete, and the new PDIs (Player Development Initiatives) are in place in regards to heading and encouraging teams to build from the back. The birth year vs school year changeover was hard for everyone, especially our older teams I feel, but now is the time to look forward instead of back, and to concentrate on the positives, of which there are many.

First off, the year 2017 marks the club’s 40th birthday! Formed originally as Hempfield Soccer Club, the change was made a number of years ago to Penn Legacy. The new name was chosen with an eye to the future, of letting people know where we come from (Penn), and also as a nod to those who went before us, those who had the vision and the wherewithal to set up a youth soccer club in 1977 when the popularity of the sport was unrecognizable to what it is today. In doing so, they created the legacy that our players continue today.

Speaking of 2017, I have decided to officially designate this “The Year of Individual Technique Improvement for All Penn Legacy Players”. It might not be the catchiest of titles, but I think it is the single most important part of player development that can be improved upon. We plan on providing all sorts of new and exciting programs and opportunities for our players to participate in, both in person with our coaches, and also at home on their own. We will be bringing back our PL Juggling Club (with a twist), we will introduce a new program called The Zidane Sessions, we will be adding lots of cool new content to the PL YouTube channel, and even adding a Technical Playground to our East Pete venue this summer. More information on all these ventures (and more) will be coming in the New Year.

Speaking of YouTube, I want to say a few words about Lionel Messi. When I first came to America I often heard people speaking of Michael Jordan and of never taking for granted that we were able to watch the greatest basketball player of all time. The same can now be said of Messi. I know not everyone has access to BEIN Sports Channel, but please try to take the time to watch some footage of the little genius in action with your young footballers. He is simply sensational and inspirational on so many levels. If you get a chance, try to watch his dribbling skills from yesterday’s game against Espanyol.

Lastly, I wish you all a very Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and a Happy New Year. This club is a special one; in many ways it is an extended family, and as it turns 40 I can only promise you we will continue to expand upon opportunities to provide the best possible learning and playing environment for your children to play this wonderful sport.

-Seamus Donnelly, Director of Coaching