August is when Centre Nutrilait comes back to life for the Academy, as players get back from their short vacation to start preseason. This year, one of the challenges is that, for many reasons, the players are not all back at the same time. For the Impact U19, half of the group was away during the Jeux de la Francophonie until July 30, so they got an extended break, while the other half of the group started training. It’s the same situation for the Impact U17, who is missing four players currently in camp in Florida with Canada Soccer.
“The Development Academy calendar was starting later before, two weeks earlier than usual. Now, it starts earlier and the Impact U15 joins the group,” said Academy fitness coach Benoit Deplagne. “We usually have four to five weeks of preseason. This year, the return is delayed for some. The hardest part is to regroup everyone, but we adapt to all these constraints.”
The second challenge is that for the first time, the Montreal Impact will have three teams in the Development Academy, as the U15 team joins the U17 and U19 teams.
“The Impact U17 and U19 are used to the travelling and the preparation for the Development Academy,” added Deplagne. “For the Impact U15, it will be new. The Development Academy trips are tiring and for the younger players, it can be tough. That’s why we created a new weekly methodology to be able to absorb this charge.”
On the fitness side of things, the goal is to have all the players at their maximum level after the first weeks of training, while keeping the use of the ball in drills. A few friendly games will also be added to the calendar after the first weeks.
The three Impact Development Academy teams will start their season on Saturday, September 2, at Centre Nutrilait, against FC Westchester’s teams.
Mont Tremblay climbing
Last Tuesday, all the Academy teams got together to climb Mont Tremblant. It was a team-building activity, but the physical demand was also there as it was replacing a training session.
Les Academiciens ont encore assez d'énergie pour sourire après la montée. 😆. Bon il reste 2h de descente...😓 pic.twitter.com/MpU6TszKjs— PE (@PECoach3) 9 août 2017
It was also an opportunity for players to meet and mix up outside their age groups, while having fun.