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Mar 19, 2016  |  Vote 0    0

West Ottawa Soccer player in running for Canada Soccer program

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Kanata Kourier-Standard

West Ottawa Soccer Club (WOSC) has high hopes for Idir Zerrouk. He was selected by the Canada Soccer Association (CSA) to attend one of three men's youth identification camps in February and March to help foster the player development process for U15 players born in 2001.

The camps are being held in three locations across Canada in Burnaby, Vaughan and Montréal.

“The WOSC would like to congratulate Idir Zerrouk who was selected to participate in an identification camp February 28 to March 3 in Vaughan,” says WOSC Acting Operations Manager Sue Holland.

Idir was born and raised in Ottawa. His parents, who emigrated to Canada in the 90s, are from Algeria where soccer is the number one sport. Soccer is a big part of Idir's family as his father is a coach and his sister plays Ontario Professional Development League.  Launched in 2014 with the 2001 age group, the OPDL is the province's first standards-based, youth high performance league that combines top level competition with strict high performance training standards.

Idir has been with the WOSC OPDL team for two years and is a current member of the Ontario Provincial team. Previous to this he spent much of his youth soccer playing and developing with various clubs, including the Nepean Hotspurs, starting at U5.

His current coach Chris Roth has supported him immensely and is proud of Idir’s accomplishments.

“Making the ID camp is a big step toward professional play. Idir is formally recognized to be one of the top 23 players in Ontario. That in itself is a great honour.”

Idir was one of 15 players selected from the OPDL. More than two thirds of the players come from the OPDL. Being chosen for the national team camp would be a very important step toward making it to the pros.

“Based on past history about 40% of the national team is made of Ontario players. So, 8-12 Ontario players will be going to the national team camp depending on the quality of their competing compatriots,” says Coach Roth.

Idir appreciates the opportunity given to him by the CSA. He is aware that this is just one step toward a goal.

“My experience at the camp was absolutely fantastic,” said Idir. “I had the chance to play with some of the best players in Ontario and many of them became friends over the week. I also had the chance to be coached by very good national coaches who taught me new concepts of the game.”

Idir credits his coaches for his development journey. He gives thanks to Chris Roth at WOSC and attributes him to improving all aspects of his game.

“Idir has been training with a lot of focus to prepare himself for this unique opportunity. I believe he has the ability to make the final selection and we wish him all the best in pursuing his goal.”

Like his parents, soccer has been Idir’s passion since an early age. His dream is to become a professional soccer player one day.

Canada Soccer's Men's National Youth Program's three camps will allow Canada Soccer's coaching staff to assess more than 60 bright Canadian prospects from across the country. The western camp took place in Burnaby from 8-11 February and the final camp in Montréal is from 20-23 March.

"We have been encouraged by the number of younger quality players in our Men's National Team in recent years," said Tony Fonseca, Canada Soccer's Technical Director. "Our players are growing up with a solid foundation of skill. You can see from the interaction with our national program, the future is bright."

Just last year, Canada Soccer's Men's National Youth Program engaged in 20 camps and tournaments from the U-15 to U-23 levels. Canada Soccer’s Men’s EXCEL Program channels the nation’s exceptional players into the best soccer environments. The Canada Soccer Pathway works in collaboration with provincial and territory partners as well as the professional clubs and academies. For Canada’s elite players, the program emphasizes player development on the pathway to representing Canada’s Men’s National Team in international soccer.

For more on soccer in Ottawa, check out the West Ottawa Soccer Club online at www.wosc.com or call 613-831-1135.

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