LFC International Academy Year in Review 2023
As 2023 draws to a close, we look back on what has been another action-packed 12 months in the world of LFC International Academy (LFC IA).
From new academy launches to special VIP visitors, 2023 has created many lasting memories for young players and coaches around the world.
Here’s a round-up of just some of the highlights.
USC Convention in Philadelphia
We kicked-off the New Year with a trip stateside coinciding with the United Soccer Coaches Convention in Philadelphia. Six members of staff from the UK flew out to meet with partners, delivering technical and business update sessions for around 30 representatives from LFC IAs across North America.
John Barnes visits LFC IA Japan
February saw LFC legend John Barnes pay a special visit to LFC International Academy Japan. John was in Tokyo to attend an event on behalf of LFC principal partner, AXA, which included observing coaching clinics delivered by LFC IA coaching staff.
While there, he posed for photographs and signed autographs with excited youngsters from the academy.
LFC IA Coach Convention
Our annual Coach Convention saw us welcome senior coaches and coach educators to Liverpool from International Academies all over the world. The five-day event was a tremendous success once again, with delegates enjoying updates and presentations from a whole host of LFC coaching and technical staff, in addition to a nutrition session and lunch at the AXA Training Centre.
Attendees also got the opportunity to deliver sessions of their own before sampling some live football, taking in both the Everton vs Liverpool WSL game at Goodison Park before watching LFC Legends play Celtic at Anfield.
The social side of things weren’t forgotten, as Reds legend John Barnes recounted some classic tales from his playing days and answered questions from the floor during a special evening at Anfield.
Delegates visit the AXA Training Centre during LFC IA Coach Convention 2023
LFC International Academy Washington launches
In April, we welcomed our first new International Academy of the year on board, as LFC IA Washington joined the LFC family. The program is already going from strength-to-strength with more than 1300 young players now learning to play The Liverpool Way in Issaquah, Washington state.
Speaking at the time of the launch, Rory O’Connor, Executive Director of LFC IA Washington, said: “Joining LFC International Academy is a fantastic opportunity for our players, our coaches, and our community at large. The level of professionalism and organization we have already encountered in this partnership speaks volumes.
“To work with such a prestigious organisation and benefit from their curriculum and development processes means we will be better able to develop our young athletes, and that is what we are most excited about. To be a part of the storied LFC family, both stateside and globally, is an absolute honour.”
First Academy Soccer School of the year
Our incredibly popular Academy Soccer Schools returned for 2023 as a three-day program kicked-off a busy year of camps in April. Over 100 young players stepped into the Academy to follow in the footsteps of some of their heroes, enjoying an array of coach sessions and mini games under the expert tutelage of LFC coaches.
LFC IA coaches deliver clinics in Beijing
Senior LFC International Academy coaches from the UK joined up with John Barnes again as they delivered some great coaching clinics alongside the Reds legend in Beijing. The sessions were hosted by AXA, with coaches bringing LFC coaching to life and allowing youngsters in Beijing to experience The Liverpool Way of playing.
LFC IA delivers coaching clinics around the world
More coaching clinics were held around the world in May, with LFC IA Program Managers and senior coaches working together to deliver on behalf of Club partners in Ghana, Hong Kong and here in Liverpool. Events for AXA, Standard Chartered and Nike all had brilliant activations that featured coaching sessions.
Iceland programs kick off summer camp season
A busy summer of camps all around Europe kicked-off in early June as 17 LFC IA coaches flew out to Iceland to deliver the highly anticipated annual camps in Mosfellsbær.
Almost 400 youngsters turned out across two different camps to enjoy their LFC experience, learning to play The Liverpool Way for three days. The camps in Iceland have been taking place annually for well over a decade, and we’re already excited to return to do it all again in 2024!
LFC Tour to Singapore offers unforgettable experience
As the LFC Men’s First Team headed out to Singapore on pre-season tour in 2023, it presented an amazing opportunity for youngsters at our International Academy to get up close to their heroes.
Players at LFC IA Singapore were given the opportunity to attend an Open Training session as well as seeing LFC take on Leicester as preparation for the new season continued.
The incredible memories did not stop there, as former Reds hero Gary McAllister dropped into visit the youngster during one of their training sessions, while LFC Mascot Mighty Red also paid a surprise visit to some of the younger players. A summer that nobody in Singapore will ever forget.
Record-breaking residential camps
LFC’s flagship residential camp got underway in July at Repton School in Derbyshire in what was a record-breaking year. Offering youngsters from around the world the opportunity to stay for one week, or two, with a comprehensive LFC training schedule to follow delivered by experience coaches from the Club.
In 2023, more than 800 players from around the world experienced the ultimate camp experience, a record-breaking year since LFC started to offer this incredible opportunity some years ago.
2024 promises to be bigger and better once again – to find out more or to book your place, click here.
Summer camp season continues
Our coaching team continued to clock up the air miles in July as the European summer camps continued. Short courses were delivered in Croatia and Finland in June, while further afield, International Academies across North America started to deliver some of their summer short courses.
LFC IA Australia growth continues
2023 was a year of impressive growth for LFC IA Australia as they continued to expand their program into new venues. In July, Ave Maria school in Melbourne became the latest school venue to come on board and in doing so are also the first all-girls schools school to host LFC IA Australia.
10 years of LFC IA Egypt
August marked a significant milestone in the history of LFC International Academy Egypt, as they became the first year-round program to celebrate their tenth anniversary. Having recently extended their agreement to work with LFC for many more years to come, we look forward to celebrating with them at a special event in Egypt in 2024.
Academy summer Soccer Schools take place
As the children’s summer holidays begun here in the UK, so to did an action-packed schedule of summer Soccer Schools at the Academy. Over the summer, more than 600 children experienced the three-day camp, with some courses also getting surprise visits from the likes of Ian Rush, John Barnes and Mighty Red, not to mention some current members of the LFC Women’s squad.
US Representative team visits UK
The very first team representing LFC International Academies across North America visited the UK in August and enrolled on the LFC IA residential course. Made up of players from LFC IAs across the US, two age groups of both boys and girls visited over a two-week period.
The majority of the players had never met prior to the trip, and so this special experience gave them a unique opportunity to bond in a team environment while also training under the tutelage of LFC coaches.
As well as a busy training schedule, the four teams also played fixtures against UK teams, including Liverpool and Manchester United teams, while also enjoying a memorable trip to Anfield. If that wasn’t enough, Reds legend Steve Staunton also paid a special visit to meet the players and present certificates.
New Head Coach arrives in Japan
September saw a new Head Coach appointed to lead the coaching team at LFC International Academy Japan. David Piercy, an LFC coach with a wealth of experience, flew out to Japan to begin a new chapter for both himself and the Academy.
Digital rec accreditation launched
Since its launch in 2019, the LFC IA Coach Accreditation initiative has been an enormous success, with hundreds of coaches working on LFC programs around the world achieving accredited status.
As LFC IA continues to grow, a recreation-level accreditation was introduced in order to help develop all coaches working on recreational level programs at LFC International Academies around the world. This was also made digital, making it entirely paperless as we look to develop a more sustainable future.
Read more about LFC’s sustainability goals by visiting The Red Way website.
LFC International Academy Mississauga launches
In our second new academy launch of the year, we were delighted to announce a partnership that would take LFC International Academy into Canada for the first time. Based on Mississauga, Ontario, the long-term agreement ensures that a new generation of youngsters in the Canadian city can now look forward to learning to play The Liverpool Way.
Speaking about the partnership, Peyvand Mossavat, LFC IA Mississauga director of football, said: “We are thrilled to start this exciting new journey as LFC IA Mississauga.
“This transition represents more than just a rebranding - a commitment to excellence in our coaching, player development, and community engagement. We are reimagining the future of soccer in our city, nurturing talent and fostering a new generation of champions.”
Steve Staunton visits LFC IA Cyprus
Former Liverpool star Steve Staunton was in Cyprus in October and paid a special visit to the LFC International Academy. During a tournament being held in Nicosia, Staunton was on-hand to speak to coaches, meet players and present medals and certificates. An amazing couple of days for young players in Cyprus.
LFC IA Texas players visit for Team Tour
Young players from Texas visited Liverpool in November as they got to experience a fantastic team tour. Players, many of whom also had parents present during an incredible few days, got to experience some great training sessions delivered by LFC coaches as well as an unforgettable visit to Anfield.
New venue nears completion in Japan
In what has been a great year for LFC IA Japan, brilliant progress has been made on a dedicated new venue in the city of Kawasaki. The facility has been built from scratch and started to host training sessions earlier in the year. In November, plans for branding in the clubhouse were approved as the latest LFC IA venue in Asia takes shape.
Agreement reached to bring LFC IA to Colorado & Louisiana
An exciting end to the year was guaranteed as LFC signed a long-term agreement which would see LFC International Academy launch in the US states of Colorado and Louisiana, two completely new locations. Both programs will launch in early 2024, keep your eyes on our website news feed for more information. Also, you can check out the websites for each location here: lfcacademyco.com | lfcacademyla.com.
LFC IA Singapore players visit for Team Tour
Following hot on the heels of the players from Texas, a group of young players from our academy in Singapore visited Liverpool in December to enjoy a Team Tour experience. Some great training sessions led by LFC coaches made up the majority of the week, in addition to some excursions and a memorable tour of Anfield.
LFC IA team lend a hand to Mission Christmas
Keeping up with tradition, members of the LFC IA team in Liverpool volunteered to help support local charity, Mission Christmas. With the festive period just around the corner, four members of the team visited a warehouse in Merseyside to help sort and pack toys that will be distributed to children in the local area who are at risk of waking up without any presents to open.