The evidence of Aron Winter’s top-down approach to remaking Toronto FC isn’t only seen in the first team’s adoption to the pass-and-move 4-3-3 system. The effects are being felt all the way down to the junior feeder programs that send talent to TFC Academy.
“Basically, the club (TFC) has a philosophy, now,” said Michael Stefano, technical director of the West Toronto United FC program, which is the first within the city’s borders to become an official affiliate of the TFC Youth Academy Program. “The club now has an identity, and let’s run with it.”
West Toronto United has met the standards set by TFC, to nurture young players so they could potentially transition into the Academy set-up. That means the clubs have to share similar philosophies and training methods. Stefano met with junior academy coach Jim Brennan and academy director Stuart Neely and was impressed at how dedicated they are to implementing Winter’s Dutch philosophy at every level of the club.
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