Home NASL & USL FC Edmonton With “a lot of great memories” from his time coaching Canada’s U-17’s, Fleming moves to FCE

With “a lot of great memories” from his time coaching Canada’s U-17’s, Fleming moves to FCE

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This coming Monday, Sean Fleming will sit down with FC Edmonton coach Colin Miller and assistant Jeff Paulus, who also directs the team’s Academy. Fleming will also meet with parents of some of the Alberta Capital Region’s  best soccer prospects.

Fleming will be on day one of his new job, running the U-16 program for FC Edmonton’s Academy.

Fleming, who led Canada’s U-17 team through four World Cup cycles, and qualifying for two U-17 World Cups, left the Canadian Soccer Association last December, though he still works with the CSA for coaching courses. Fleming said the parting was a mutual decision.

“I had four cycles with the U-17s, we got to World Cups, and everything has its time,” Fleming said. “Definitely, there are a lot of great memories.”

What did Fleming take away from those international tournaments? That Canada has a long way to go.

“The two World Cups were just a great level of football,” he said. “Argentina, we saw England with Raheem Sterling. And we saw just how far along some of these kids are.”

Now, he’ll take those experiences and translate them to his new job. How did he get the job with his hometown team? He knew Paulus well from the National Training Centre, and there was a dialogue that opened between Fleming and FCE.

“We kept in touch and, as the season went on, some things came into play,” said Fleming.

And Fleming said the U-16 level is critical. Many kids come in at this level not really knowing the kind of commitment needed to make it up to the U-18 level, to get on the national program’s radar, to make it to professional football.

“And a lot of it is off the pitch; that’s where they need to show the discipline and commitment,” said Fleming. “It comes with understanding the need for proper sleep, nutrition on top of the 90 minutes of training per day.”

And, when he ran Canada’s U-17 program, he said that “some, not a lot” of the kids didn’t yet have a grasp of what it took to make the steps to the  next level.

“But you can’t blame the kids,” he said. “It’s a matter of what they knew. This level is a big jump for many players.”

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