Reston resident Sebastian Conlon, 9, has been playing with the Great Falls Soccer Club Milan Blue U11 travel team since it was formed in 2010. Despite being the youngest player by nearly 2 years on the team he is one of the team's top goal scorers each of the past few seasons playing the mid-field position.
|Photo Credit: Great Falls Soccer|
This past season he helped the club reach a likely Division 3 spot for the upcoming spring NCSL season-they missed out on Division 1 in the final game of the season with a tough away loss. Additionally the team won the elite bracket last fall in a very competitive Richmond Kicker's Tournament attended by over 100 teams. The team is comprised of players from the local Great Falls/Reston area and most have been an integral part of the club since attending GFSC Little Kickers programs.
Conlon, who trains six days a week with three different teams and his own personal speed trainer, spent most of last summer training in England. During his stay in England he was evaluated and trained with coaches and players from Championship side Birmingham City FC and Premiere League side Reading FC. Additionally while in the UK he attended residential training programs with Manchester United Soccer Schools impressing coaches with his play.
Upon his return last August he was accepted into the New York Red Bulls U10 pre-academy RDS soccer program despite being an out of region participant and recently competed with the top U10 players from New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, and Pennsylvania beating out over 200 players to earn a roster spot on a 13 player showcase tournament U10 Red Bulls team. The team is competing this February in a national tournament in New Jersey against top U10 teams from around the East Coast.
This coming summer Conlon has been invited to attend a private tryout in Manchester, England with the elite iFDA Youth Academy for a hopeful return in 2014 for a full four month summer residency program. Conlon is coached by Great Falls Soccer Club coaches Radovan Pletka, Jose Urquizo and GFSC Technical Director Sam Bader who have spearheaded a very successful youth development program at the Great Falls Soccer Club. Pletka, especially has taken considerable interest and time taking Conlon under his wing with additional hours of coaching and training.
The Conlon family came to GFSC from one of the area's other "big" clubs because GFSC offers flexibilities and individualized instruction that other big clubs struggle to match. Conlon's father who played briefly in Germany as a youth and played at the High School and College level in the United States sums up the Great Falls Soccer Club philosophy best, "......we aren't one of the big clubs but that means we have a very small tight knit group of kids, parents, volunteers and coaches which I think is one of the strongest benefits of GFSC. The personal attention each kid gets, no matter age or what level of the program is a huge asset at this club as are the coaching staff and other hard working volunteers."
Great Falls Soccer Club has supported girls and boys soccer for many years as a great avenue to learning the game at all ages. The most competitive players end up playing travel soccer which runs from the U9 development stage all the way up to pre-college U19 age groups. Great Falls Soccer Club has a long history of developing strong players who go on to play at top level high school, college and even professional levels. Witness the recent signing of GFSC standout Junior Flores by twice German Bundesliga Champions, Borussia Dortmund. Flores is also an aspiring US National team player at the U17 level having honed his skills on the fields in Great Falls.
For more information on Great Falls Soccer Club please visit www.greatfallssoccer.com.