Italy: FIDAF's "USA Experience 2013" Project

After two opening camps “USA Experience 2013” project, the ocean is a bit smaller and America is a bit less further. “USA Experience” is a project of Fidaf (Italian Federation of American Football) created to give  Italian football players a possibility to live football and study in the U.S. 

“I do suggest it to everyone, this experience helped me to get better  as a football player and as a man” said Denis Morlini, who lived and played football in California at Citrus College thanks to “USA Experience” in 2012.

More than 100 players, divided in 2 categories (College: 1989 to 1994 and High School 1995 and 1998) have been tested on the 10th of February in Milano and on the 17th of February in Rome by Mel Tjeerdsma together with a staff of Italian football coaches. Mel Tjeersdma was the head coach of the USA National Team which won the World Championship in Austria. He is also one of the coaches that won most games in the US college leagues. Coach Bobby Bentley, head coach of Byrnes High School and Nike coach of the year in 2006, also attended the meeting in Rome where he held a special training session for "skill position players". Reneé Felton (coach of Andrew Howe, Long Jump European Champion in 2006 and silver medalist in World Championship 2007) was also part of the staff.

The athletes did series of drills and skills (specific exercises according to the position of each player together with other Athletics exercises) where staff evaluated them. Coach Tjeerdsma explained to parents and players why the experience in the US is important and Fiorella Bonfanti, who represents the IMG Academy (the most important sport-business Society of the world) introduced the program for the Fidaf players.

Coach Mel Tjeerdsma said: "I have been positively impressed by the good technical level of the Italian players. It is clear that they are well prepared and this means that Italy has very good coaches. I’ve seen great players and I want to see them studying and playing football in The States. These players lack a proper physical training because they do not have the possibility to work with the same intensity and continuity they could have in the US. I think that the 2 days spent in Rome and Milano enriched all of us: me and all the players and staff members that took part in it”.

Luca Pelosi