Currently in the first year of operation under Canada Soccer’s Women’s Regional EXCEL program, FC Edmonton’s REX Girls soccer program was paid with a visit this past week by Regional EXCEL Talent Manager Joey Lombardi.
Lombardi is completing a cross-country trek that has seen him visit and assess REX centres in Vancouver, Calgary, Winnipeg, Moncton, Halifax, Montreal, Edmonton and Saskatoon.
“When I visit a Province to evaluate the program, I am quality assuring the coaching standards, facilities, Four-Corner support, Curriculum Delivery, Alignment of Playing Model and Performance Analysis,” Lombardi explained. “A key component in our delivery of performance analysis is we capture games and training sessions to allow each REX player the opportunity to review their most recent performance”.
December marked Lombardi’s first visit to Alberta’s capital city since last summer, where REX coaches and staff engaged in a training workshop that introduced the EXCEL curriculum, system and philosophy prior to the program’s September kick-off.
“The coaches here in Edmonton have been working with the National curriculum since the program launched in September and this is my first initial visit with the fully operational Edmonton REX” Lombardi added. “I’m quite happy with the transfer from the staff training workshop to the on-field delivery…it’s nice to see all the pieces coming together. I thank Alberta Soccer Association for their investment, support and alignment with the Talent EXCEL pathway.”
FC Edmonton’s REX program is a part of the Canada Soccer Pathway and the Women’s EXCEL Program, designed to produce “More Sinclairs, More Often” and that the program is developing players by design and not by chance. Lombardi describes the ideal player produced from Edmonton’s REX program as a ‘Gold Medal Standard Player’.
“A Gold Medal Standard player has solid technical habits, in terms of proactive passing, vision and awareness, running and dribbling, receiving and turning, finishing skills and proactive defending,” Lombardi explained. “These global habits are fundamental to creating a strong technical foundation”
“On top of these global technical habits, Gold Medal Standard players require the physical ability to maintain high performance across 90-minutes plus and the mental skills to perform under pressure. There is also the social and emotional component and key to this corner is lifestyle balance. High performing individuals have great life balance and the REX staff support the players to ensure that they have a holistic development program”.
Lombardi is clear on his vision for FC Edmonton’s REX program and those around the country as each centre moves forward in the coming years.
“The end in mind is that every REX centre is a world-class program and leader in player development,” Lombardi concluded. “REX programs across Canada will strengthen the pipeline into the National EXCEL program, but more importantly improve the quality of future players progressing into the Women’s National Team.”
FC EDMONTON'S REX PROGRAM
FC Edmonton’s REX Program aims to prepare and develop players to move onwards to the national and collegiate levels of women’s soccer. Funded by FC Edmonton owners Tom and Dave Fath, the women’s REX program also draws support from the Alberta Soccer Association.
ABOUT CANADA SOCCER
Canada Soccer, in partnership with its membership and its partners, provides leadership in the pursuit of excellence in soccer, both at the national and international levels. Canada Soccer not only strives to lead Canada to victory, but also encourages Canadians to a life-long passion for soccer. For more details on Canada Soccer, visit the official website at canadasoccer.com.
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