Living in Cairo with its myriad problems can be tough for anyone who wants to nurture their talents. Most people just accept the fact that they can’t get any better and just give up. Which is where Elite International Soccer comes in the picture; an organisation that works to help develop young athletes’ skills in Egypt.
Founded in 2012 by Lee Paul and Zane Ahmadein who have over 20 years combined experience as former professional players, the program started with a clear aim to provide specialized training by qualified coaches to create a platform for youth and improve the technical skills, ability and characteristics of their students in a high-caliber team setting.
But is EIS an organization? An academy? Or a league? “It is an Academy, and it is based in the Maadi Olympic Stadium, providing both girls and boys of all skills, aged 5-18 the coaching assistance that aims at developing their ability to play soccer through a structured curriculum,” Paul answers us.” Ahmadein explains to us.
But it doesn’t just stop at that. “The Academy is just the beginning, there’s the Camps where youths aged 8-18 go on a 5 day development camp to up their soccer game in a fun and safe environment, the Footy 5‘s where 12 teams play competitive 5-a-side matches under the pro-indoor soccer league regulations, the Outreach where they collaborate with non-profit organizations to give back to the community and help the underprivileged youth, and last but not least, the College Recruitment where they help kids go on full soccer scholarships,” Ahmadein breaks down EIS for us.
With most other soccer training academies claiming they have quality coaches, what makes EIS stand out from the rest is that their coaches are all certified with international coaching qualifications. “Unfortunately many parents unknowingly sign up their kids to soccer training academies that have impressive names, however the caliber of coaching is just not up to the standard. We don’t just pride ourselves on the coaching licenses our trainers have, it’s the experience, genuine care and enthusiasm that we share that makes us successful,” Noah Lichtenthaler, the Business Development and Head Coach of EIS tells us.
The youth program not only hopes, but knows they have the capabilities to produce the next Messi or Mohamed Salah, but that’s not what makes them tick. “We have great coaching and philosophy that produces great players, but seeing our players grow in confidence and character, as well as forming bonds with teammates is something way more valuable to us,” Ahmadein and Paul tell us what EIS would want every single one of their players to achieve.
On top of making their students grow in every sense of the word, they do everything that they can do to help their students achieve their dreams. “Helping young athletes through our college recruitment into college is definitely on top of the list, but one of our favorite success stories is when we got one of our students on the female Jordanian soccer team.”
We, as Egyptians, love soccer and yet continue to fail to reach the FIFA World Cup. If we ever hope to turn this around, we’re going to need academies such as EIS to help us do that, providing the youth with the development and training required to produce superstars that can compete globally regardless of their backgrounds.
WE SAID THIS: EIS will be moving up to Sahel for the summer, offering all its high quality programs, and more, Stay tuned.