Thursday, July 8, 2010

Despite early exit, Brazil holds the key to Soccer Success

(Ancaster News, July 8, 2010)

Not withstanding the country’s surprise exit from the 2010 World Cup, Ian McClurg is a firm believer in Brazilian soccer.

After all, McClurg knows the South American soccer giant takes its game very seriously. As the franchise owner of Brazilian Soccer Schools in Hamilton and Burlington, McClurg helps young players improve their individual skills the Brazilian way. By focusing on individual skills rather than stressing the need to win tournaments, McClurg believes young Canadian players can achieve greater success on the world field. He said a coaching approach focusing on individual skills could help Canada qualify for the world’s premier soccer tournament when it returns in 2014.

“In Canada, there is a sense of frustration as to why we aren’t there,” said McClurg. “The U. S. team should be a good benchmark for us. They’re a very fit, well organized team.”

McClurg, an Ancaster resident, said soccer powerhouses Italy, France and England may want to re-examine their technical training following their disappointing exits from the 2010 World Cup. Conversely, he credits the spread of Brazilian style training techniques for helping other South American teams like Uruguay and Paraguay, advance to the round of eight at the World Cup.

McClurg believes Canadian youth who dream of representing their country on the soccer pitch should be willing to train three times per week for a total of 12 hours. That includes one hour of stretching exercises per session and one hour of technical work.

Instead of focusing on game play and tournament victories, McClurg emphasizes individual skills, the fundamental principle behind the Brazilian Soccer Schools training method.

McClurg, who recently attained a UEFA Class A coaching license from the Irish Football Federation, said technical skills, not scores and standings, are the benchmark for success. He points out that many of Europe’s top soccer academies, like Liverpool FC, don’t even record team standings for players under 16. Youth teams, who focus only on gaining promotion or avoiding relegation to a lower league, may neglect their individual skills.

“It’s really lacking a training mentality,” McClurg said.

Brazilian Soccer Schools is a concept developed by British soccer enthusiast Simon Clifford. After visiting Brazil and watching children play a game called Futebol de Salao, Clifford noticed the young Brazilians had extraordinary ball handling skills. Their game, a variation of what most of the world calls football, is played with a smaller, size two ball. The Futebol de Salao ball is much weightier than a conventional ball. It has very little bounce. Instead of kicking the ball long distances and chasing it back and forth, Clifford noticed the Brazilian players used their superior ball handling skills to challenge the defenders.

Founded in 1996, Brazilian Soccer Schools uses the same method to improve individual skills. Clifford’s first school was launched in Leeds, England.

Today there are BSS schools across the U. K., offering cutting edge training techniques to a football crazed nation. Franchises have also appeared in 64 countries worldwide, including Canada.

In less than two years, McClurg has already helped some up-and-coming players advance to the next level, such as Adam Bouchard from Burlington, who at 14, was accepted for academy tryouts with Toronto FC’s program for 16-year-olds.

McClurg currently instructs over 100 students in Burlington and Ancaster. He dreams about someday making the BSS system as prevalent in Canada as the U. K. where programs exist in virtually every community.

For information on Brazilian Soccer School Canada visit

Monday, June 21, 2010

Brazilian Soccer Schools Burlington Get Into World Cup Spirit Samba Style

With World Cup fever everywhere there is a group of players in Burlington and Hamilton who would be happy to see Brazil scoring a few goals.

Brazilian Soccer Schools began when Middelsborough FC fan Simon Clifford met Juninho back in 1996. Juninho introduced Simon to the South American game of Futebol de Salão and Clifford knew that the game would have a major impact on the technical development of young footballers in the UK and other international countries.

Futebol de Salão is the game that Brazilian legends like Juninho, Jairzinho, Socrates, Kaka and Pele all credit for their skill. Since the introduction of Brazilian Soccer Schools in the UK, England stars of the past, present and future including Michael Owen, Wayne Rooney, Theo Walcott and Micah Richards have all benefitted from the training methods.

Now, a few years on, Brazilian Soccer Schools are found across the world and are providing players for both professional and national youth teams. And with five World Cups to England’s one, Brazil will be watched just as closely as the Three Lions are this summer.

Head of Brazilian Soccer Schools Richard Sutherland said: “The World Cup is always a hard time for players involved with our Schools in England. On the one hand they all support England and obviously they want them to win the tournament, but on the other hand they love watching Brazil for their approach to the game and would also like to see them do well. We could all learn a bit from watching them as well.”

Ian McClurg, Director of Coaching for Brazilian Soccer Schools Burlington confirms how much his students are enjoying watching the Brazilians in action. "With no Canadian team in the tournament, many of our families are following the Brazilian team. The technical skill, speed of play and flair of the Brazilian players confirms what is possible through many years of dedication and hard-work. Our students spend many hours improving their technical skills and are inspired by the Brazilian players at the 2010 World Cup. Watching these players in action can only add to their overall soccer education."

For more information on Brazilian Soccer Schools programs in Burlington and Hamilton please contact 289-239-9602 or check the website at

Friday, June 11, 2010

Brazilian Soccer Schools Burlington Launch New Youth Development Programs


With the 2010 FIFA world Cup underway in South Africa, the success of Brazil in consistently developing the world’s most skilful players in the world will again be highlighted.
Brazilian Soccer Schools Burlington will be launching several new summer development programs to celebrate the 2010 World Cup and provide access to the latest Brazilian training methods. Players aged 5-16 can learn to Play the Brazilian Way this summer through an extensive range of programs:

•Full-Day and Half-Day Summer Camps
•Individual 1:1 Coaching
•Technical Training Programs-Groups
•Team Training programs
•Futebol de Salao Leagues

Daniel Coyle, author of The Talent Code, has lauded the benefits of Futebol de Salao in an interview with Success Magazine.

Daniel's book, which investigates whether talent is a natural feature or something that can be nurtured, contains a chapter on the Brazilian Soccer Schools (BSS) and SOCATOTS.

In it, the New York Times bestselling author explains how the methods used in Brazil, and adapted and utilized by Brazilian Soccer Schools (BSS) and Socatots accelerates each child's development.
Futebol de Salao is a small-sided game native to South America which uses a weight, size two football to improve technique. Current and former professionals such as Robinho, Kaka, Ronaldinho, Pele and Zico cite the game as paramount to their development, and it is used by over a million children worldwide throughout the network of BSS centres.

"Our sessions are focused on individual or paired work which increases the ball-time each child has, and, as Daniel quotes in the article, typical games offer each player 600% more touches."

Brazilian Soccer Schools....where players are made...not born!

Monday, May 17, 2010

Brazilian Soccer Schools Burlington Player Featured in the News

Brazilian Soccer Schools Burlington player Adam Bouchard was featured on CHCH news last Friday evening (May 14th) between 6-6:30 PM EST. This followed a radio interview with Adam that appeared on CHML earlier in the week.

Adam puts in long hours to continually improve his technical skills and aside from his abilities as a player, he is a great role model for all our younger players in training. Adam will be coaching our younger players in our 2010 Summer House-League program in Burlington and will be attending further Toronto FC academy training sessions as he continues his progression.

He is a great ambassador for Brazilian Soccer Schools Burlington and a real credit to his family. In terms of the further development of soccer players within Canada we will continue to work towards providing "clearly defined pathways" for our young players. Toronto FC is one option, as are professional clubs overseas and US and Canadian colleges and universities.

The key for any young player aspiring to these higher levels is continuous practice and dedication to improvement. We are very enthusiastic about the quality of players we train and the players attending twice/week or more have embraced the "training mentality" required to excel in anything in life.

As we keep saying, we are only just beginning.....more stars on their way

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Two Brazilian Soccer Schools Burlington Players invited to Train with Toronto FC

Brazilian Soccer Schools Burlington is pleased to announce that two of its players have been invited to train with the Toronto FC academy program during April. Adam Bouchard, 14, and Anthony Petrolo, 16, have been training with Brazilian Soccer Schools Burlington since 2009 and this opportunity is a result of their hard-work and dedication over several months.

Toronto FC provides a clear pathway for players who seek to play in the professional game as well as pursue academic and athletic scholarships. While the primary goal of the Toronto FC Academy is to ultimately find a player for the first team, it is also to ensure that young players have an opportunity to enter into their program, and hopefully obtain a university scholarship (academic or athletic).

Stuart Neely, Head Coach of the Toronto FC Academy was optimistic that the Brazilian Soccer Schools program in Burlington can continue to provide its players with a clear pathway towards higher levels of the game.
“We have a massive task to scout Ontario alone and as such we can’t do it alone. In the footballing community there are good people who have good opinions about the game and players and we use them to help us in our search. Ian McClurg of BSS Burlington Hamilton has been a friend and close colleague for a number of years now and any recommendations from him are always welcome to attend”.

When Toronto FC receives a letter of recommendation from a coach, club or organization about a player, they investigate with follow-up calls to many people and then seek to bring the player in for a 1, 2 or 3 week trial. This is obviously dependant on how the player does each week. It is a very competitive environment at both our Junior and Senior Academy teams. The Academy trains daily with our school boys from 2-5pm and then 5-7pm (M, T, W and F) with our trialists. All of these sessions take place at Lamport Stadium and are closed door. The Friday session takes place at BMO field in the strength and conditioning rooms.

Neely added “ we look forward to seeing Anthony Petrolo and Adam Bouchard in the near future at our trials and we are confident they will receive good training in an intense atmosphere with a positive learning outcome for both. Ian’s program is situated in the heart of a good footballing area with many talented players around and the more eyes we can have out there is only positive for the game and obviously Toronto FC and BSS Burlington. . We thank Ian for his continued support of Toronto FC and its Academy”.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Brazilian Soccer Schools Burlington Players to be coached by Top Professional Clubs in Summer

Brazilian Soccer Schools Burlington players will be coached by top clubs such as Sporting Lisbon (Portugal), Boca Juniors (Argentina) and Valencia (Spain) during the week of July 12th - July 15th.

Top academy coaches from these clubs will conduct evening training sessions with a maximum of 20 players participating each evening. Preference will be given to Brazilian Soccer Schools players enrolled in our spring term programs (April-June).

Inviting guest coaches from top professional clubs in the world to work with our players will provide an additional learning experience and enhance our ongoing development work.

Registration for this unique learning experience will begin immediately.

Call 289-239-9602 or email

(Max. 20 players/session)

Cost is $30+GST/session. Players can register for one to four sessions.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Brazilian Soccer Schools Burlington Player Receives Recognition

Brazilian Soccer Schools Burlington is pleased to announce that Daniel Mun, aged 9, has been invited to join the Hamilton and District development program. The program is for players U12 (aged 11) and it is a credit to Daniel’s ability that he has been selected for this program at such a young age. This program is the first step towards graduating to the Ontario provincial program at aged 13. From there, players in Canada then work towards selection for the national programs.

Daniel’s father, Abraham, has been complimentary about the role that Brazilian Soccer Schools Burlington has played in Daniel’s ongoing development.

“Daniel is 9 years old and has been attending BSS sessions 2-3 times/week with Ian McClurg and his coaching staff. Thanks to this training, he was recently selected for the District program. We strongly recommend this program to other players trying to improve their soccer skills”

Brazilian Soccer Schools Burlington is currently training over 150 players/week after launching in Canada only 15 months ago. It continues to grow with the addition of after-schools, adult leagues and other community-based programs and is on track to reach their target of 200 players/week by the end of 2010.

However, Ian McClurg feels that they are only beginning to scratch the surface. “Daniel’s recent success is very much deserved. He has a real passion for the game and is at this level because he has trained with intensity for 3 times/week, since last summer. Other young players must recognize that Daniel has earned this through hard-work and perseverance. He always wants to learn and get better and there is much more to come from him and our other players in the coming months. We are only starting!”