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Inside The ICEF #7

Inside The ICEF #7

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ICEF International Center of European Football - Boarding soccer academy in Europe

Starting right where we left off

The ICEF Europe and its student-athletes are in the crucial stages of the second half of their season, and as restrictions regarding travel are lifted, are encountering more and more competitive matches against some of the best teams in Europe. In April, all of the players will have the chances to travel to big European cities to measure their progress against top opponents. They’ve also entered the 3rd stage of their work program with expert movement analyst Baptiste Marmoud. Off the field, student-athletes participated in diverse activities offering them memorable experiences and fun ways to strengthen the chemistry amongst the teams!

Matches against the best in Europe

The ICEF started the year with a high-level match in January against Olympique Lyonnais, 3rd highest ranked professional academy in Europe behind Real Madrid and FC Barcelona, and their competition schedule for the second half of the season is complete with matches against the most prestigious opponents in Europe.

In 2022, the ICEF has played Dijon, AS Saint-Etienne, FC Meyrin and Servette Genève FC, a landmark team competing at the highest echelon of the Swiss professional leagues. Preparation for these big games is done in the most professional manner, with specific training sessions and video sessions to optimize performance. Moreover, high-level challenges are arriving in April in the form of the Mediterranean International Cup (MIC), the world’s largest youth soccer tournament, and a match versus the professional academy of Paris-Saint Germain in Paris.

It is a real advantage for the residents to measure their progress against professional-level and reputable opponents. The players are as motivated as ever to excel and show their best for these occasions, as they are exposed to high intensity and high-level competition.

A special mention also goes out to Luis Martin, Zaccaria and Achille for their debut match with the first team of Thonon Evian Grand Genève! All three showed plenty of desire to perform well and took full advantage of their first match with the professional group against the reserve team of Servette Genève FC.

Cultural activities both on and off campus

As of 2022, the ICEF team added Claire Watts as the lifestyle and activities manager. Her responsibilities are to coordinate fun, educational, and cultural activities both on and off campus. Hence, student-residents have started the year by immersing themselves in French culture at the local markets in both Thonon and Evian to try regional delicacies and practice French. They also embarked on a sledding excursion in the picturesque French Alps! On campus, cultural activities have found success amongst the students including a smoothie workshop, a sushi rolling night, and most recently an Italian American themed dinner and movie.

Progress with Expert Movement Analyst Baptiste Marmoud

Over the course of the year, Expert Movement Analyst Baptiste Marmoud has worked on personalized development programs for each individual player to master their movement. As of now, the student-residents are at the 3rd phase of the program, which will focus on having the players make the most of their physical attributes and learn how to leverage them based on their position as well as other variables.

It’s important to note that the ICEF is the only Pro Residency Academy with an Expert Movement Analyst, and the benefits of his work will be felt for the entirety of the players’ careers.

Esports comes to the ICEF Europe

Esports is growing and is quickly reaching new heights in terms of popularity. Video game competitions have reached professional standards and are organized into a variety of competitive leagues. Training and preparation for competitions are demanding, and the discipline needed to succeed in Esports overlaps with the training for traditional team sports. Daily commitment to excellence, measuring performance, all-encompassing preparation are just a few of the common attributes between sports and Esports.⁠

In response to the growing popularity and professionalism of Esports and paying close attention to emerging trends that can benefit our players in the long term, both on and off the field, the ICEF is proud to be the main partner of the Thonon Gaming Fest, a prestigious event that will open the doors of the Lake Geneva region to the international Esports community. Following the announcement, the residents were presented details and specific information regarding the event by organizers Hadrien and Alexis at the ICEF campus.⁠

The festival will organize tournaments at the Maison des Sports in Thonon les Bains between April 30th and May 1st, 2022. Big names in Esports will be in attendance, such as Glutonny (the best Super Smash Bros player in France and member of the Solary team) and more. The residents will be invited to attend the event and for some of them, to temporarily swap their cleats for a controller to represent the ICEF in tournaments!