YOU ARE HERE: Glendale HomeCollections

Athletes learn the FC Barcelona way at Glendale soccer camp

Young soccer players receive expert coaching from individuals who train with world-famous Spanish squad.

August 03, 2013|By Jeff Tully,
  • Arpa Dilanchian, 10 of La Crescenta, kicks the ball during a scrimmage at the 2013 FC Barcelona Soccer Camp at the Glendale Sports Complex on Friday, August 2, 2013. FCBEscola members from Spain, along with local coaches, helped run the five-day camp.
Arpa Dilanchian, 10 of La Crescenta, kicks the ball during… (Raul Roa / Staff…)

GLENDALE — Like many young boys and girls, 11-year-old Kiana Jones has a wide variety of activities in which to choose from during the summer.

Unfortunately, things like iPhones, iPods, personal gaming devices, computers, television and DVDs keep many of Jones' peers indoors during their break from school.

"I would rather be outside playing than be inside being like a hermit," Jones said. "My sister is the one who just stays in the house all the time and I have a bunch of friends who are like that. But I'm happy to be outside playing … that's something that I really like."

Some 170 like-minded athletes ages 6-16 took to the soccer field at the Glendale Sports Complex this week to take part in a series of FC Barcelona Soccer Camps. The camps, which began Monday and concluded Friday, have the distinction of including expert coaching from some of the coaches from FC Barcelona, the famous Spanish soccer club that is one of the most popular and successful in the world.


Participants from as far as Mexico, Canada and cities throughout California came to take part in one of seven camps held throughout the nation during the summer. The young athletes were put through a training regimen that included many of the same drills that are conducted for the players of the elite professional club.

"That is what really makes us unique," camp director Frank Bagheri said. "If you want to get that real FC Barcelona training, the only way to do that is in one of our camps. Either that or try and go to a camp in Barcelona and you can't get into one of those.

"There are a lot of camps that might have the name FC Barcelona, but ours is the only one that is officially affiliated with the club. We have coaches from the club who actually coach the youth teams from September to June with Barcelona and many coach in La Masia, which is a heartbeat away from the first team."

The athletes took part in three sessions: a morning session that was open to all players and two afternoon sessions that catered to the more elite players. In the elite camp, each FC Barcelona coach takes only 15 players to work with.

"They get divided by age, because that's all we really know about them," Bagheri said. "And the coaching they receive is really top-notch. Along with the Barcelona coaches, we have some of the other coaches who have been with us through the series of the three camps that we've had in the past."

Glendale News-Press Articles Glendale News-Press Articles