BEDFORD, N.Y. -- After he retired from playing professional soccer and started managing youth sports camps, Ray Franklin had a realization. His players weren’t very good, and it was because they weren’t receiving the individualized attention needed to improve.
“They were packed in like sardines, and there wasn’t a personal touch put on coaching the kids,” said the longtime Bedford resident.
So in 1977, Franklin launched Eastern Soccer Academy, a soccer education program aimed at providing young players with the right training to improve their game. Each of his residential camp sessions is now held every summer at Williston Northampton School in Easthampton, Mass. For a week at a time, players can work with top-notch coaches from Sunday afternoon to that following Friday. High school pre-season programming is available during that time as well.
To register for one of the three summer camp sessions this July and August, click here.
“We’re not just a local travel program,” Franklin said. “Our goal is to get your child to play at a college level.”
The Eastern Soccer Academy summer camp program isn’t Franklin’s only notable accomplishment, though.
The Eastern Football Club, Franklin’s premier-level soccer club based in Bedford Hills, helps players fine-tune their skills all year round by utilizing the expertise of highly-trained coaches and expanding on the curriculums set by local school sports programs.
Children signed up for Eastern Football Club Pre-Season Clinic can master technique, foot speed, balance and coordination — skills Franklin said are vital for player development. Families can still sign up for Eastern Football Club Pre-Season Clinic this August at Macy Park in Ardsley. Click here for more information.
“We offer parents and families all of these amenities so it’s a one-stop shop,” Franklin said. “Once the high school season is over, they can get back to the club.”