Six Vancouver Whitecaps FC Residency players have taken part in European pre-season training camps in Germany.
Residency players include Devin Gunenc and Greg Smith with Bayern Munich and Adam Straith, Antonio Rago, Alex Semenets and William Hyde with 1860 Munich of the German Bundesliga.
As part of Residency program, we felt it would be great opportunity for our players to experience the atmosphere and level of play that we will be aspiring to," said Residency Head Coach and Technical Director Thomas Niendorf. “It is also an excellent opportunity to begin the Whitecaps residency partnership process with Bayern Munch, 1860 Munich and our other European partners."
Gunenc and Smith trained with the U-19 Junior Team of Bayern Munich from July 16 to August 3 under coach Kurt Niedermeyer and Technical Director Werner Kern, who arranged the stay. Gunenc and Smith also participated as guest players in pre-season training. The pair stayed at Bayern Munich Youth Academy and experienced the true set up of Bayern’s youth development concept.
Straith and Rago trained with the U-19 Junior Team of 1860 Munich from July 12 to August 3 under coach Claus Schromm and Technical Director Ernst Tanner, who arranged the stay. Straith and Rago participated as guest players in the pre-season training of the team and went with the team to two tournaments to play high-level competition.
Semenets and Hyde are currently with the 1860 Munich U-19 Junior Team. They return on Saturday, August 25, after a two-week stay. In the first week, they went with the 1860 team to a training camp in Italy and enjoyed a highly competitive training environment.
“The players have been well received, showed great work ethic and learned about the standards of professional play,” noted Niendorf. “They also had the chance to watch training sessions of the professional teams of both organizations and received valuable feedback from the coaches. It's been an eye opener for all six players that has made them even more motivated to put their very best effort forward to succeed within the Vancouver Whitecaps FC Residency program.”