With 2007 drawing ever nearer to a close, Vancouver Whitecaps FC Residency continues to move forward with its program.It was only a month ago that Thomas Niendorf’s inaugural squad of players made the most of a highly-productive two-week trip to Germany. Whitecaps Residency showed their abilities and potential as future soccer professionals when they claimed some notable results against the U-19 Junior Bundesliga teams of German giants Bayern Munich, 1860 Munich, and VfB Stuttgart. That was followed by an impressive performance at Surrey United last week, as the Residency group defeated the Vancouver Metro Soccer League Premier Division side 5-0.Niendorf feels his squad have a new appreciation for the levels they need to achieve after their experience in Germany. “The most important thing is the acceptance for the professional standards that they have to reach for, and the goal-setting towards achieving a professional career,” the Residency managing director and head coach told whitecapsfc.com. “The next goal for the players is to reach the level that can qualify them in the U-19 Junior Bundesliga next year. They have seen this environment and competed against top teams like Stuttgart, Bayern, and 1860 Munich, so there is a higher level of maturity that they have set themselves in their ability levels and a more realistic picture of what they are looking to achieve. I think that was the biggest thing that we took from this trip to Germany, as those things have become much clearer for them.”Though the talented group of youngsters acquired some positive results on the pitch recently, Niendorf stressed that performance of play is the priority from the friendly games they have played so far. Their schedule of fixtures continue next Tuesday when they visit the three-time Canada West men’s soccer champions in the Trinity Western University Spartans in Langley. “We want to continue to work on our game application with our training objectives right now,” Niendorf said. “Being able to execute our objectives under the pressure of a game situation is important for our group. It’s critical that players perform when asked to, not just perform when they want to.”With the thoughts of many turning towards the holiday season in the weeks to come, Whitecaps Residency aim to make the most of the time ahead before completing the 2007 part of the program’s inaugural year. “There has been a lot of following up in training to what we experienced on our recent trip,” Niendorf explained. “From the competitive side, we are looking to have competitive games with university teams and are also looking to arrange friendlies with the top two Vancouver Metro Premier Division men’s clubs as well. The most important aspect is to create the standards in our work here in Vancouver from what we have experienced in Germany, so there’s a lot we can take forward in our work right up to Christmas and before we enter into the next phase of our development process.”Click here for more information about Vancouver Whitecaps FC Residency.
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