Image: Coming Soon! 2022 West Ham Camp & Tour

Coming Soon! 2022 West Ham Camp & Tour

Posted by Perfect Circle, 14th March 2022

GIS & The West Ham Foundation are proud to announce the relaunch of our annual national elite camps this summer!  This 1 week programme offers a chance for players to immerse themselves fully in the life of a West Ham United Foundation player both technical and tactical.

Download our brochure to find out more.

We’re also arranging 7 Night West Ham United Foundation Trip, to London, England

Find Out More Here.

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Blog | Pro Club Spotlight: Staying Active - Global Image Sports | GIS
Image: Pro Club Spotlight: Staying Active

Pro Club Spotlight: Staying Active

Posted by Team, 13th April 2020

With the current situation across the world, many athletes young and old are struggling to find ways to still keep active while also practicing social distancing. Keeping active right now is important as it not only trains the body but the mind as well so that when everything goes back to normal you can start right where you left off. Here are a few ways that our professional partners and their players have found ways to still train and strengthen their soccer skills.

Our oldest partner West Ham United has championed these ideas from the very beginning of the shutdown and has come a long way with different ways to make sure their players and fans keep active. They created a new initiative that is called Hammer’s at Home through their website where any fan can find and post new ways they have found to keep active! These initiatives are daily videos that provide different ways to practice your soccer skills, exercise routines and ways of eating right at home. One of the first videos they introduced is one promoting different types of freestyle soccer moves to do in your backyard presented by Kweku Ansah and here’s the link to see more CLICK HERE. They also do a weekly challenge review where fans can submit their own challenges to the team and they are reviewed by the team’s staff to be selected to be highlighted in a new video. The email for all submissions can be sent to HammersChallenges@westhamunited.co.uk.

Watford FC has taken a different spin to stay active while being inside by producing challenges that help train and keep the mind active. These activities can be for young fans with different coloring/art projects, and for the older fans different trivia games about Watford and the Premier League. If you participate in these challenges you have the chance to be featured across the team’s social media pages by either using #ColouringWithHarry or sending your quiz results to the team’s Twitter @WatfordFC. They can be accessed by going to HERE and HERE more will come daily! Another program that Watford created is Hornets at Home promoted by club manager Nigel Pearson where the team, its staff, and even some club legends are calling some of Watford’s most isolated and at-risk fans who either need a helping hand or just need to talk to someone during the shutdown. To learn more about Hornets at Home follow this link where you can listen to the View From The Vic podcast that gives you more information and updates from the team.

Schalke in cooperation with the DFL and FIFA20 has done something for every soccer gaming fan to enjoy; playing and watching FIFA20 matches with players and Esports Influencers across video game streaming services. Schalke along with 26 other German teams are streaming live FIFA matches that any fan can watch and interact with what they are calling it the Bundesliga Home Challenge. What makes these games different from other FIFA20 streams is that they are regulated by the DFL, UEFA and FIFA and has regular weekly matches played by gamers and some of the teams’ players! In the first round, Schalke came away with the 3-1 win over FC St. Pauli and will be regularly streaming these games on Twitch every Sunday. To follow Schalke go to this Twitch Link where you can watch every new/old game. Also, stop by the Bundesliga Home Challenge web page where you can learn about and get constant updates on game scores and new match fixtures HERE.

During these times it can seem like there is nothing to do because of the shutdown. Luckily, our partners are constantly pumping out tons of content and activities that keep your mind and body active. The programs we’ve highlighted here are just the tip of the iceberg, so be sure to follow their social media accounts to see what the newest opportunity is each day!

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Blog | GIS Professional Partner Spotlight - COVID19 - Global Image Sports | GIS
Image: GIS Professional Partner Spotlight - COVID19

GIS Professional Partner Spotlight - COVID19

Posted by Team, 30th March 2020

As the pandemic continues to affect people all over the world, GIS Pro Club Partners are stepping up to help. It’s been amazing to see the various ways they have been able to leverage their influence and resources to provide support during this challenging time. So we wanted to take a minute to highlight a few of the initiatives our professional club partners have taken so far!

West Ham United
West Ham United has launched Hammers At Home - “a new online community initiative offering support, assistance and regular interaction with the Club’s fans during this uniquely challenging and unprecedented time.”
Learn More: https://www.whufc.com/news/articles/2020/march/25-march/west-ham-united-proud-launch-hammers-home

FC Schalke 04
Schalke 04 professionals have reached an agreement with management to partially waive their wages and premiums and additionally suspend their salaries as a percentage until June 30, 2020 in an effort to help support 600+ employees that the club employees.
Learn more: https://schalke04.de/en/inside-en/fc-schalke-04-players-waive-salaries/

Club Atlético de Madrid
Atleti has partnered with the Red Cross in Spain to launch the #LoDamosTodo campaign. This campaign will help generate donations to help supply basic protective equipment for healthcare workers.
To learn more: https://www.cruzroja.es/webCre/donativos/donativos.php?llamada=

Wolverhampton Wanderers
Wolves have opened up their Foundation Facilities to operate as a food hub for 33,000 vulnerable people during the coronavirus outbreak. The arena will be used for volunteer registration stations and welfare facilities.
Learn more: https://www.wolves.co.uk/news/foundation/20200328-wolves-foundation-donate-use-of-foundation-arena/#

Wolves put “Thank You NHS” up on the video boards at the Molineux Stadium.

RCD Espanyol
Espanyol have agreed to offer the RCDE Stadium and the Ciutat Esportiva Dani Jarque available to the Department of the Interior in case the space is needed to meet health and logistical needs to combat COVID-19.
Learn more: https://www.rcdespanyol.com/es/actualidad/el-rcd-espanyol-pone-a-disposicion-del-govern-sus-instalaciones/_n:11022/

Watford FC
In addition to opening up their facilities, Watford has also launched the Hornets at Home initiative. WFC is contacting their elderly supporters and those with disabilities to offer assistance. The idea is to pool all of the Watford supporters to support those in need during this challenging time. Watford is often called “The Original Family Club” and it’s easy to see why.
To learn more: https://www.watfordfc.com/club/hornets-home-your-chance-help

FC Porto
Porto has launched the Dragon Force Home Challenge social media campaign to encourage fans and players to remain active while in quarantine. Search the hashtag #DFHomeChallenge to find current entries and upload your own!
To learn more: https://twitter.com/hashtag/DFHomeChallenge?src=hashtag_click

A.C. ChievoVerona
Chievo has launched “A Casa Con I Giaballoblu” which is a live interview format where current and former first team players are interviewed. It’s a great program that keeps fans engaged and provides a unique glimpse into the lives of the first team during this challenging time.
Learn more: https://www.chievoverona.it/it/primo-piano/video/a-casa-con-i-giallobl%C3%B9-ernesto-kieffer

Malaga C.F.
The Malaga CF Foundation has collaborated with the Harena Foundation to help with the loneliness and sadness of the elderly during this quarantine time period. The goal is to inject some positive and love for these people who often have no one to talk to.
Learn more: https://www.malagacf.com/noticia/la-llamada-del-nieto-malaguista

Malaga have changed their logo to represent union of love, solidarity, sport and Málaga.

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Blog | Q&A with Brooke Hendrix - Global Image Sports | GIS
Image: Q&A with Brooke Hendrix

Q&A with Brooke Hendrix

Posted by Team, 24th March 2020

Recently Global Image Sports had the opportunity to speak with former West Ham United Ladies and current Washington Spirit player Brooke Hendrix about her career in international soccer. It was a brilliant discussion about her professional journey, love of the game and what she see’s as the future of women’s soccer both in Europe and North America. Brooke’s story is truly unique, and she hopes that her story will help inspire more women to pursue their dreams of becoming a professional soccer player.

GIS - To start off tell us a bit about your journey from the US to Europe and back!

Brooke - Well after playing in college at the University of Southern Mississippi I wasn’t sure what exactly I wanted to do, but I had to complete a years’ worth of internships in order to graduate with my degree. In order to complete these internships, I had to work full time which meant I had to wait until after my season to start. So, because of the time commitment I had to take a year off of playing soccer after college. By this point I figured soccer wasn’t really an option for me anymore, so I decided to apply for graduate school. While applying, my heart just wasn’t in it and I felt like I should pursue soccer again. God blessed me so much by opening doors for me and my college coach introduced me to a man named Alex Pama who trained me and helped me to get some trials in Europe.

Brooke and Alex Pama

I first trialed at SC Heerenveen in Holland and I didn’t make the team. After this first trial, I decided that I needed to really work and get ready for the next trial I would have. I trained with Alex for about 6 months and then tried out for the semi-pro team in Atlanta called the Silverbacks. I made this team and played in their summer season. While I was playing in Atlanta, Alex got me another trial in Holland for Ajax. I traveled to Holland again and again didn’t make the team but this time I had another trial while I was already in Europe for a team in Scotland called Rangers FC. This time I made the team, but I wouldn’t be considered professional because they didn’t pay. After my time in Scotland, I was able to secure an agent named Damon Wilson. He helped me to get my first professional spot on a team in Switzerland called FC Staad. From there I went to a team in Iceland named Fylkir, and then to ACF Brescia in Italy. In Italy, the team was in the Champions League which was an amazing experience. From Italy, I went to England to play for West Ham United Women. After a year and a half in England, I’ve made it back to the states to play in the NWSL for Washington Spirit.

Here’s the letter Brooke wrote to the West Ham Fans: LETTER

GIS - When did you know you wanted to be a professional soccer player?
Brooke - I knew I wanted to be professional for sure when I was applying to grad school and just felt like soccer was actually where I needed to be. As a kid I always dreamed of playing professionally but it seemed to become less of a reality as I got older until I met Alex and thought that I could actually have a chance again.

GIS - Was it an easy decision to go from the US to Europe? Pros/Cons?
Brooke - I think it was tough at first because of all the uncertainty about Europe. I didn’t know if I would make a team or not, then I didn’t know the level of each team or the living situation in each country, and in some of the places I played I didn’t know the language so that was also hard for me. I think it was an amazing experience though not only for soccer but also in life. I was able to meet so many wonderful people and learn so much about different cultures and I think it made me a better person. I think the major cons for going to Europe would just be missing the luxury and convenience of everything in America and more importantly missing people from home.

GIS – I’m sure one the top highlights of your career so far was playing in the FA Cup Final with West Ham vs. Manchester City. What was it like playing at Wembley stadium in front of 43,000+ fans?
Brooke - Playing in front of such a huge crowd at Wembley was hands down one of the best experiences of my life to date. It was incredible how much support we got even with a West Ham United men’s game at the same day and time. The fans were so loud and supportive, and the game was super intense. I think even though we lost it was a good showing for us and it taught me some valuable lessons on playing in front of so many people because that was obviously the biggest crowd I had ever played in front of.

GIS - Thoughts on Women’s attendance and growth of the women’s game in Europe?
Brooke - I think it is growing tremendously and it makes me so excited for the future! It seems like all the time different countries and leagues continue to break attendance records. It’s so nice to see more and more fans of the women’s game. I think the more people realize that the differences in the men’s and women’s games can be the reason that they are exciting in their own rights is when we will see even more people becoming fans of the women’s side as well.

GIS – This past January you secured a transfer back to the US and joined the Washington Spirit. Congratulations! What are your goals now that you’re back in the states?
Brooke - Well firstly, I’d like to be able to earn my spot on this Washington Spirit team. Every day I need to work and earn the right to play for this club. I have the goal of being the best player that I can be, if that means I can play for the US one day then I would love that, but right now I just have to be the best version of me each day.

GIS – Any advice for girls looking to play professional soccer in the US or abroad?
Brooke - This is a good question; I would say that don’t be afraid to create your own path to success and that success looks different for everyone. I had to go a completely different path than most to make it to professional in the US and that’s ok! I’ve learned so much with the experiences I’ve had, and I think it has made me a better player actually. Not everyone goes straight into professional after college and in fact most people don’t. So be creative and just keep pushing! Luckily today there are plenty of professional teams around the world that women can play in. 

GIS – To end on a light note… Any fun facts?
Brooke - Fun facts…hmm…this might be the toughest question ha-ha. Well, I’ve broken my nose four times since high school and I have gotten it surgically straightened again three times. I don’t know if that’s fun but it’s interesting ha-ha I also was never a defender until I went to Europe. I had always been a forward or a midfielder growing up and even in college. When I went overseas, they decided to try me at center defender, and I’ve played there since. I guess my last fun fact would be that, I owe everything to God. This journey has taken me all over the place and places I never would have guessed but it’s all led me to fulfilling my dream and I know I am so blessed. Faith is so important to me.

A special thanks to Brooke for taking the time to answer some questions.

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Blog | GIS Internship Program Review: Garrett Hall - Global Image Sports | GIS

GIS Internship Program Review: Garrett Hall

Posted by Team, 17th February 2020

Working in the world of sports is a goal many share. After all, being able to take a passion and make a career out of it is what dream jobs are made of! Here at Global Image Sports, we have been able to give many students and recent grads their first taste of the sports world through the GIS internship program. One such intern was Garrett Hall, a 2010 graduate of the University of Tennessee.

Back in 2010, GIS was just starting to expand beyond West Ham United and needed motivated interns to help aid this new venture. Garrett was hired as a New Media Productions Intern in the summer of 2010 and became immediately involved. “From the first night, they made sure that us interns were interacting with everyone, including the top coaching staff from the National Events.”, said Garrett of his first few weeks on the job.

Soon, GIS started developing partnerships with historic clubs like Sheffield Wednesday Wolverhampton Wanderers, Italian mainstays Sampdoria and Chievo Verona and Dutch side FC Utrecht. Now with more global partners within GIS’s ranks, Garrett was given the challenge of making their websites, domain names and social media for each team. “I had to learn the brand of each club and do my best to make each campaign unique and keep the club happy. GIS challenged me to think outside the box and take harder, but more rewarding routes.”

Ten years later, Garrett is still using the skills and lessons learned during his time with GIS. “Global Image Sports wound up teaching me a lot during my time. Taught me to always think about all of the different markets that a decision could affect.  It showed me international business.  It also showed me what I wanted to look for in a company. GIS did a great job of providing a vision of where they wanted GIS to move to, and then they let everyone do their part to push the business forward.  There was very little micromanaging which allowed time for people to create in their own way. – GIS also taught me time management and placing importance on different things.”

Now, Garrett is the Control Room Graphics Producer for Mercedes-Benz Stadium and has successfully spent ten years working in sports. When asked about what it takes to make a career in sports Garrett said, “A life in sports is whatever you make it to be.  Day 1 of Sports Management at Tennessee they told us only 1 in 3 people will spend their career working in sports.  I did not believe it that day because everyone was devoted. But now that I have had a 10-year career revolving around sports, it is 100% true.  It is nothing to be afraid of, but it is something to be aware of.  So be ready to work and be ready to make connections.”

From all of us at GIS, past and present, congratulations Garrett on your continued success!

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Blog | Why Support Your Local GIS Camp? - Global Image Sports | GIS
Image: Why Support Your Local GIS Camp?

Why Support Your Local GIS Camp?

Posted by Team, 14th February 2020

GIS has been running soccer camps across North America for the better part of a decade. Sometimes we create trends, other times we follow trends. One trend that is evident across the board is a year-to-year decrease in registrations for our camps hosted by our youth club partners. There are plenty of reasons for this: 1) Newness wears off 2) Your player skips the local camp because they’ve been accepted into the National Camp program 3) Your player didn’t qualify for the national camp the previous camp and was upset or discouraged or 4) Some combination of schedule, costs, skepticism, and the above.

With this in mind, we have analyzed feedback from players, parents, clubs, and coaches on why it’s important to support your local GIS camp in 2020. Here’s what we’ve found…

1) Supporting a GIS Camp supports your Coach

The #1 thing that sets GIS apart from other companies that use professional clubs is that our coaching staff are ACTUALLY from the professional clubs. This is important because when these coaches visit your club it provides an immediate and free coaching education opportunity for your club’s coaches. They are able to observe, ask questions, and learn a different method or philosophy right at their club without having to spend a dime of their own money. In addition, a successful camp allows your club to make extra income that can be invested into more coaching education. Coaches are the lifeblood of a club and the more we can provide for them, the better we can serve you and your club.

2) Supporting a GIS Camp supports your Club

Usually, camps run by a 3rd party such as GIS results in very little or nothing is given back to the youth club. Professional Club partnerships and programs tend to be VERY one-sided in this industry. However, at GIS our goal is to always provide a financial split to the Partner Club. In the last 2 years, GIS has given nearly a quarter of a million dollars back to youth clubs across North America. These financial bumps go to scholarships, coaching education, equipment, coaching bonuses, tournaments, and so much more for your club. With that said, there are times where a camp has low numbers and we are unable to do so.

3) Supporting a GIS Camp supports your player’s Development

Nothing compares to the excitement of that first year West Ham, Wolves, Schalke, etc come to your club. Everything is new! A new voice, new coach, new concepts, new drills. It’s understandable that a player would be less excited the 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 5th year of the camp. However, just because the excitement wears off doesn’t mean the camp is less impactful. As a player gets older, the focus begins to shift: Instead of strictly technically focused drills the sessions begin to involve more game-like scenarios, also the coach becomes more demanding, and the coaching becomes much more detailed and specific. If a player only attends the first GIS Camp, they will miss out on the year-to-year development opportunity.
Another way that GIS camps aid in a player’s development is by teaching them the value of hearing “no”. The majority of players that participate in a GIS Camp are not invited to the national camp. Our hope is that these players use this as motivation to practice more and work harder to perform better the following year. Unfortunately, the data shows us that most players told “no” do not return. Why? Hard to say exactly. It could be that the parents don’t like having to tell their player that they didn’t qualify or could be that they’ve never been told no before and don’t handle it well. We aren’t sure. Regardless, we don’t shy away from this. Most of the best athletes of all time had to handle adversity at some point and were told no. Michael Jordan not making the cut for his high-school varsity team is arguably the most famous example. Trust us, it would be 100xs easier for us to just give everyone an invite to the national camp. But we believe there is value in a player hearing no and learning how to use that as motivation. A player will fail more times than not in any given game or training or life, so, it’s hugely important for players to learn how to deal with failure and use it to get better.

4) Supporting a GIS camp supports your teammates

Every year we have players that are unable to attend their local GIS camp and have to look forward to the following year. However, there are times where there is no following year and they miss out on the opportunity to learn from the coaches and possibly qualify for the national camp. So, even if your player has qualified for the national camp, it is still important to participate in your local camp to provide that same opportunity to others! Not only that, but we also want those players to have a great experience at their local camp. More players mean better training, more coaches, and higher quality. Fewer players mean lower-quality training i.e. 9-year-olds are having to train with 12-year-olds and the quality of the experience drops significantly. We want the camp to become even better every year!

Now, obviously this is a biased opinion. After all, you’re reading this on the GIS Blog. However, it doesn’t make these points untrue. Yes, of course, we want our camps to be bigger because that’s what supports our business, but we honestly believe we are providing a high-quality service to you that is worth participating in year after year. So please partner with us in 2020 and help us serve you and your club better than ever before. Support your local GIS Camp!

To register for your local camp go to gis.configio.com or email info@globalimagesports.com to find a camp near you.

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Blog | Player Testimonials: Sam Clark of West Virginia FC - Global Image Sports | GIS

Player Testimonials: Sam Clark of West Virginia FC

Posted by Team, 25th October 2019

What’s continues to motivate us are stories that show players learning and growing within and outside of our system. This past year, Sam Clark from West Virginia FC is a true testament to that. Sam attended the 2018 West Ham National Camp and was invited to the West Ham Training Experience Trip in spring 2019. A few months after this trip, Sam attended the 2019 West Ham National Camp and earned an invitation to the West Ham Elite Trip for the spring of 2020! We reached out to Sam to get some insights into how he made this jump in just 1 year and how the West Ham program has also helped him back at his home club.

Sam Clark at the 2019 West Ham Training Experience Trip

Last year you qualified for the West Ham United Experience Trip. What were some of the things you learned at the 2018 West Ham National Camp that you worked on to prepare for the Experience Trip?

The 2018 West Ham National Camp was very eye-opening to what it takes to play at the academy level. I took away a lot of different perspectives and smarter ways to play from the West Ham coaches that I had never heard before. Some of the key things I took in are scanning the field, playing in the future, how to communicate and organize faster, and that a good attitude is crucial if you want to perform well. Preparing for the Experience Trip, I tried to take as many of these tips back to my club and embrace them in practices and games every day. Repetition of the things I learned extremely improved my ability overall and gave me a great boost going into the Experience Trip.

How did the Experience Trip differ from the National Camp? 

The Experience Trip was very different from National Camp because you get a different feeling when playing in England with West Ham coaches at their training facility then you do playing here in the U.S. The excitement you get when your arriving and London and hearing everyone talk in an accent and drive in the other side of the road is awesome. Not even including touring London, riding the London Eye, going to a West Ham game, and seeing a Chelsea game, just being there was amazing.

What was it like to train at West Ham’s Academy? 

Training at West Ham’s Academy was amazing. Where I live there’s no soccer field as well taken care of and as well respected as their training ground is. Stepping onto the perfectly cut field in a West Ham training kit really gives you a cool feeling, knowing that this is what West Ham’s academy and professional players do on a daily basis. There’s also the stun of walking into the locker room and seeing pictures on the wall of players who have come up through West Ham’s academy like Mark Noble and Declan Rice.

What was your favorite part of the trip?

My favorite part of the trip was being so surrounded by an amazing soccer environment. Whenever we went to the Chelsea game it was like everyone in a mile radius was wearing a blue jersey. The atmosphere around and inside the stadium was something I’ve never seen before and something I hope I get to experience again. Even as a Man U fan being at the game was awesome.

This year you qualified for the West Ham Elite Trip. Congratulations!  How did the Experience Trip help you perform better at the 2019 West Ham National Camp? 

I think coming back from the Experience Trip and going into the 2019 National Camp I had a real confidence since I’d previously been overseas and seen what’s expected of you by West Ham coaches. Plus, I got to see and somewhat feel the passion of West Ham and the way their academy plays in London and bring it into National Camp. I was way more prepared for National Camp this year than I was in 2018 and the Experience Trip played a huge role in that. From 2018 National Camp to 2019 I’ve been adding good habits and tips from the coaches to my game and they’ve made everything smoother and easier.

How have the National Camps and Experience Trip made you a better player so far? 

I think one of the biggest things it’s done is showed me how important it is to have good habits. With the ball, without the ball, on the field, and off the field. They’ve shown me how I should keep an agenda or diary that I add to after every practice and game. I’d always had a goal to make the Regional ODP team and I failed to for two years in a row. After my the second try and not making the team (last year) was when I started my first West Ham Camp. This year after going through two camps with West Ham I tried out for the Regional ODP team and made it. I think West Ham had a good amount to do with that. After going to the National Camp and Experience Trip and adding things I’ve learned and taken away important tips and tricks from the coaches and players around me, I improved and added things to my game and it’s shown.

A big thanks to Sam for his time and we can’t wait to see you on the Elite Trip next spring!

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Blog | GIS Player Development Pathway - Global Image Sports | GIS
Image: GIS Player Development Pathway

GIS Player Development Pathway

Posted by Team, 24th October 2019

At the core of GIS’ mission statement is a deep commitment to player development. There is a method to our programs that (if followed) will support players on and off the field as they progress through life. What may look like just another soccer camp is part of a much bigger picture for players in the GIS pool.

It will often start with a local camp featuring coaches from the GIS Family of Professional Partners such as West Ham United, FC Schalke 04, RCD Espanyol, amongst others. It’s here where players are first exposed to the coaching philosophies of these professional clubs. The goals are simple: 1) Provide expert coaching and advice 2) Evaluate the best players to be selected for the National Camp.

It’s at this stage normally when the majority of players will be told they haven’t been selected. This is not smart for business, but it is necessary for our commitment to player development. In order for players to grow and continue to be challenged, they must be put into higher levels of competition against better players. The only way to do this is to be consistent in our messages related to selection against our criteria. Our hope is that these players take the lessons from the local camp and work extra hard to succeed the following year. No one likes to be told no, but it is the reality of the world and something we do not shy away from. These moments can be a huge learning opportunity for parents and coaches if approached in the correct way. Our favorite stories in our 15-year history are always about players who have attended our ID camps 2 or 3 years in a row and finally receive that invite to the National Camp. Ask any professional player in the world today what qualities are the most important and 90% of them will tell you the same thing – perseverance and resilience.

Just a follow up to say that I really enjoyed the West Ham United ID Camp and I am very interested in bringing it back next year.  I have had quite a few parents comment on how they wished they had signed up but were hesitant in fear of it being like the British Soccer Camp.  Their kids did not enjoy the British camp-style anymore and the parents did not want to invest in another camp with the same outcome.  But from word of mouth from a few other academy parents and then getting asked personally what I thought of West Ham camp, I am hearing regret from those parents.” – Dickinson SC

A GIS National Camp is an invitation-only camp event that features Academy Coaching Staff from a professional European Soccer club. In some cases, it is at least double the amount of training in comparison to the local camp and most definitely triple the level of intensity! Players from all over the US and Canada come together for 4 days of very high-level training. Many have called the GIS National Camps the best camps in North America because of the selective nature, facilities, and the quality of the coaching staff. During the National Camps, coaches evaluate players and place them in particular development trips that take place at the professional club in Europe. These trips are either the Academy Prospect, Elite, or Training Experience.

My son and daughter finished up the West Ham National Camp this week. The camp was very extensive as far as the complexity of footwork drills and the field drills. The coaches also helped the players keep a mental perspective of the game. The camp was very organized and well rounded.” – Julie O’Neal, Parent

The Academy Prospect Trip is a fully integrated training program at the professional club where players train with the full academy timetable amongst their peers. While this level should be the goal of any player, only the top 1% in all GIS programs will achieve this.

During [Nic’s] time with the Wolves, they got to train with Wolves’ Academy players their own age, as though they were Academy players themselves. They got to experience the high level of training and play, as well as the advanced skills, tactics, and techniques the Wolves’ players have achieved, as they pursue their dream of becoming professional soccer players.” – Chris Ford, Parent

The Academy Elite Trip is made up of the top 20-25% of players at the National Camp. On this trip, the players train at the professional club’s Academy and play matches against the Academy teams. In addition, a player has the potential to earn academy integration purely based on merit and their work ethic in the week.

Just returned home from the ChievoVerona Elite trip and am overwhelmed with respect and gratefulness to both GIS and CheivoVerona for such an amazing experience that my daughter Merritt Morine and I will cherish for a lifetime. The training was professional and exceptional. The care we received from the food and accommodation to the tours of the stadiums and Verona exceeded our high expectations. I highly recommend GIS and CheivoVerona to everyone. We could never thank you enough for this wonderful trip of a lifetime.” – Laura Morine, Parent

The European Training Academy is the most popular trip for players. It is entirely centered on player development and training with the professional club. The goals of this trip are to help players continue to learn the skills and techniques necessary to qualify for the elite trip next National Camp and to build the levels of perseverance and resilience required to succeed. GIS was founded on the principles that apply to this trip. Helping players to learn and focus on their individual development are the cornerstones of why we do what we do. Check out this player testimonial on how the European Training Experience help him.

Most amazing trip you will take! My son had the trip of his life. He learned a lot and their team beat a local affiliate team 5-3 so he was pumped! He loved the football and all the sights in London! Jacqui and Rae were the most amazing Chaperones! Top shelf!!!! Paul Heffer is a decorated Coach with a portfolio of players he has coached at the highest level. Lampard, Ferdinand just to name a few…. Any doubts about sending your child on this trip have to be removed!John Higham II, Parent

In addition, sometimes players are not quite at the level necessary to handle the training in Europe. Again, GIS does not shy away from saying no and this is another example of that. These players are always invited to attend the following year’s national camp and we hope our commitment to telling the truth is a motivator. Everything we do is set against the fundamental belief that all players can improve and our goals of ensuring that support is attainable with the right attitude.


At this stage, the goal for all our players should be to push themselves to achieve an invitation to the Academy Prospect Trip! It is a tall order and very challenging, but we have players every year that achieve that elusive invite. To aid in that journey, GIS offers various other programs throughout the year to help players continue to develop.

1. Long-Term Residential Programs
        • Opportunities Abroad: Train from 2-weeks to 9 months with professional clubs ChievoVerona or Malaga CF. This is a unique opportunity for high-level players to live life as if they were part of these European Academies and train alongside future professionals.
        • Opportunities Domestically: Train for 2-weeks in the summer with the professional coaching staff from West Ham United or Wolverhampton Wanderers at Darlington School Rome, GA. This is essentially a training camp to better prepare players for the National Camp.

2. Various Team Tour options
        • Attend a GIS Select Trip or organize a tour with your local club and train with the professional coaching staff of our Professional Partners. These are amazing opportunities to build team comradery and to expose the team to the coaching methods of these professional academies. 

3. Coaching Education Programs
        • Many coaches attend our summer National Camps to observe the Coaching Staff working with the various age groups. In addition, we take coaches every year to our professional partners to take part in coaching diploma courses. These are very beneficial and help create consistency between the GIS programs and the Local Club.

And of course, more is always on the way!

We truly believe that all of these programs and opportunities give players the necessary tools to unlock their full potential. But it is not lost on us that many of these programs also make for more well-rounded people. Our camps are often the first time a player has stayed away from mom and dad for a couple of nights. The residential programs abroad force players to handle being in a completely different country for months at a time. The cultural exposure of different countries, different languages, and different people force players to learn how to acclimate and appreciate differences they often aren’t exposed to. Being a great player is one thing, but we hear time and time again how our programs also help create great people which is the ultimate compliment.

Thank you as always for trusting GIS. We look forward to seeing you all on the pitch!

To take part in any of these programs contact GIS by clicking here or calling us at 770-545-8146.


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Blog | Del Mar Valley Sharks European Academy Tour Case Study - Global Image Sports | GIS
Image: Del Mar Valley Sharks European Academy Tour Case Study

Del Mar Valley Sharks European Academy Tour Case Study

Posted by Team, 24th September 2019

del mar global image sports tours

del mar global image sports tours

del mar global image sports tours

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Blog | GIS Announces 50% ownership of the Meulensteen Method - Global Image Sports | GIS
Image: GIS Announces 50% ownership of the Meulensteen Method

GIS Announces 50% ownership of the Meulensteen Method

Posted by Team, 30th August 2019

Dear GIS Customers & Partners

Today we are happy to announce that GIS has acquired a 50% ownership stake in the Meulensteen Method.

The Meulensteen Method offers an exciting opportunity for GIS to strengthen and expand its service offering in industry leading coaching,  player development and coach education.

“Rene is truly one of the best youth development coaches in the world with a proven track record throughout his career specifically during his time at Manchester United with Sir Alex Ferguson. We are delighted to continue to invest developing our great game here in the USA. We truly believe that starts with providing access to the best coaches and coaching tools available” GIS Owner and CEO James Abrahart.

The expanded business will serve 400+ Youth soccer clubs and organizations across the USA and internationally by providing unique opportunities for clubs, players, coaches and parents.

rene manchester united

The Meulensteen Method is a management company based out of Michigan, USA that specializes in coaching, curriculum, and technical skills events around North America. The program provides young players an encouraging environment where they receive training to develop into technical, creative, and confident players in 1v1 scenarios.

The concept was developed by Rene Meulensteen, former Manchester United First Team Coach and current Australia National Team Assistant-Coach. At United, Rene started as a skill development officer at its famed youth academy before being promoted to First Team Coach under Sir Alex Ferguson. Rene has worked with players such as Cristiano Ronaldo, Wayne Rooney, Paul Scholes, and many others. Rene also helped develop current Manchester United academy graduates such as Jesse Lingard, Scott McTominay, and Marcus Rashford.


meulensteen method


The Meulensteen Method provides coaches an unmatched understanding of player-focused skills development and how to provide the best possible learning environment. The Meulensteen Method curriculum, coach education, and support continues to inspire thousands of coaches and players to become the best they can be.

GIS prides itself on being one of the leading sports management companies in North America by offering expert coaching, coaching education and unique player opportunities. The acquisition of the Meulensteen Method is another way of providing this to our current and future youth partner clubs.


Video announcement from Rene Meulensteen

For more information on how to get involved please contact us at info@globalimagesports.com | 770.545.8146


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Posted by Team, 22nd February 2019

A.C. ChievoVerona, Global Image Sports Inc. & FC Northwest Announce New Partnership

Sports management company Global Image Sports Inc. in collaboration with A.C. ChievoVerona have today announced a great new partnership with FC Northwest.


FC Northwest is a youth soccer club that serves in the Northwest area of the city of Winnipeg in the Canadian province of Manitoba. They have both recreational and competitive soccer programs for boys and girls ages 4 to 18 years old. FC Northwest works towards providing safe and enjoyable environment for their players.


The long-term partnership with A.C. ChievoVerona and GIS aims to improve on the club’s technical soccer curriculum and provide the highest level of quality and education that is part of the A.C. ChievoVerona culture and success. The partnership will guarantee a strong connection and interaction between the ChievoVerona Academy and FC Northwest, sharing the ChievoVerona Youth Sector methodology through the visits of ChievoVerona Academy coaches in the next 12 months to FC Northwest. There will be also an identification camp where ChievoVerona Academy coaches will identify the best players from FC Northwest to invite them to visit the ChievoVerona Academy home Youth Sector “Bottagisio Sport Center” based in Verona, Italy.

Global Image Sports FC Northwest


President of FC Northwest, Martino Vergata, said “We are excited to be announcing this long term partnership with A.C. ChievoVerona, the main goal here is to allow us as a club to develop our players the way A.C. ChievoVerona develop their players in their Academy in Verona, Italy. We believe this is a step in the right direction and we are looking forward to a very good and mutual beneficial relationship with A.C. ChievoVerona” 


Luca Campedelli, owner and President of A.C. ChievoVerona confirms “I would like to thank FC Northwest and GIS for the amazing opportunity to share our professionalism and expertise offered by our ChievoVerona Academy with hard work and sacrifice,” he began. “Building this Partnership is a significant step forward in Chievo’s new mission to expand its brand and increase awareness through promotion of its style, values and method all over the world”.


FC Northwest AC ChievoVerona


CEO & Founder of GIS, James Abrahart, said “We Global Image Sports are very happy to help in facilitating this new relationship which will bring a lot new and exciting things to FC Northwest, we have been working with A.C. ChievoVerona for over 5 years and there is no better academy to execute this new partnership with a great youth club like FC Northwest”

Training FC Northwest

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Blog | FC Schalke 04 & Global Image Sports Inc. Announce Formal Partnership - Global Image Sports | GIS
Image: FC Schalke 04 & Global Image Sports Inc. Announce Formal Partnership

FC Schalke 04 & Global Image Sports Inc. Announce Formal Partnership

Posted by Team, 4th February 2019

Global Image Sports Inc. is proud to announce a formal partnership with German club, FC Schalke 04.

Schalke is one of the most popular teams in Europe with a passionate fan base that spans the world. Based in the Ruhr area, the club’s nickname “Die Knappen” stems from the old German word for miners because in the early days many players were from the coal mines of Gelsenkirchen.  Now the club has more than 156,000 members, making it the fourth largest sports club in the world in terms of membership.  FC Schalke also regularly plays in top international soccer competition including the UEFA Champions League and Europa League.  Schalke secured a spot in the current Champions League by clinching second place in the Bundesliga and are currently in the knockout rounds of the competition.


Schalke’s famous youth academy, known as “Knappenschmiede,” is widely regarded as one of the best developmental programs in the world, with graduates such as US National team star Weston McKennie as well as a plethora of stars across Europe.  With youth development being a key focus for Schalke, the GIS partnership provides a targeted platform for scouting promising talent.  The partnership will also include knowledge-sharing, youth clinics run by Schalke coaches, and opportunities for US players to travel to Germany to train with Schalke’s academy coaches.


Joe Davis, Senior Partnership Manager at GIS, and Simon Gubisch, International Marketing.


“Schalke has been on our radar for a long time, and we’re thrilled to partner with this legendary club,” said Joe Davis, Senior Partnership Development Manager at GIS.  “With the trend of young Americans starting their careers in Germany, the rising popularity of the Bundesliga, and Schalke’s prestigious status in world football, we believe that Schalke is the perfect addition to our family of professional partners.”

“We’re looking forward to taking this step with GIS to expand our presence and scouting efforts in North America, ” said Alexander Jobst, Member of the Managing Board for FC Schalke 04.  “We’re also excited about sharing our knowledge and bringing the power and tradition of Schalke to youth soccer clubs across the continent.”

Clubs interested in becoming an FC Schalke 04 Official Youth Soccer Development Partner, can contact Joe Davis at joseph@globalimagesports.com.


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Blog | 2019 National Camps Announced! *New Dates Added* - Global Image Sports | GIS
Image: 2019 National Camps Announced! *New Dates Added*

2019 National Camps Announced! *New Dates Added*

Posted by Team, 23rd January 2019


We are delighted to confirm the dates and locations for all our 2019 National Camps.
This year will be having our National Camp events in three different locations; Darlington Schools (Rome, GA), Atlanta Sports City (Lithonia, GA) & Patelco Sports Complex (Pleasanton, CA).

2018 GIS National Camp


• West Ham United – July 20th - 23rd
• Wolves – July 25th - 28th


• FC Porto – July 29th – August 2nd
• RCD Espanyol – July 29th – August 2nd
• Watford FC – July 29th – August 2nd
• Stoke City FC – July 29th – August 2nd
• FC Schalke 04 – July 29th – August 2nd  

• West Ham United – August 3rd – 7th
• ChievoVerona – August 3rd – 7th


2018 GIS National Camp

*These will be 5 separate camps operating at 5 different locations within the Atlanta Sports City complex. For more information on the Atlanta Sports City Complex, CLICK HERE

Any questions or concerns?
For our residential events at Darlington Schools please contact Joseph Davis at joseph@globalimagesports.com

For our non-residential events at Atlanta Sports City & Patelco Sports Complex, please contact Aldo Marinelli at aldo@globalimagesports.com

Check out the highlights from our 2018 National Camps:

• West Ham United Highlights – CLICK HERE
• Wolverhampton Wanderers Highlights – CLICK HERE
• RCD Espanyol Highlights – CLICK HERE
• Stoke City Highlights – CLICK HERE
• ChievoVerona Highlights – CLICK HERE


Please see below some of our most frequently asked questions:


What is a National Camp?

GIS National Camps are our biggest events in North America where we have 1000+ players coming from all over the US, Canada and Mexico. It is an opportunity for youth soccer players to trained and evaluated by the senior academy staff of these professional clubs as if they were European Academy players. The best players from each national camp will receive an invitation to travel to the professional club’s academy in Europe in the spring of 2020.

How can my son/daughter can attend?
Our National Camps are invitation only. To be invited, players need to be identified at one of our regional events of the respective professional club.  Please be on the lookout for regional events in your area.

To find an ID Camp near you - CLICK HERE

To check ALL frequently asked questions (FAQs), click the links below:

FAQs for Darlington School (Residential Options) – CLICK HERE
FAQs for Atlanta Sports City (Non-Residential Options) - CLICK HERE
FAQs for Patelco Sports Complex (Non-Residential Options)  - CLICK HERE


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Posted by Team, 13th December 2018

Sports management company Global Image Sports Inc. have today announced a fantastic new partnership with Club Atlético de Madrid.

Atlético de Madrid is one of the biggest clubs in world football. They are the current Europa League & UEFA Super Cup holders, have been runners-up in the UEFA Champions League twice in the last 4 years and won the La Liga title in 2014.

The club has a rich 115-year history and plays at the 70,000 seater Wanda Metropolitano Stadium (that is due to host the 2019 Champions League final). Famous players include Diego Simeone (current first team manager), Fernando Torres (Academy graduated), Diego Costa, Diego Godín, Antoine Griezmann, Radamel Falcao, Saul Niguez (Academy graduated), Jorge Resurrecion “Koke” (Academy graduated) & Sergio Aguero.


atletico madrid global image sports


The long-term partnership with GIS aims to build on the club’s international program and provide the level of quality and education that is part of the Atlético de Madrid culture and success. The partnership will be about developing the Atlético Madrid presence in North America through elite camps, tour offerings to visit the club in Madrid as well as an extensive program of coaching education and enhanced partnership benefits.


Academy Director of Atlético de Madrid, Emilio Gutierrez, said “We are delighted to be announcing this exciting and long-term global partnership with GIS today. We have been very impressed with the work GIS has done and believe that by working together to grow and enhance the reach of Atlético de Madrid, we can help players and teams from all over the world benefit from our methodologies and winning mentality.”


Global Image Sports’ CEO, James Abrahart, said “We could not be happier in announcing this new partnership with Atlético de Madrid today. To be able to represent one of the biggest club teams in the world is a great honour for us. It will be a fantastic privilege for our players, families, and teams to be able to learn and educate themselves in the Atlético way as well as get access to an incredible tour experience that will see them visiting Madrid and being part of the Club’s setup for a week.”


atletico madrid global image sports


CLICK HERE to view official statement by Atlético De Madrid


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Blog | The 2018 Father Christmas Cup - Global Image Sports | GIS
Image: The 2018 Father Christmas Cup

The 2018 Father Christmas Cup

Posted by Team, 11th December 2018

The 2018 Father Christmas Cup (FX Cup) will hold its annual charity tournament event this weekend at Silverbacks Park, with the funds raised going to support local families who have recently lost a parent.

For those unfamiliar with the FX Cup, the tournament has been going strong for several years with it’s originating principles stemming from the Christmas traditions in World War One of stopping fighting on Christmas Day to take part in a football match in No Man’s Land. The idea of peace and civility towards one’s fellow man, as well as hope at a time of need, are some of the fundamental tenets upon which the FX Cup is built.

The day itself is a fantastic depiction of a community coming together to support those who need it most. Youth tournaments in the morning are followed by the adult tournament in the afternoon and the plethora of volunteers, players, beneficiaries and sponsors add to the familial feel of the day and its festivities. Atlanta United, fresh off the back of their recent MLS Cup Victory, will also have a presence in the form of the Arthur Blank Foundation on site, with all the shirts used in the event sponsored and bearing the logo of the Five Stripes.

GIS (whose CEO James Abrahart sits on the board of the FX Cup Committee) help support the event by providing signed soccer shirts from both professional partners and non-partners alike in Europe that can be raffled off. In 2015 and 2016, the GIS team won back-to-back adult tournament titles, upsetting Atlanta United’s Academy teams both times in the final!

There are four beneficiaries of the event taking place this Saturday December 15th. If you want to learn more about the event, take part or sponsor, then please click here to visit the homepage of the FX Cup.

For so many of us who play the game of soccer – it is as much about the people we play with and the camaraderie involved as it is about the beautiful game. Nowhere is this more powerfully highlighted than in the Christmas season and at this great event. Coming together to support the community and be part of something that transcends the notion of sport is felt ever more so at this time of year. If you are able to show your support this weekend, volunteer or spend a bit of time at the event – you will feel part of something very special. If you want to make any donations - please follow this link!

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Blog | Global Image Sports Signs Partnership Deal with Soccer Assist - Global Image Sports | GIS
Image: Global Image Sports Signs Partnership Deal with Soccer Assist

Global Image Sports Signs Partnership Deal with Soccer Assist

Posted by Team, 30th November 2018

Global Image Sports Signs Partnership Deal with Soccer Assist

November 30th, 2018Global Image Sports are delighted to announce the signing of an official partnership with Soccer Assist.

The two-year partnership deal will see Soccer Assist offering their services directly to Global Image Sports and its partners. Professional European partner clubs will receive the opportunity to work with Soccer Assist to support academy players who wish to study and seek a College scholarship in America. GIS youth’ club affiliates in the United States and Canada will also be able to tap into the services to support their players and DOCs with best practice and recruitment tools.

Part of the long-term strategy will also involve youth clubs hosting College ID camp events in North America, with video-tech support and recruitment help provided directly from Soccer Assist.

In return, GIS will become Soccer Assist’s recommended travel partner for college tours through the network of over 15 professional clubs in Europe and South America. Colleges will get access to GIS portfolio of tours and travel programs with the flexibility to design a trip that has a designated point of contact and that can be created around training sessions, competitive games, sightseeing or all 3 combined.

There will be additional collaboration on sponsorship and tournament support.

GIS Operations Director, Darran Walter said, “From the moment we met the team at Soccer Assist, we could tell this was a company whose ethos was around quality and due diligence. I am thrilled to be announcing this partnership today and look forward to supporting our partners with a fantastic college recruitment service as well as spreading the word about our world class tour packages.”

Soccer Assist Managing Director, Tyrelle McLeod-Bentley said, “Having spent some time with the team at GIS it was evident we shared the same values and approach to business. Their transparency, attention to detail and offering made it a no-brainer for us to become partners. Looking ahead we are excited to be supporting GIS’ growth in the college sports tour market and with their support, continue to expand our college recruitment offering in different territories.”

Global Image Sports is a sports management company that provides opportunities and experiences via the formation of strategic partnerships in the sports industry. It prides itself on a professional approach to its business activities and strives to be the market leader in its field while offering its customers unrivalled service and satisfaction. For more information go to www.globalimagesports.com or email info@globalimagesports.com

Soccer Assist Ltd is a college recruitment company that helps connect sports students to American colleges by accessing scholarships. The company ethos is built on supporting each student-athlete throughout their entire college experience to ensure their time in America matches the expectations. For more information on how to get recruited for college go to www.soccer-assist.co.uk or email info@soccer-assist.co.uk

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Blog | Stoke City FC renew Partnership with GIS - Global Image Sports | GIS
Image: Stoke City FC renew Partnership with GIS

Stoke City FC renew Partnership with GIS

Posted by Team, 30th August 2018

STOKE CITY have renewed their partnership with Sports Management Company Global Image Sports for a further three years, the Club is delighted to announce.

Phase one of the project has seen the Potters develop an international presence in North America, via strategic partnerships with youth soccer organizations across the United States and Canada.

Over the past three years, members of the Club’s Academy coaching staff have regularly visited partner clubs in North America and the UK, offering an insight into the player development program of a leading Category 1 Academy and engaging with more than 20,000 young players and their families.

Phase two will see City identify key partner clubs in the US as they look to raise their profile on the other side of the Atlantic.

Gareth Jennings Coaching

City Chief Executive Tony Scholes said: “The globalization of the game in recent years and in particular the growth in North America makes our association with Global Image Sports extremely important to us.

“We have already engaged with 25,000 affiliated youth soccer players and their families in North America and phase two of our partnership will see us look to identify key partner clubs in the US to deliver a platinum level service in return for Stoke City brand awareness and merchandise representation.”

The Potters’ Academy Director Gareth Jennings added: “We believe that the partnership with GIS is an integral part of our strategy to improve our recruitment and brand internationally. All of the programs delivered in North America have the same emphasis on doing things the same way we would here in Stoke-on-Trent at the Academy.

“We are looking forward to the next three years working with GIS. Further to the recruitment, and branding, we believe the partnership also develops our network and definitely develops valuable friendships in the in America.”

GIS Vice President Reis Williams commented: “We are honored to be working with the great people at Stoke City FC. We have developed some really good relationships over the past few years. Our aim now is to really kick on and develop Stoke City’s North American operation into one of the leading partnership programs here in North America.

“We believe in terms of the value Stoke City FC are able to provide to the players, coaches, and parents that make up our youth club partners here is second to none. The Club is committed to offering support and services to their partners that are not common practice in the youth soccer market today.”

Stoke City FC National Camp

Click here to view our 2018 Stoke City FC National Camp Recap Video

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Blog | Global Image Sports announces Sponsorship services - Global Image Sports | GIS
Image: Global Image Sports announces Sponsorship services

Global Image Sports announces Sponsorship services

Posted by Team, 29th June 2018

In an effort to continue bringing unrivaled opportunities and value to our partners, Global Image Sports is pleased to announce the new GIS Sponsorship Consultancy Service.

Sponsorship dollars are a top priority for most youth soccer clubs in North America. Unfortunately, most clubs don’t know which companies are spending, who to talk to, or what to say; and even if they did, many clubs don’t have the reach to warrant the investment.

“Most community-based youth soccer clubs experience similar financial challenges each year. Mainly balancing the needs of the club and improving their programs, services, and member experience while doing their best to keep costs to members as low as possible. Creating new revenue streams with sponsorship and major fundraising initiatives is a logical next step. GIS has been a great business partner for the past 6 years and we look forward to working with them to improve our member experience in the coming years!”

Kevin Crow - Ballistic United Executive Director

GIS Sponsorship



The Sponsorship Consultancy Service will have those questions answered and the resources to entice major brands and companies by utilizing our 400+ youth club partners, 15 professional club partners, and a reach of over 300,000 players. This “pooling” of resources will allow GIS to develop attractive options for major corporations to use their sponsorship budgets on GIS partner clubs.



GIS Sponsorship 2



“The Ellicott City Soccer Club has benefited greatly from strategic partnerships and sponsorships. With the rising costs of youth sports today, this revenue helps us keep our costs down to the families without cutting programs, essentially giving our players more for less. In addition, we can provide a platform for the sponsors to promote their products to our members. It allows the sponsors the opportunity to increase awareness of their brand at a fraction of the cost of print, television and billboard advertisements. It also creates a sense of community within the club as we support Local, Regional and National Brands! It is a win-win-win arrangement with our families, partners and a huge benefit to our club!”

Ken Heydt - President Ellicott City Soccer Club


sponsorship 3


For over a decade, GIS has been known for our commitment to offering incredible opportunities to players. We are excited to bring that same commitment to our partner clubs to help continue the work they so passionately pursue.


If you are interested in bringing this service to your club,
please take our QUESTIONAIRE

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Blog | GIS Family Spotlight: Dallybraun - Global Image Sports | GIS
Image: GIS Family Spotlight: Dallybraun

GIS Family Spotlight: Dallybraun

Posted by Team, 20th June 2018

In this GIS Blog Series, we talk with families to get a closer insight into how they have benefited from GIS related programming from a soccer, experiential, and family perspective. We are nothing without our all-star families and hopefully, these blogs will show our immense appreciation for the trust they put in us.

We are pleased to introduce you to the Dallybraun Family!


Tell us a little bit about your family and your involvement with soccer.

Team Dally - Braun
Dad - Ken
Soccer mum - Cassandra
Soccer crazy kid - Travis
Supporting sister - Gisele

Soccer is a daily part of our life. We have a field on our lifestyle block and we all support different teams, which makes it interesting!!!
Trav plays for Onehunga Sports and is part of the elite academy for the Wellington Phoenix soccer school, based in Auckland.



At what ages did Travis start attending GIS related events?

Trav started playing soccer at the age of 4 and since that first day, there hasn’t been a day, that he hasn’t kicked a ball.

What events have you all attended?

GIS WHU camps came to Australia in 2014 and we flew Trav to Brisbane to attend the national camp and trial for the WHU Elite Training in London. Trav was selected to go and that is when our long-term affiliation with GIS started.
Since then he has attended -
7 New Zealand Training Camps
5 New Zealand Elite ID Camps
4 Austrailian Elite ID Camps
5 London Elite Camps
1 Separate camp in London with George Cowie GIS Scotland/ England Tour

In what ways have you seen these GIS events impact his development as soccer players?

We see this as an important part/piece of the puzzle, that it takes in the steps to becoming a pro footballer. These events with GIS have allowed Trav to grow on and off the field. He has always been a calm, polite yet very driven young man and these training camps help him to push himself in professional surroundings, meeting like-minded families, players, and coaches. As well as playing alongside boys who again are there for self-development.



What has his experience been like on our Elite Trips?

Every trip has been slightly different, but all have been positive and Trav has taken plenty on board. A Particular memory is the game between the WHU International Elite boys VS WHU Academy boys. Trav scored 2 goals to win the game. They were both great goals and that’s always a memory to keep.


What is one of the more memorable moments you’ve had either on a trip or at a camp?

An amazing moment was being on the last Boleyn Ground match day… the passion and atmosphere of the people in the club and supporters were incredible. Also, getting to meet Mark Noble, Andy Carroll, and Winston Reid. Mark Noble actually took the time to speak to Trav, and that is something he will never forget.



If there was a family who was nervous about national camp or skeptical about the value of traveling to Europe with GIS, what would you say to them?

If anyone is not sure about attending a GIS camp, we have attended many and will continue to attend many more… we have never had any problems with any aspect of the camps, and investing in your children is the best investment of all. GIS is the real deal. You get to train, play, and interact with the real academy coaches, in their facilities.

And lastly, a fun one… Who is your favorite pro club and why?!

The teams we support are West Ham United, Liverpool and Real Madrid!










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Blog | The GIS Family Spotlight: The Holmes Family - Global Image Sports | GIS
Image: The GIS Family Spotlight: The Holmes Family

The GIS Family Spotlight: The Holmes Family

Posted by Team, 7th May 2018

In this GIS Blog Series, we talk with families to get a closer insight into how they have benefited from GIS related programming from a soccer, experiential, and family perspective. We are nothing without our all-star families and hopefully, these blogs will show our immense appreciation for the trust they put in us.

We are pleased to introduce you to the Holmes Family!

Tell us a little bit about your family and your involvement with soccer.

Our two boys Aidan (15) and Kellan (14) were born on the east coast, and we moved to Southern California when they were in elementary school. They have loved soccer from a very young age and have each been playing competitive soccer since they were 5 years old.

At what ages did they start attending GIS related events & what events have you all attended?

Aidan first attended a WHU ID Camp through his local club at age 10. He has been invited to and attended the WHU National ID Camp for six years (2012-2017), and he has been selected to travel to England to train with the WHU Academy on the Elite Trip five times. Kellan began his relationship with GIS and WHU at age 12. Kellan has been invited to and attended the WHU National Camp two years (2016-2017), and he was also selected to travel to England to train with the WHU Academy on the Elite Trip. They have both been invited to the 2018 WHU National ID Camp again this summer.


In what ways have you seen these GIS events impact their development as soccer players?
The relationship our boys have with the WHU coaches and training methodology has been instrumental in their player development. The WHU Academy focuses on four key areas of player development: technical, tactical, physical & social. Aidan and Kellan have a very clear understanding of their strengths and development areas within each of the four areas, and we have been able to see and track their improvement over the years. Having exposure to and a relationship with a long-standing and proven Premier League Academy system like the WHU Academy is an invaluable development experience to any aspiring player and not something they can find in this country.

In what ways have you seen these GIS events impact them personally?
Player development models in the United States vary from club to club, and from coach to coach - even within the USSDA, where our boys have both played. There is also a big focus in the United States on winning games and being on a winning team from a very early age over individual player development. Our boys have both been fortunate enough to have some incredible coaches over the years and be on some fantastic teams. The GIS talent identification relationship with WHU has been an opportunity for them to step away from the soccer culture in the United States and gain access to the soccer culture in England and the rest of the world, where individual player development is the sole focus of all player training and development at their respective ages. To this end, they have personally gained a huge amount of knowledge and insight about where they stand developmentally and their player potential.

What has been the most valuable thing your kids have gained from these events?
Through their on-going relationship with WHU, the most valuable takeaway is an objective critique of their player abilities and potential evaluated through a proven player development model.  They know and understand their strengths as players, they know and understand the areas where they need to improve, and they know and understand the things that make them unique and special - the things that differentiate them from other players. There will never be any one player who checks every single box technically, tactically, physically & socially. However, if you know and understand what you can and can’t control, and what makes you individually unique, then you can create a pathway for individual player development to get you to the next level. This information builds CONFIDENCE to believe in oneself through all the ups and downs that come with playing and competing at a high level. The boys have absolutely taken what they’ve learned at these events back to their individual clubs and teams and used this information to improve their individual game and make them better players.

What has their experience been like on our Elite Trips?
The WHU elite trips immerse the players into the training curriculum of the WHU Academy players in England. They have access to the Academy training facilities, wear their training gear, and even wear their real player kits on match day. They get a true taste of what life as a WHU Academy player feels like and, just like the players in England, players on the Elite Trip are treated like professionals. The trips are organized around the training schedule first and foremost, and players typically train twice a day. GIS does an excellent job building sightseeing opportunities into the trip around the training schedule, and there is always an opportunity to see a professional match. Our boys have loved every minute of the trips. Over the years, the boys have built lifelong friendships with other players from across the world, and they have built a relationship with GIS and WHU leaders and coaches who we consider extended family. The experience has been fantastic.



What are some of the more memorable moments you’ve had either on a trip or at a camp?
Every time one of the boys returns from England, we always ask them their favorite part of the trip. Without exception, the answer is always the same: the training. Having the opportunity to train directly with long-time WHU Assistant Academy Director Paul Heffer is the best part of the trip year after year. That said, over the years there have been a few very special moments that stand out. In his early years with GIS, Aidan had the opportunity to meet and train with the legendary and former WHU Academy Director Tony Carr while he was still at the helm of the WHU Academy. Incredible. Another year while training in England, Aidan had the opportunity to meet former WHU Academy and First Team player Sebastian Lletget who was ID’d by WHU through the same GIS/WHU relationship. Soon after meeting Sebastian, Seb was transferred to the L.A. Galaxy and made his first appearance for the USMNT. Aidan reached out to Seb via social media after his move to L.A., and they have exchanged a few messages over the years. Seb even offered Aidan some personal advice when Aidan was experiencing a challenge with a coaching change. Invaluable. While the new WHU stadium in London is modern and beautiful, the old stadium is also extremely memorable. The old stadium housed a hotel, and the players on the elite trips woke up each morning to a professional pitch right outside their window. Inspiring. Finally, watching WHU play Manchester United in the FA Cup at Old Trafford in March 2016 was unforgettable. The WHU crowd was electric, singing and chanting louder than the Man U fans the entire game. Then in the 67th minute, Dimitri Payet buried a free kick to put WHU up 1-0. The crowd erupted. The atmosphere was incredible. It was the type of Premier League goal every boy dreams of seeing live and aspires to one day make. Amazing.



If there was a parent who was nervous about traveling to a national camp or skeptical about the value of traveling to Europe with GIS, what would you say to them?
GIS owners Jacqui and James Abrahart and their staff are true professionals. Soccer is their passion, and logistics are their specialty. The itineraries are carefully planned around maximizing the training experience for the players. Players have three healthy meals each day, there is time for rest and recovery, there is a strict curfew in the evening, and the players are always chaperoned. The elite trip training experience is invaluable to any serious soccer player. Our boys never want to come home.

And lastly, a fun one… Who is your favorite pro club and why?!
Kellan has always liked Tottenham (sorry Paul!), and Aidan of course loves WHU because the culture of that club is forever part of him. Thank you GIS!

If you’d like your family to be in the next GIS Family Spotlight, please email joseph@globalimagesports.com.


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Blog | Player Spotlight: Nik Ford - Global Image Sports | GIS
Image: Player Spotlight: Nik Ford

Player Spotlight: Nik Ford

Posted by Team, 30th April 2018

Some of our favorite stories here at GIS are when players progress through the levels of our programming. We love hearing about when players don’t receive an invitation to National Camp at their ID Camp, but train hard and are selected at the next ID Camp; Or when players don’t qualify for the Elite Player Trip, but use the Experienced Player Trip to grow their game and make the Elite Player Trip the following year. Adversity is just part of the journey and we embrace that. It’s not easy for players to hear that they’re not as good as they may have thought, but we hope that this expanded perspective helps motivate them to train harder and grow as players.

One such player who has made tremendous progress is Nik Ford. Nik lives in Nashville, TN and plays for GIS partner club, Eagle Express SC. At Eagle Express he plays with the 05 Boys in Division 1 and also plays for the varsity team at Mount Juliet Middle School. Nik first came into GIS programming at a 2016 Eagle Express ID Camp. There, he caught the eye of the Academy coach in attendance and was invited to the 2016 Wolves National Camp that July. Based on his performance at the National Camp, Nik qualified for the Experienced Player Trip. Obviously, he had hoped to make the Academy Prospect or Elite Player Trip, but he didn’t let that deter him. Instead, he took full advantage of the opportunity and used the lessons learned to grow his game. At the 2017 Wolves National Camp, that growth was on full display and Nik jumped 2 levels to make the Academy Prospect Trip! An incredible achievement.


We caught up with Nik’s dad, Chris Ford, to learn more about Nik, his experience with GIS, and how he was able to make the leap to Academy Prospect.

You’ve been on a couple trips to England now, what was the experience like and how did the Experienced Player trip differ from the Academy Prospect trip?

“Experienced Player” Trip 2017 - Great introduction to English soccer; the “life” an academy player might lead; and the Wolves’ coaching philosophies. The Stadium tours and the trip to London were a great international experience for any kid to learn a bit more about the world, while also getting some solid training at the Wolves’ Academy.
“Academy Prospect” Trip 2018 - After a good showing on the “Experienced Player” Trip to England in 2017, and at the National Camp in Georgia that summer, Nik was privileged to be invited to participate in the “Academy” Tier One Prospect trip to Wolverhampton in March 2018. Unlike the “Experienced Player” Trip, where there were about 25 very good players attending from North America, the “Academy” Trip was a small group of 6 excellent players from multiple countries (USA, Canada, and Australia). This trip was much more focused on training and assessment. During their time with the Wolves, they got to train with Wolves’ Academy players their own age, as though they were Academy players themselves. They got to experience the high level of training and play, as well as the advanced skills, tactics, and techniques the Wolves’ players have achieved, as they pursue their dream of becoming professional soccer players.



How has Nik benefited from the various GIS Events he’s attended?

At the beginning (Summer 2016), Nik had an opportunity to see how he compared to other local kids his age range, in an “assessment” environment, through the Regional ID camp. Then when invited to the national camp in Georgia, he was able to see how he stacked up against very good players from around the country. This was a great confidence-builder, especially when he was subsequently invited to the “Experienced Player” Trip at Wolverhampton in March 2017.

Making the jump from Experienced Player to Academy Prospect in just 1 year is really impressive. What did Nik pick up during the Experienced Player trip that helped prepare him to make the leap?

The coaching and drills were tougher and more disciplined than what he was used to. Although fun is always important when playing a game, these sessions at National Camp, and in England, were about serious soccer. Going to the first National Camp, and then to the first England trip, helped him mature as a player; mentally, technically, and tactically, not because he learned a bunch of new skills, but because he learned a different way of thinking when on the field. This has helped all the other aspects of his game.


How has the English Style/System benefited your son and does it differ from US Club Soccer?

The English system has given Nik a much broader and more mature understanding of the game on a world level. He has been able to see the level of focus, commitment, and strategy the Academy players have for their future goals. It’s their way of life!



How does the coaching level differ from Nik’s other experiences in soccer?

Having an opportunity to train at the National Camp and in England with the Wolves’ coaching staff, gave Nik a chance to experience training that is focused on more advanced players, and what helps them understand how to prepare for the game at the next levels.

In what ways has GIS impacted Nik’s development as a soccer player?

GIS has helped Nik better understand the game, and what it takes to succeed at a national and international level, rather than just what it takes to be good at the local level. Through this experience, Nik has gained a broader perspective and understanding of the game, on and off the pitch. This has made him better prepared to grow, develop, and play. Overall, we have been very pleased with our GIS and Wolves experiences. It has opened Nik’s eyes to soccer on a world scale, and given him international travel experiences he would not have had otherwise, and that we would encourage anyone with a passionate soccer player to pursue.



Special thanks to Nik and Chris for chatting with us!

If you want to attend a Wolves ID Camp this summer and have a chance at making the National Camp like Nik, click HERE

Lastly, if you think your son/daughter has a cool story that should be featured please email joseph@globalimagesports.com



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Blog | Official: GIS and Malaga CF Announce New Residential Academy - Global Image Sports | GIS
Image: Official: GIS and Malaga CF Announce New Residential Academy

Official: GIS and Malaga CF Announce New Residential Academy

Posted by Team, 27th April 2018

In 2016, Global Image Sports formed a partnership with Málaga CF to help spread the methodologies and techniques of one of the most successful academies in Spain. Since that time, GIS has brought Málaga Coaches to 8 different youth clubs in North America and have sent over 30 players back to Málaga for extended training.


Now we are proud to announce the opening of the new 2018 Málaga CF Residential Academy! This will be an opportunity for girls and boys ages 13-16 to fully experience life and soccer the Málaga way for months at a time.

Through this program, qualifying players will train 3-9 months at the MCF Academy in Málaga, Spain. This includes 6 training sessions per week, 5 fitness/technical sessions per week, 2 matches each month, room and board at MCF Academy, Spanish lessons, tickets to all Málaga CF home games and much more.



The MCF Academy continues to be one of the best academies in the world. The Academy boasts over 500 boys, 120 girls, 20 nationalities, 350+ national and international titles, and 40+ players representing their country on the international level. The highest level of competition for academies in Spain is the Copa de Campeones. The only way to qualify is by winning your respective league. The MCF Academy team, Málaguista Juvenile have qualified for 5 straight years, winning the title in 2016, losing to Real Madrid in the 2017 final, and have now qualified once again for the 2018 version of the competition. In addition, two Malaga teams will be taking part in the Copa del Rey for the first time in MCF Academy history!

The Málaga CF Women’s team have also had a fantastic campaign. While they are currently competing in the Second Division, they won the 2018 Segunda División Femenina Group IV title, and are now in the playoff to earn promotion to the first division! Up to 10 players currently in MCF female team are regularly called-up by the Andalucían Federation.

With all of this success, it was a no-brainer for Global Image Sports to create an opportunity for some of the best girls and boys in N. America to take advantage. The goals are simple:1. To further develop North American players utilizing the proven MCF Academy methodologies. 2. Provide a legitimate pathway that will hopefully lead to one of our players joining Málaga CF.



Special thanks to Málaga CF and International Academy Director Marcelo Romero for working with GIS to create such a high quality and amazing opportunity.

To apply for the program, first pre-register here: Click HERE 
From there, one of our partnership managers will contact you to speak with you further about the program.

For direct questions, please contact Joe Davis at joseph@globalimagesports.com


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Posted by Team, 26th April 2018

An exciting new partnership with Global Image Sports Inc (GIS) will see Premier League club Watford FC (Watford) explore overseas markets through a range of grassroots initiatives.

Watford logo

An initial three-year relationship will enable Watford and GIS to develop programmes and events in North America and parts of Asia. 

The partnership will deviate from the conventional approach to youth soccer and instead focus upon establishing a grassroots presence that connects young players and their families to Watford. This unique approach will build interest in the club and increase its fanbase outside England.

Linked to this is a commitment to player and coach education that will embed youth soccer teams with Watford’s knowledge and connect them to their peers at the Hornets’ Academy in England. Ideally, this will pave the way for young players to have a genuine pathway into Watford’s youth setup.


GIS & Watford FC


Watford FC Commercial Director, Spencer Field said: “We are excited to be signing this partnership agreement today. The Club has enormous potential on the international scene but, as ever, we want to approach it a little differently.”

“In signing this agreement, we know that Chris McGuane (Academy Director) and his team will be able to create a fantastic environment for young footballers in the US and Asia. We also recognize this as a brilliant opportunity to grow our brand and International appeal. GIS have shared this vision throughout and this is why we have chosen them to be our partner”.

GIS Chief Executive Officer, James Abrahart said, “From the moment we met with Watford we knew this was a Club whose vision we wanted to be a part of. Being in such close proximity to London and having some of the best coaching available to young players makes this a Club with fantastic potential. All of us at GIS are very much looking forward to working alongside Spencer and Chris to grow this project. What we liked most was their desire to do things differently, focus on quality and put down a blueprint that we think has enormous potential in helping our young soccer players globally.”


Watford FC player

If you’d like to learn more about becoming a youth partner with Watford FC,
please contact us at info@globalimagesports.com | 770.545.8146


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Posted by Team, 24th April 2018

The Wolverhampton Wanderers have done it! Champions of the English Championship (2nd division) and promotion back to the English Premier League (EPL)!

It’s been a long-awaited return to the EPL for Wolves. After being relegated in 2012 from the EPL, the Wolves were relegated again down to League One (3rd Division) for the 2013-14 season. Luckily, the club managed to jump back into the English Championship the following year and are now headed back to the most popular league in the world, the English Premier League.

Global Image Sports have been partnered with Wolverhampton since 2011 and we couldn’t be happier for all involved at the club.


Promotion and relegation is a foreign concept for most Americans, so we thought it would be helpful to try and explain just how important this is for Wolves.

The most obvious benefit comes in the form of revenue. Shares of broadcast deals, facility fees, merit payments based on performance, shares of commercial deals, and other commercial gains bring in massive amounts of income. On average, promoted clubs look to gain nearly 300 million dollars! This is life-changing money for a club that is just a few years removed from the English Third Division.

To put it in an American context, the Durham Bulls from Durham, NC won the Triple-A Minor League Baseball Championship last year, while the San Francisco Giants finished last in the MLB. Imagine the fanfare and drama of those two baseball teams switching leagues! That’s what happens every year around the world of soccer, and this year Wolverhampton is on the winning end.

Under the leadership of head coach Nuno Esparto Santo and star-man Ruben Neves, Wolverhampton is finally back and all signs are pointing to an extended stay in the top flight. With the financial backing of Fosun and the massive gains from promotion, it’s likely the club will be able to keep their top players and strengthen the squad. In fact, many pundits believe that Wolverhampton would have fared well in the EPL this past season. With these expectations, the goal for next year won’t be to simply avoid relegation, but to push for a Top 10 finish!

Congratulations to Wolverhampton Wanderers FC!


If you’d like to attend an event this summer with Wolverhampton staff, we’ll be hosting Elite Player Camps around the country this summer! Go to gis.configio.com and find an event near you!



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Blog | Global Image Sports announces Professional Partnership with Club Atlético Huracán - Global Image Sports | GIS
Image: Global Image Sports announces Professional Partnership with Club Atlético Huracán

Global Image Sports announces Professional Partnership with Club Atlético Huracán

Posted by Team, 18th April 2018

April 18th, 2018 – Club Atlético Huracán of the Super Liga Argentina De Futbol have agreed to a joint venture partnership with sports management company, Global Image Sports, in order to launch a North American Academy project.

CA Huracan logo


The ethos behind the partnership is to enable players from North America to benefit from South American coaching philosophies and provide the opportunity for aspiring young soccer players to be able to travel to Argentina and experience the iconic footballing culture and landmarks of Buenos Aires.

With so much South American influence being prevalent in the MLS at the moment and Argentina being a two-time world cup winning nation, it will allow the creation of player identification programs, new coaching styles and travel opportunities that are very different to the current European models, but that is grounded in South American flair and skill development.


CA Huracan Stadium


Huracán was established in 1908 and have won 13 top flight domestic titles as well as recently being crowned champions of the 2014 Supercopa Argentina.

CA Huracán Chairman, Fernando Moroni said, “We hope to find in this new alliance with GIS a means to share with North American soccer players over 100 years of experience of producing professional players, as well as our unique passion and feeling for the game of football.”

Aldo Marinelli, GIS Partnerships Executive said, “We are delighted to be partnering with our first South American professional club and look forward to the unique opportunities it will bring. The Huracán model offers something different compared to our European professional clubs and is based on flair, expression and built on the principles of producing players with individual quality”


CA Huracan Youth


For more information – please email Aldo Marinelli via aldo@globalimagesports.com


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Blog | West Ham United Football Club & Global Image Sports Inc. Sign Exclusive Partnership Agreement - Global Image Sports | GIS
Image: West Ham United Football Club & Global Image Sports Inc. Sign Exclusive Partnership Agreement

West Ham United Football Club & Global Image Sports Inc. Sign Exclusive Partnership Agreement

Posted by Team, 17th April 2018

April 17th, 2018 – West Ham United have agreed to extend their long-term partnership with Global Image Sports Inc (GIS) which will see the continued promotion and development of the Club’s overseas programme in North America.

The Club and GIS will be looking to grow their brands and activity in the region, with GIS overseeing a large network of youth soccer clubs who form part of the Club’s North American Academy.

Having worked together for several years, the partnership has seen the extensive development of the North American Academy. There are now over 35 West Ham North American Academy youth soccer partners, comprising of tens of thousands of young players.

This news not only reaffirms the credibility of the programme, but cements what is a long-standing, strong partnership and recognizes the desire of both parties to create the best offering to the US youth soccer market in terms of coaching quality and player development.

West Ham United Academy Director Terry Westley commented: “The partnership with GIS enables us to incorporate our methodology directly into established youth soccer clubs in North America. We can provide a level of quality coaching and sports science that isn’t currently always available to these clubs, enabling us to work with players who understand our style of play and can benefit our presence and reputation worldwide. 

“I recently had the chance to deliver a series of coaching education seminars to a group from North America and I was impressed with how much they wanted to learn and take back to their players. We expect very high standards at this Academy and the fact these Clubs take our values seriously is a testament to the high quality of this partnership and our intention to look at players from all over the world.”

GIS’ Co-Founder Jacqui Abrahart said: “As someone who has been a lifelong West Ham United fan and can still remember watching games as a young girl with my dad, we are delighted to be announcing this enhanced partnership as we see it being an important next stage in taking the Club from strength to strength inside the North American market. 

“Terry and his team have done a fantastic job and we share the Club’s vision in wanting to make them one of the strongest and most reputable names in US Youth Soccer. We have seen in the past the success the West Ham United Academy has had and with England winning World Cups at multiple age groups recently, the level of coaching we can provide through this partnership truly is going to help these kids who love the game of soccer.”

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Blog | A GIS Journey to the Pros: The Daniel Johnson Story - Global Image Sports | GIS
Image: A GIS Journey to the Pros: The Daniel Johnson Story

A GIS Journey to the Pros: The Daniel Johnson Story

Posted by Team, 9th April 2018

Every year GIS has thousands of players that participate in our ID camps, tours, and national programs. Most of these players share a common dream of playing in Europe one day. Helping players achieve that dream has always been the ultimate goal of the experiences and opportunities we provide our partners. With that said, it is a challenging road with hundreds of variables that can make or break a career. One such player that has gone through the ups and downs of the journey to play European soccer is Daniel Johnson (DJ).

DJ hails from Duluth, GA and attended Greater Atlanta Christian School (GAC). In middle school, DJ attended GIS’s West Ham United National Camps, so when he heard that GAC would be taking a tour to visit West Ham in London, he could hardly wait!

“I remember thinking that it was just going to be a cool week of training and a great experience,” said DJ. “It turned out to be way more.”

On Day 1, DJ was playing in a match and caught the eye of Paul Heffer (West Ham’s International Academy Director) and Tony Carr (Former Academy Director). Throughout the next week, Paul and Tony continued to scout DJ and at the end of the week they invited him to come back for a proper trial.

“They said, ‘It would be great to get you over here on a more full-time basis. We think you could eventually be a pro for West Ham’. But it’s tough as a twelve-year-old to fully register the kind of opportunity I had. All I saw was an opportunity to play soccer every day, which was the dream.”

Once his parents were convinced of the idea (no easy task), DJ returned to West Ham on trial and received an invitation to train with the Academy full-time. Life as he knew it was about to completely change. His day-to-day was now training and competing to keep his spot at the Academy.

“It’s weird because you’re a kid and want to have fun, but you’re also competing with your teammates to be the next professional for West Ham. There’s pressure coming from everywhere, Tony, back home, the coaches. The status is cool, but the work is hard. Every day wasn’t amazing. There were tons of ups and downs, but you had to keep fighting.”



DJ would go on to play at the Academy from 2009-12. The end game was simple, either earn a professional contract with West Ham or get sent home. Many kids came and went, but in 2012 DJ received the call from West Ham he’d dreamt of.

“I had worked up until that age to where it matters and incredibly West Ham called me and said ‘congratulations, you’re going to be with us for the next several years’ and offered me a professional contract.”

I wish the rest of this feature was about DJ flourishing with West Ham, making the first-team, and playing with the US National Team. However, life rarely takes us on the perfect trajectory. A few weeks later, DJ received word that UEFA denied his FIFA appeal for the work visa needed to become a professional soccer player in England.

“I call it my greatest heartbreak. I went through the hardest four years of my life at the Academy, and for someone at a desk who doesn’t know me and doesn’t know what I sacrificed to simply stamp a ‘no’ is extremely heartbreaking.”

In the span of two months, DJ had gone from earning his first professional contract with a Premier League Club to considering never playing soccer again. Defeated doesn’t even begin to express how low he felt. Moving on was no small task, but a conversation with his youth club director, Tony Annan (now the Academy Director at Atlanta United), got him back on track.

“I credit Tony Annan with keeping me from quitting. He essentially told me, ‘there’s no one path that is set and no template for turning pro’. I realized that if I just focused on the door that closed, I would miss other doors that are opening for me.”

With this new perspective, DJ set out on a more familiar path for Americans, college. He first attended the University of Maryland before transferring to the University of Louisville. But he took with him the habits and mindset he developed at West Ham.

“The number one thing that Paul [Heffer] preached was having awareness and knowing what you’re going to do before you get the ball. Checking my shoulder, head on a swivel, and getting a picture of the field was drilled into me. There’s not a training session where I haven’t used that.”

After a stellar college career, DJ was invited to the MLS Combine and was drafted No. 11 overall by the Chicago Fire in the 2017 MLS SuperDraft. He would go on to appear for the Fire eight times his rookie season. It wasn’t the path he originally envisioned to become a pro, but Tony Annan’s words rung true.


Despite finally getting to live out his dream of being a professional soccer player, the sting still remains from his “greatest heartbreak”. DJ’s hope is that the next generation of kids and their parents can learn from his journey and avoid similar issues.

“People don’t realize that I was one of, if not the first, young American to go early through an academy, get a professional contract, and then run into issues that we weren’t aware of. I was sort of the guinea pig. So it’s important to look into the legal side of things before sending a kid over to chase a dream. Parents need to understand the FIFA Child Protection Act, look into countries that offer citizenship after two years, and figure out if their kid can receive another passport based on the lineage. The legal side is just as important as the soccer side.”

Currently, DJ is focused on his sophomore season with the Fire. He had a good pre-season, but picked up a slight knock and is working his way back into the lineup again. He’s come back from worse circumstances, so there’s no doubt he’ll be back in the fold soon.

Long-term, DJ is working towards being a regular contributor in MLS and getting back into the US National Team conversation. Learning from the likes of Bastian Schweinsteiger at the Fire has been a major advantage in the journey. He would also be remiss if he didn’t have aspirations of returning to Europe one day.

“It would be great to get back to Europe and get that experience fully of being a professional there because I had to leave not on my own terms. Getting back over there and experiencing life as a pro in Europe would be incredible and something that I want to do for sure.”

And all of us here at GIS have no doubt you will.

DJ’s story is a relatable one for most; ups and downs, accomplishments and adversity. But every trial and tribulation on his path has led him to where he is today and the lessons learned will aid him as he continues the journey of being a professional athlete.

You may encounter many defeats, but you must not be defeated. In fact, it may be necessary to encounter the defeats, so you can know who you are, what you can rise from, how you can still come out of it.” -Maya Angelou


For more information on GIS Tours and Events contact us at info@globalimagesports.com.





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Blog | The West Ham United Coaching Diploma Course Recap - Global Image Sports | GIS
Image: The West Ham United Coaching Diploma Course Recap

The West Ham United Coaching Diploma Course Recap

Posted by Team, 20th March 2018

One of the pillars of the Global Image Sports partnership program is coaching education. We realize that these are the men and women that are going to have the greatest impact on players here in North America, so we do our best to provide opportunities and resources for these coaches to grow in their knowledge of the game. One way we do this is providing coaching diploma courses through our partnerships with our various professional clubs such as West Ham United, Wolverhampton, Chievo Verona, Stoke City, and more. The goal is to expose these coaches to the practices, techniques, and philosophies that are used to develop tomorrows professionals.

GIS recently hosted the “West Ham United Academy 2018 Coaching Diploma” from February 8th-14th at their London Academy facilities. Eleven coaches from GIS youth partner clubs attended. The course was led by Paul Heffer, West Ham’s International Academy Coaching Director and Terry Westley, West Ham’s Academy Manager. The coaches were given full access to the West Ham Academy training philosophy through on-field practical training sessions, classroom sports-science discussions and observation of various academy age games and training sessions. Additionally, the group attended a first-team game at the Olympic Stadium in which West Ham beat Watford 2-0.

We believe these diploma courses are some of the best things we provide through our partnership and the coaches agreed:

Noe Vargas, Cal Glen Soccer Club: “It is excellent to see the actual training grounds. We also got invited to a pep talk before the game with Terry, it was amazing to be in, previous to the Tottenham U23 game.”

Ivan R. Gonzalez, SG1 Soccer Club: ”My experience at the West Ham Academy Coaching Course was phenomenal! Being able to be in a pro-active environment with experienced coaches like Paul Heffer and Terry Westley provided a terrific atmosphere that was able to be engaging and stimulate learning. All of the West Ham staff were hospitable and willing to be a part of the learning process. Especially West Ham Coaches, Juyel Hussain and Lits Zaman, would even go above and beyond and physically demonstrate some practice sessions with the group. As a young coach, I wanted to learn and experience as much as I could in order to improve in my craft. I can definitely say without a doubt that I learned a great deal from Paul Heffer and this coaching course. I have to thank Global Image Sports, as well as, my club team from Houston, Texas, Sports Group 1, that provided me with this wonderful opportunity.”


Otto Berti, Gitchi-Gummi Soccer Club: “It was a great experience…learned a few good things and it was great watching the U23 practices and games.”

Pradip Humagai, Keystone Athletic Soccer Club: “The West Ham Diploma is the best coaching course I’ve attended.”

Brandon Stemwedel, Gitchi-Gummi Soccer Club: “From the moment we landed to the moment we left, I felt we couldn’t have been treated any better. Paul Heffer made sure to talk to us about what and why the coaches were doing things when watching the sessions and how to build upon certain drills he showed us. All the coaches would stay in the dining area of the hotel and chat about what we learned each day or what is happening that can benefit our clubs and give advice or perspective on like areas.”

Steve Gough, Cal Glen Soccer Club: “The course was amazing. The biggest benefit is gaining detailed insights into the world-class West Ham Youth Academy and seeing how professional players are developed through privileged observation at academy training sessions, detailed interaction with the coaches, observation at games and most importantly learning from the practical sessions lead by trainers who have personally coached and mentored the likes of Lampard, Ferdinand, Cole, Carrick, and Johnson. I have already implemented numerous drills and routines from the course into my U18 program and the lads love it and are already gaining a good understanding of the ‘play in the future’ philosophy and approach.”

If you’re interested in attending one of our fall diploma course trips email info@globalimagesports.com

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Blog | USL Club San Antonio FC adds former West Ham United Elite Player Ethan Bryant - Global Image Sports | GIS
Image: USL Club San Antonio FC adds former West Ham United Elite Player Ethan Bryant

USL Club San Antonio FC adds former West Ham United Elite Player Ethan Bryant

Posted by Team, 5th March 2018

Sixteen-year-old Ethan Bryant has been added to USL club San Antonio FC’s roster as a USL Academy Player. This is an opportunity for Ethan to train with SAFC on a full-time basis and avoid any issues with his college eligibility.

In 2012, Ethan attended Global Image Sports’ West Ham United National Camp, and again in 2013. After his performance in the 2013 camp, he was invited on an exclusive Elite Trip back to London where he trained at the West Ham Academy.

“These events opened my eyes to what the next level was,” said Ethan. “I was surrounded by talented players that forced me to bring my game up a notch.”


Global Image Sports prides itself on producing authentic and challenging experiences through our partnerships with clubs such as West Ham United. Our primary goal is to make a lasting impression on players that motivate, teach, and give a renewed perspective on their abilities. A primary way we do that is through our National Camps and Elite Trips back to our partner clubs in Europe.

Ethan, in regards to his Elite Trip, “If I had to say what the most impactful aspect of the GIS West Ham experience, it would be being able to train with one of the best staffs in the world. To be able to play with that talented group of players, with world-class coaching, [it] was a great experience for me.”

One of the most beneficial aspects of the West Ham Elite Trip is the opportunity to be coached by some of the same coaches that developed the likes of Frank Lampard, Joe Cole, Rio Ferdinand, and others. Exposing players to that level of coaching does wonders for their game upon returning home.

All of us here at Global Image Sports are thrilled to see how far Ethan has come and the opportunity he has in front of him. There is nothing that excites us more than our programming playing a part in players achieving their dreams. “My future aspiration is to play at the highest level I can.” said Ethan, “If my full potential allows me to play in the states, that’s great; if it allows me to play overseas, that’s awesome too. I just want to be playing at the highest level I can.”

Who knows, maybe one day we’ll see him back in a West Ham United kit!

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Blog | Global Image Sports Inc. and West Ham United F.C. Complete Updated Agreement - Global Image Sports | GIS
Image: Global Image Sports Inc. and West Ham United F.C. Complete Updated Agreement

Global Image Sports Inc. and West Ham United F.C. Complete Updated Agreement

Posted by Team, 26th February 2018

Press Release and Company Statement
Monday 26th February, 2018.

Global Image Sports Inc. is delighted to announce the successful completion of a new, updated agreement with West Ham United Football Club; one that will see GIS become the Club’s exclusive International Academy partner in North America. The new partnership will allow our partner clubs the chance to access player and coaching development curriculum, visit West Ham United FC in London as well as host coaching staff from the Club at various points throughout the year to support all levels of the soccer pyramid – either through the provision of elite European coaching instruction or by supporting the coaching structure to benefit players with their own future ambitions in the game.

A more detailed and fully comprehensive press release will follow shortly.

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Blog | The GIS Family Spotlight: The Keesic Family - Global Image Sports | GIS
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The GIS Family Spotlight: The Keesic Family

Posted by Team, 23rd February 2018

In this new GIS Blog Series, we will be talking with families to get a closer insight into how they have benefited from GIS related programming from a soccer, experiential, and family perspective. We are nothing without our all-star families and hopefully, these blogs will show our immense appreciation for the trust they put in us.

First up is the Keesic family!

1. Tell us a little bit about your family and your involvement with soccer.
We live in Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada and our kids attend a local soccer academy, the Thunder Bay Chill. 
We love soccer and watch soccer regularly on TV.  We follow many different pro leagues and certain tournaments such as the World Cup.  We have even built a soccer field in our backyard and had special nets created for our field. In the Spring, Summer, and Fall months, we play together pretty much daily. Soccer is a lifestyle for our family.


2. How many kids do you have and at what ages did they start attending GIS related events?
We have 4 kids. Our oldest daughter lives and goes to college in Oakville, Ontario. Our 3 kids, that live at home, all play soccer. Ethan(15) started attending GIS events at age 10, Hannah(12) started at age 9 and Andrew(10) started at age 7. So we have been involved with GIS for the past 6 years. 

3. What events have you attended?
-4 West Ham ID Camps
-5 West Ham National Camps
-1 West Ham Elite Camp
-ChievoVerona Residential Academy 
-West Ham Elite Camp/2018
-ChievoVerona Residential Academy/2018
-West Ham United National Camp/2018
-3 West Ham ID Camps
-4 West Ham National Camps
-1 West Ham Elite Camp
-2 West Ham ID Camps
-3 West Ham National Camps
-2 West Ham Elite Trips
-West Ham Elite Trip/2018
-West Ham National Camp/2018


4. How have your kids benefited from events GIS has put on?
Our kids have benefitted significantly from GIS events over the past few years. Although we have a great local soccer club, the Thunder Bay Chill, we have been very thankful for the supplemental opportunities for player development and additional opportunities available through GIS. In addition to the soccer-related development, we have also enjoyed the opportunities to travel, visit other countries and, via the Elite Player Trip, to experience five premier league matches – there are no words to describe the atmosphere of being at a live game!  Also, our children have met a number of professional soccer players during various GIS events…you never know who may show up!

5. What has been the most valuable thing your kids have gained from these events?
The most valuable aspect re our children following their participation in GIS-related soccer events has been the dramatic, consistent and long-lasting improvement of various soccer related skills, techniques, tactics, etc., we have observed.  We could mention many other aspects, but, given our focus on soccer, we have selected this factor. 

6. In what ways has GIS impacted their development as soccer players?
The GIS experiences our children have participated in consistently reinforce aspects of the game that top players utilize such as checking your shoulder, knowing your next play and making the best decision based on the information that you receive/interpret from the game you are playing in.  The high quality of coaching and the high standards of performance expected of the players by the coaches has also significantly accelerated their development by not only focusing on the specific mechanics and mastery of certain techniques and finally focusing on increasing the speed of execution.  The sessions are very well thought out and incrementally build on a specific skill set, while being age and developmentally appropriate.   
Our children (and we) have greatly enjoyed the positivity of the coaches which, in turn, has resulted in our children enjoying training, even though they are always working very hard.  Also, the positive reinforcement has contributed to the development of playing self-confidence as the coaches challenge them and encourage them to try new skills without fear of making mistakes.  Additionally, having coaches who have reached very high levels of playing or have participated in the development of professional players is another aspect of the GIS experience that our children have appreciated/respected and have specifically noted this as an aspect that ‘matters’ to them.

7. What has your experience been like on our Elite Trips?
The Elite trips are incredible and we love every bit of it; the sightseeing, the various tours, attending a live professional game and the range of activities are all very enjoyable.  With regards to the soccer-related aspects of the Elite trip, we would rate all as world class: the coaching, quality of player participants, training sessions and facilities. The trip is organized in a professional manner and the kids and all travelers are well taken care of. The best thing we can say about it is that we can’t wait to go back the next time! 
8. What was Ethan’s experience like at the ChievoVerona Residential Academy?
Ethan really loved his time at the ChievoVerona Residential Academy. We have seen significant improvement in him as a soccer player; in particular, air ball mastery (skills related to trapping, controlling, passing, volleying and shooting the ball while in the air) and his touch. 
It took him a few weeks to adjust to the different culture, the food and being far from home but he enjoyed it overall so much that he can’t wait to go back in March. The boys trained about 6 times per week and their training included field sessions along with strength and conditioning workouts. They got to travel a bit on weekends and attended all the home games of ChievoVerona. Several times per week he along with the other participants took Italian language lessons with the aim of the boys becoming able to be ‘conversationally’ fluent.
We think it is such a privilege for Ethan to be able to go live overseas and experience life as a professional soccer player. This would never be possible without GIS.

9. Outside of soccer development, how else have GIS programs impacted your kids?
One of the amazing ways our kids have been impacted by GIS has been meeting people from all over the world and creating lasting friendships. It has expanded our/their world since they have traveled to different countries, eaten different foods and observed different customs. We’ve been on the London Eye,  seen Buckingham Palace, gone under London Bridge and shopped in Verona, Italy to name a few key memories.
In our experience, GIS always had such incredible staff. They are knowledgeable, very welcoming and friendly; remembering our kids each time we come back. The staff has set a great example in terms of how our children/people should act when in the company of others, being thoughtful and considerate.

10. And lastly, a fun one… Who is your favorite pro club?! 
Although we enjoy all good soccer and many different teams our two
favorite clubs are:
Premier League: West Ham
La Liga: Real Madrid

If you’d like your family to be in the next GIS Family Spotlight, please email joseph@globalimagesports.com.

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Blog | GIS and FC Porto Renew Partnership Agreement - Global Image Sports | GIS
Image: GIS and FC Porto Renew Partnership Agreement

GIS and FC Porto Renew Partnership Agreement

Posted by Team, 4th January 2018

January 1st, 2017 – FC Porto of the Portuguese Primeira League have today renewed their Agreement with sports management company, Global Image Sports for a further three years. The renewed deal will see FC Porto working with GIS in North America, Asia and Oceania to develop the brand, player development programs and coaching education amongst all partners and affiliates in the territories. The deal was also announced on the FC Porto website.

After a successful first 2 years of the project that focused on brand growth, marketing and successful delivery of camp and tour programs, the next stage will be about building on the foundations and enhancing the reach of the Club. Partnerships created under the Agreement will result in clubs, coaches and players having access to the FC Porto Dragon Force curriculum, a system that is famous in Portugal for producing more professional players and getting them through the Academy than any other club in the division. Visitors to the club not only get to take in the amazing city of Oporto on the Atlantic coast but spend time training alongside their Dragon Force counterparts and visit the world-famous museum that houses the two Champions League trophies (amongst countless more) the team have won.

Dragon Force Executive Director, Ricardo Ramos said, “We are delighted to continue our strong relationship with Global Image Sports for another 3 years. We have seen success in our programs over the last few years and by providing our footballing expertise and Dragon Force program alongside GIS, we are very excited about the direction and growth we can achieve together. I look forward to welcoming our international players to the club soon.”

James Abrahart, Global Image Sports, Chief Executive Officer said, “We are proud to continue and build upon our relationship with FC Porto by signing this renewal. The fact that Portugal are the current holders of the European Championship and the current FIFA World Player of the Year is Portuguese is further proof that this country has a fantastic pedigree when it comes to providing the highest-level coaching and expertise to young soccer players. We are excited to continue to bring this to our partners and give them access to the best options on the market.”

If you are interested in hosting an FC Porto camp, travelling to Portugal to take part in a customized tour or would like to discuss creating a partnership with FC Porto to access the Dragon Force curriculum, please contact Aldo Marinelli, Partnership Executive at GIS via aldo@globalimagesports.com

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Blog | Global Image Sports & Sports Recruiting USA Bring College Services to North American Club Partners - Global Image Sports | GIS
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Global Image Sports & Sports Recruiting USA Bring College Services to North American Club Partners

Posted by Team, 8th November 2017

November 7, 2017 - Global Image Sports (GIS) and Sports Recruiting USA (SRUSA), in coordination with their partnership formed in 2016, have added a college focused component to the current services and programs offered to GIS’s club partners.

SRUSA prides itself on providing elite college recruiting services to athletes and youth partners looking to bring greater opportunities to their older players. SRUSA have over 10,000 college coaches in their network and help 1,200+ athletes every year get noticed. Through their services, over 10 million dollars worth of scholarships have been earned.

Services Include:
★ Personal College Recruitment Director
★ Highlight Videos provided by SR Analysis
★ Online Profile
★ College Showcases
★ College ID Camps
★ And more…

Darran Walter, Operations Director of GIS: “Having worked with youth clubs all over the US, we know that many clubs are struggling to provide college recruiting services to their older players. As a result, many end up switching clubs. These SRUSA services will allow our club partners to bring more value to their older players and retain the individuals that they’ve spent years developing.”

Chris Cousins, Head of Operations for SRUSA: “We are all really excited about helping the GIS clubs around the US give even more realistic pathways to their players. We’ve seen for years many clubs all over the world who spend time developing these players, have no real pathways for them. With what GIS already provide and our services, the GIS clubs really will be the clubs to be at to move onto the next level, whatever that level is.”

1st Exclusive Opportunity for GIS Partner Clubs

SRUSA will be hosting the Third Annual SRUSA College Showcase in Naples, FL December 9-10, 2017. This tournament provides players the opportunity to not only be scouted by the college coaches in attendance, but also SRUSA staff who will be scouting for the hundreds of other colleges in their network that are not able to attend in person.

★ GIS partner clubs outside of Florida are able to attend for $250 per team.
★ GIS partner clubs within Florida are able to send two teams for the amount of $250.
★ GIS partner clubs therefore save up to $870! (Normal price: $995/ team)

For more information please go to the SRUSA College Showcase website at https://www.srusashowcase.com/. If you would like to register please email info@sportsrecruitingusa.com.

2nd Exclusive Opportunity for GIS Partner Clubs

GIS and SRUSA will be hosting the 2nd Annual GIS Winter Series in Atlanta, GA, December 15-17, 2017. For this event, NCAA coaches will be conducting 10+ hours of training sessions to showcase each player’s skill-set to the college coaches in attendance.

For more information please click here: GIS Winter Series

Stay tuned for more events in 2018!

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Blog | GIS Announces Formal Partnership Arrangement with Xplore - Global Image Sports | GIS
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GIS Announces Formal Partnership Arrangement with Xplore

Posted by Team, 18th July 2017

Xplore The World (Xplore) and Global Image Sports LLC (GIS) have today signed a formal partnership arrangement in order to help each other grow in various aligning markets across the globe.

Ian Lewis, CEO from Xplore commented, “we have been talking to GIS and the team for a few months now and it has become apparent that we all have a similar vision. We have over 20 years of continued growth and experience and now have a team of over 75 people in various countries. We continue to see Europe, Asia and the US as great markets for our services, and the formal partnership with GIS will help both organisations grow.”

James Abrahart, CEO of GIS said, “Xplore are a perfect partner for us. We will be able to invest time, money, and energy to continue growing this partnership and provide opportunities as a result of working with each other. We want to share these opportunities to build a team that can provide global services in sports and education and we have been very impressed with Xplore’s team and their values & commitment. They have a great history of integrity and delivering excellent services and experiences so we hope to continue to improve our collaboration in the coming months and years.”

Xplore is a leading independent provider of educational travel packages and study abroad programs for the youth / student market. Based in Suffolk (UK) and founded by Ian Lewis (CEO) in 2002 the business has continued to grow and develop over the years and now also has offices / operations in Ireland, Germany, France, USA and China. Key products and programs include; short-term junior language courses, academic year placements and bespoke group travel. Throughout all Xplore is dedicated in providing the very best experience and welfare for its students whilst maintaining excellent levels of service and support to its partners across all sectors.

Global Image Sports are an industry leading sports management and marketing agency who work with over 15 professional European sports clubs and facilitate their commercial and technical strategies in international markets. Based in North America, Europe, South-East Asia and Oceania, GIS has been in operation for over a decade. Key programs include player identification, coaching development, residential long-term academy placements and commercial and marketing strategies for professional clubs overseas. At all levels of its operation, GIS ensures the strictest standards of player welfare, due diligence and quality in everything it does and strives to maintain its role as the market leader through progressive programming, dynamic offerings and world-class provision of coaching education.

For more information, please contact ben.sinclair@xploretheworld.com or info@globalimagesports.com

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Blog | GIS Announces Partnership with London Football Coaches Association - Global Image Sports | GIS
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GIS Announces Partnership with London Football Coaches Association

Posted by Team, 30th June 2017

Global Image Sports Announces Partnership with the London Football Coaches Association

June 30th, 2017 - The London Football Coaches Association (LFCA) is pleased to partner with industry-leading sports management company, Global Image Sports (GIS) who will become a strategic partner and sponsor of the LFCA.

The partnership will see GIS working closely with LFCA members to help provide opportunities to coach domestically, internationally or even by allowing North American Coaches to attend and tap into the wealth of knowledge of the London based organisation, who have nearly 100 coaches in their ranks. GIS will also provide sponsorship in return for LFCA support in expanding the wealth of coaching material and services.

LFCA Vice Chairman, Ken Goldman noted that: “We’re grateful to GIS for helping us build this corroboration and look forward to offering our wealth of coaching knowledge and opportunities to other aspiring coaches. As the oldest coaching association in England (having been established by then England Manager Sir Walter Winterbottom in 1963) we have an incredible amount of history and passion for the game of football and look forward to being able to allow access to this partnership to our members.”

GIS Chief Executive Officer, James Abrahart said: “We have always built and grown GIS on the cornerstone of its coaching and its quality amongst our professional partners. Every year I am amazed by the sheer number of players and clubs in North America who talk about the coaching we offer being the best they have experienced. Partnering with the London Football Coaches Association enables us to support a fantastic institution but also to continue to offer more coaching knowledge, expertise and international opportunities for our partners.”

Former West Ham United Academy Director, Tony Carr, is The Chairman of the LFCA and has a long history with GIS, having been involved in the inception & development of the West Ham United International Academy and its growth/development. Part of the association will see GIS working with Carr to develop a coaching education syllabus for development of young coaches.

Anyone interested in learning more about the partnership should visit www.globalimagesports.com or email info@globalimagesports.com for more information.

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Blog | Global Image Sports Announces Professional Partnership with Udinese Calcio - Global Image Sports | GIS
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Global Image Sports Announces Professional Partnership with Udinese Calcio

Posted by Marketing, 5th May 2017

Udinese Calcio Launches North American Academy with GIS

May 5th, 2017Udinese Calcio of the Italian Serie A have agreed a partnership with sports management company, Global Image Sports in order to launch their North American Soccer Academy. GIS was assisted by Radius Sports Marketing in securing the Partnership with Udinese Calcio.

Phase one of the project will see the Udinese Calcio Academy partner with a select number of youth soccer clubs across the United States and Canada over the next 12 months. Each partner club’s coaches and players will have the opportunity to work with the Academy coaches from the club in both North America and Italy, offering an insight into the player development program of one of the leading Italian football academies. Partner clubs will be given access to a tremendous array of coaching material, coaching support, player and family support and become part of the club’s international network with resources, tours and quality coaching of players available at every turn.

Udinese are the second oldest club in Italy and one of the founding members of Serie A, being founded in 1896. They have a strong history in the top flight of Italian football and have made appearances in the Champions League, Europa League and won the Coppa Italia.

Massimiliano Ferrigno, Udinese Calcio, International Program Director said
, “We are thrilled to announce this partnership with Global Image Sports and the creation of our North American Football Academy. We are confident that our partner club program that has become such an incredible success in Italy will thrive in the North American arena and offer players, parents and clubs opportunities to learn, develop and become part of the Udinese family.”

Darran Walter, Global Image Sports, Operations & Professional Club Liaison Officer
said, “We are pleased to be partnering with another fantastic Italian club and see this as another step on our journey to provide the best coaching and opportunities to young players in North America. The Udinese project is a fascinating one and the resources and care they take with their players and partners is second to none. We look forward to helping them grow in the region and expand their reach.”

Part of the agreement will see the Udinese Calcio North American Academy host a series of Elite Player ID Events and National Residential events in late 2017 and all through 2018 with its partner clubs. For more information on how to become a North American partner club of Udinese and access their coaching and player resources, please contact Reis Williams at reis@globalimagesports.com or Aldo Marinelli at aldo@globalimagesports.com.

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Blog | Player Development - The Residential Academy - Global Image Sports | GIS
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Player Development - The Residential Academy

Posted by Marketing, 2nd May 2017

GIS’ business consultant and former D1 College Player, Stewart Abrahart recently visited the GIS European Residential Academy program in Verona, Italy. Here are some of his insights into the experiences of that time there, looking after our Elite players.

Waking up to a fresh espresso or a Paluani Chocolate Croissant are sensations that became so familiar while in Verona Italy. My journey starts back when I was a lot younger, filled with youthfulness and opportunity.

I too, was once an aspiring young football player. Back in the days when ODP, Disney All-Stars and Region League were all ‘higher standard’ football programs that I was a part of.

But seeing the experience these boys have at Chievo Verona takes me back to the days when football was played without a care in the world, with nothing but aspiration and dreams. Back when simple things such as the fresh smell of grass, or the touch of a round-shaped ball, were taken for granted. Back when opportunities, such as the Chievo Verona Residential Camp, didn’t exist – the epitome of a true elite experience.

Spending 10 days here has brought me back to my playing days, but has also given me an appreciation for the opportunity these boys have. Truly, this is a worldwide Residential Academy, with boys coming from Australia, Canada, Hawaii, California, and the Northeast US. GIS is offering a remarkably unique experience for all aspiring kids.

I’m actually not “too” old (just 24 years young)! But when it comes to football and regressing to the memories of the past, I’m all too old! Seeing these boys with so much time ahead of them makes me wish I could jump into their shoes and run out there with them for their latest training session.

Only a year ago I was playing Division 1 soccer at UAB, yet it seems a lifetime has passed since those days. Maybe because I miss the sport, maybe because I miss the feeling of going out to practice with friends or maybe because I miss getting pumped up for a big match! Whatever it is, whatever that feeling was that gave me such a buzz, I miss it.

The ‘Chievo Verona Experience’ really opens the doors to techniques that have been honed for years, techniques that have been cultivated for decades. One might not notice this ‘Italian way’ unless you’ve had the unique experience of playing in different countries and having been able to learn and study their methods.

When I was 17 I was offered a 1-year contract at Sheffield Wednesday, after doing a 2-week trial. At the time I was already fully committed to UAB, a highly regarded Division 1 program in Alabama. It was one of the toughest decisions of my life, which culminated with me deciding to play in college; the good news is there is no correct way to do it, and the Chievo Residential Program gives kids the opportunity to choose between the college game and the professional one, or at least prepares you for both.

As well as giving the boys an opportunity to learn a new language, live in a different country and gain valuable life experience, it also allows them to continue their studies. The boys wake up, go to practice, eat loads of pasta, get to see the city, and talk Italian to their peers, just to name a few of the benefits. If I only had a program that offered half of those when I was the same age, (14-17), I would have jumped at the opportunity!

Unfortunately for me, my career slowed due to injuries in college, and I didn’t get the opportunity to chase my professional dream. But coming to Italy really showed me the difference in techniques between the English, Germans, Italians, and all the other superpowers us “football-heads” have become so accustomed to.

It wasn’t until I was on the pitch with an Italian when I realized the natural way their foot caresses the ball with every touch, almost as if every touch is telling the ball, “it’s okay, I’ll take care of you.” I was amazed by the assuredness on the ball, as well as their ability to turn and change directions so naturally. They have an incredible ability to make every touch a deceptive one – giving the opponent a sense of dizziness when trying to follow their next move (I experienced this first hand).

One weekend the boys got the Primavera (Chievo’s U23s), to play with us in a ‘pick-up’ match. Another exciting opportunity the Chievo Residential Academy provides is that you are living alongside some of the next generation of professionals, some being as young as 16. But boy, was I in for a surprise! These kids were so incredibly deceptive. Now I know why it’s so hard to guard players like Messi. Deceptiveness can be taught, and it has been cultivated right here in Chievo. Every single player at this Academy must have this ability. It is taught, developed and then practiced until it becomes flawless.

Without digressing anymore, the experience was as much an eye-opener for myself as it has been for these boys. Gaining an insiders perspective to a Serie A club, that has been producing players for years, is an invaluable one.

Whatever your goal, whether it is playing professional football, playing in college, or gaining valuable life experience, all of this can be accomplished here at Chievo Verona.

Coming from one recently retired athlete to the many young players out there pursuing their dreams, do whatever it takes to get you closer to your goal. Hindsight is a great thing, and being able to provide it for others is even better. Pursue your dreams, work hard in school, enjoy yourself, and everything else will fall into place.

From one retired athlete to the next professional one.

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Blog | Global Image Sports & ChievoVerona Cement Partnership Agreement - Global Image Sports | GIS
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Global Image Sports & ChievoVerona Cement Partnership Agreement

Posted by Marketing, 16th March 2017

Global Image Sports and AC ChievoVerona have today re-launched their partnership agreement and cemented a long-term vision to promote the club on the international scene. The agreement will see the club working with GIS until at least 2020 and expanding its range of international programs, soccer support services and player development plans.

The newly reinvigorated approach will begin next week – with Chievo academy coaching staff visiting Singapore for 9 days to host a Chievo masterclass camp, deliver coaching education seminars to over 20 local aspiring coaches as well as host an elite player ID trial. There will also be several special visits to local international soccer schools and their players, to deliver and present the Chievo method and invite players and their families back to the club in the Fall, managed via GIS. Meanwhile, the North American Elite Trip group are currently completing the second of what are six planned tours to the club before the summer travel period starts. Clubs from Australia, Asia and the UK will visit in the second half of the year.

The ChievoVerona International Academy, powered by GIS in the territory of North America now stands at over 35 clubs, 25,000 players and saw over 200 people visit the city of Verona and the Academy in 2016. With long term ambitions to continue to develop these offerings now strengthened by the new agreement, Chievo partner clubs can look forward to additional coaching support, camps that are run by staff exclusively employed at the Academy and the opportunity for all players to continue to travel to Verona and be part of the Academy setup, under the GIS Tiered System of Player Development, which provides coaching and resources based on ability and the fulfilment of player potential.

The GIS European Residential Academy, which is run at ChievoVerona and the purpose built Bottagisio Sports Center, will also continue to expand under the partnership, with 16 places available in September 2017. This elite level program is open to players from 14-18, who meet the ability and entry criteria of the club but which provides a full immersion in the Chievo academy up to three times a week, as well as matches and a dedicated program of technical, physical, psychological and social training. The growth of this program which enables players to develop and understand the requirements of the professional game or to expand their future College resume is a keystone of GIS’ own development and is open to the very best players who are hand-picked by the club.

GIS CEO James Abrahart said regarding the announcement – “We could not be more thrilled to be announcing this today. Having visited the club several times in the last few years, we have developed a real affinity with the people, the culture but most importantly the soccer. Players, parents and coaches who come here are going to get an immersion and a level of knowledge and development that is almost impossible to find anywhere else. Every player & coach we have sent to Chievo has always come home saying the same thing – how much they had learned and improved.

ChievoVerona International Development Officer Davide Caliaro said – “We have worked closely with GIS over the last few years and they have always had a strong vision for the growth of the club. As a strongly established Serie A team with an Academy that has recently won several championships at different age groups, we understand the importance of growing internationally. Our aim is to provide the best training and quality in everything we do, to ensure the well-being of the player at all times and to look to develop our International Academy to one day welcome a player from the GIS territories into our first team.”

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Blog | Above and Beyond in 2017 - Global Image Sports | GIS
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Above and Beyond in 2017

Posted by Marketing, 13th January 2017

With 2016 behind us and 2017 now well underway, the team at GIS never take their foot off the gas and have been working hard throughout the winter to bring you even more opportunities over the next 12 months. As the team currently finds themselves in LA at the National Soccer Coaches Convention, we thought this was the opportune moment to show you what’s on the cards for us and our clubs, players and families in 2017…


GIS have established relationships with 15 professional sports clubs in Europe across different countries, leagues and cities. Simply put – why partner with 1 when you can have access to all?! Partner clubs and their board will have the option to enter into rolling agreements with GIS this year to have access to everything; which will open up a wealth of resources to coaches and players and open doors to hundreds of new opportunities in terms of support, international travel and technical programs aimed at nurturing development. The GIS Rewards Scheme for all partner clubs being rolled out in 2017 will also see us investing more in club/coaching education and development – either via resources, coaching placements, diplomas or workshops available to all partners under the auspices of multiple pro partner clubs. This will include a bespoke teamwear service via Macron in Italy, who are now established with several Premier League clubs with their incredible technical performance range, fast turnaround and stylish design.


The 2017 camp schedule is in full swing and you can locate camps to sign up for by state or locale by following this link.  With an army of coaches from our professional partners ready to travel across the Atlantic to bring their experience and methods to you, make sure you get signed up early on to take advantage of offers that will come your way soon!

The National Camp dates for Georgia and Arizona are now out, with invites to follow from the regional camps this summer. Stay tuned!


July 23rd to 26th (West Ham United – TBC)
July 27th to 30th (Wolves)
July 27th to 30th (Genoa)
August 2nd to 5th (Stoke City)
August 2nd to 5th (GIS International Series – Multiple Pro Clubs)


July 28th to 31st (West Ham United – TBC)
August 1st to 4th (Chievo Verona)


2017 will see huge strides forward in terms of player development by putting players onto a pathway under the auspices of our staff, coaches and pro clubs. Camp invitees and National Camp attendants will be given the ability to progress and learn through positive reinforcement. Understanding that players mature differently in terms of their mental, physical and emotional skills through their younger and teenage years is the core concept behind this idea; with all players being grouped under the GIS Tiered System of Player Development. Whether it be Academy Prospect, Academy Elite Player or Academy Development Group - the system ensures the optimum level of training will get to you and offers you resources and experiences that will stimulate your growth as football players but enable you to understand the techniques and lessons needed to aim higher and achieve your ambitions.


The best coaching in the industry and exposure to phenomenal opportunities aren’t necessarily all the pieces of the jigsaw so GIS will be investing time and energy into giving our players the methods to use their soccer as a springboard for their lives. The hugely successful GIS Winter Series event in 2016 featuring the Meulensteen Method and US Technical Championship will expand and run again in 2017, with more offerings and curriculum made available from this incredible program. The brainchild of former Manchester United Assistant Manager, Rene Meulensteen; the USTC program is about confidence, skill development and learning through trial and error, putting the love of the game first to build confident, ambitious players.

Likewise – for the older players in our family, GIS will be progressing plans to develop our College ID camp offerings and our relationships with the colleges in the USA. Bigger events are planned for 2017 with our partners across the continent – again focusing on the quality and ability to use our services and partnerships to our players to propel them to new heights in their education and personal development through their innate ability in the game of soccer.

If that wasn’t enough – we’ve also invested and set up a fantastic program at Chievo Verona in Northern Italy – the GIS European Residential Academy which commenced in September 2016 and has doubled in size as of January. With 18 places available in September 2017 – the program gives players the chance to stay on site at a professional academy for 8 months of the year, with full exposure and access to the academy staff and training. The chance to live abroad, study abroad and get full video analysis, feedback and support with pursuing a college scholarship is also provided. Two players who have been on the program since September have already had approaches from several colleges, based on the recommendations and support offered through this program via GIS relationships.


We’re not just limited to North America anymore – with fully established operations in Oceania, South East Asia and all over Europe all growing this year. Our first South American professional partner club will be signed soon (stay tuned!) so it won’t be long before we are hosting the first GIS World Series event to see who our best players & teams are from all corners of the globe!


Let’s be honest - we all live, breathe and sleep soccer every single day, but sometimes it doesn’t get better than a game of FIFA with your teammates. GIS are teaming up with Gfinity Gaming in 2017 to bring you the chance to sign up to an online portal and take part in exclusive games and competitions to win prizes and get more involved in the ever growing world of eSports. Stay tuned!


You didn’t think we’d forget you did you? To the parents – for your amazing support and the incredible job you do with these kids in our programs, we’ll always keep you appraised of all offers, news and support services as they happen in 2017. If any of you out there are keen soccer enthusiasts yourself – why not look into our adult tours being offered in 2017? We have the chance for you to travel to Italy or England, play some matches with veterans teams and also see a wealth of live games from the Premier League, Champions League or Serie A! Take a look here – it might turn out to be a great way of staying active or putting on the cleats after all these years and rolling back the magic!

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Blog | Global Image Sports Announces 2017 Select & All-Star Tours! - Global Image Sports | GIS
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Global Image Sports Announces 2017 Select & All-Star Tours!

Posted by Marketing, 10th January 2017

January 10th, 2017 – Global Image Sports are delighted to announce our range of Select and All-Star trips for the coming year. Due to the success and great feedback we have had in the past from players and parents, it is a great feeling for us to continue to be able to offer this great opportunity to our GIS members. This will be the third year the program has been in operation.

The GIS Select and All-Star trips were created to offer new opportunities to our GIS members to travel abroad to our professional partner football clubs and experience the high level training at their facilities, visit new cities, play friendly games against opposition teams and overall experience the unique environment within a professional football club. The aim of the trip is to create travel teams of 22 players from all 300+ of our youth partners and for these talented youngsters to spend a week at some of these phenomenal training facilities.

The GIS select trips are open to all our GIS members that have previously attended one of our GIS events, this year we will have 6 different trips spread across boys and girls groups. The Select Argentina trip players will have the opportunity to travel to Buenos Aires, Argentina and spend a week at our partner CA Húracan. The Select Spain trip players will have the opportunity to travel to Barcelona, Spain and spend a week at our partner RCD Espanyol. The Select UK trip players will have the opportunity to travel to Glasgow, Scotland and Sheffield, England and spend a week at our partner clubs, Glasgow Rangers FC and Sheffield Wednesday FC. The Select Italy trip players will have the opportunity to travel to Verona and Genoa in Italy and spend a week at our partners AC ChievoVerona and Genoa CFC.

The GIS All-Star trip is open for only players that have previously attended either one of our professional clubs national camp or one of our professional clubs Elite Academy Trips. This year we have only one All-Star trip that will be going to Wolverhampton and Stoke-on-Trent in England and they will be visiting our partners Wolverhampton Wanderers and Stoke City FC.

Why should I attend this trip?
This trips offer an amazing opportunity for our GIS members to showcase their talent in front of the academy coaches of these professional clubs. The players will get unique behind-the-scenes access to train at the academy facilities of these professional clubs, access to VIP tour of their stadiums and facilities, opportunity to watch a live Serie A, La Liga or English Premier League game, visit major cities in Europe, as well as being able to play friendly games against academy or local teams.

How do I register for one of these trips?

In the links below, you can also find additional information regarding the trip including: sample itinerary, cost, what is included, trip FAQs and other information.

For GIS Select Argentina (00-01 B) click here
For GIS Select Spain (02-03 B) click here
For GIS Select UK (04-05 B) click here
For GIS Select UK (06-07 B) click here
For GIS Select Italy (00-02 G) click here
For GIS Select Italy (03-05 G) click here
For GIS All-Star (00-03 B) please email Aldo Marinelli at aldo@globalimagesports.com

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Blog | Global Image Sports Partners with the Bristol Inner City Academy - Global Image Sports | GIS
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Global Image Sports Partners with the Bristol Inner City Academy

Posted by Marketing, 15th December 2016

December 15th, 2016 - The Bristol Inner City Football Academy (BICA) have agreed a partnership with sports management company, Global Image Sports (GIS) and have become the inaugural GIS youth partner club in the United Kingdom.

With nearly 300 talented young footballers in their network, phase one of this partnership will see the BICA host a GIS-led event in 2017, with professional European partner clubs in attendance, notably A.C. Chievo Verona from Serie A. Academy staff from the club will visit Bristol in the early summer of 2017 to deliver a series of coaching workshops, technical advice and identify players for a return trip to Italy to compete against the academy squads.

Future plans for the partnership include opening up places on the GIS European Residential Academy for the stand-out players in the program as well as giving the BICA access to additional GIS professional partners, which ranges from sports science and technology advice, to outsourced marketing or attendance at GIS tournaments overseas.

Founded in 2011, the BICA was created in the wake of the establishment of the Elite Player Performance Plan in the UK and has a technical and professional syllabus designed to attract the best players and give them a true sense of development both on and off the field.

GIS, having been established in South-East Asia, Oceania and North America for nearly 12 years is now looking to help and support clubs from Europe through free partnerships and by providing additional opportunities in the form of coaching, tours, technology, marketing, sponsorship or education options to US colleges and universities.

BICA Director, Patrick Williams, commented “I am beyond excited to be announcing this partnership with Global Image Sports. As someone who has built a program from scratch that is focused around the welfare and long-term aspirations of young players, it is great to see like-minded organisations out there with the energy and commitment to help us and provide platforms to new ventures.”

GIS Professional Club Liaison Officer, Darran Walter, said “We are so happy to be welcoming Patrick and his players from the Academy into our network of youth partners. They have an outstanding setup and infrastructure which we are proud to be able to help them grow. As GIS now begins to expand its operation into Europe, we see the BICA as the flag-bearer of this next phase of growth.”

Details of the first BICA event will be released in the New Year and will be available to all players in the south west region, with discounted rates for the BICA players themselves.

For more information, please visit www.globalimagesports.com or www.bicadc.co.uk

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Blog | 2016 Father Christmas Cup - Global Image Sports | GIS
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2016 Father Christmas Cup

Posted by Marketing, 13th December 2016

On Saturday December 17th at Silverbacks Park, Atlanta – the greater sporting community of Georgia will come together to take part in the Father Christmas Cup, a soccer tournament that is now entering its 13th year of running. It has hitherto been firmly established as an annual soccer fundraiser that helps to showcase the power of sport in bringing together communities in times of great need.

The core purpose of the event is to provide comfort and financial support to a family who will be experiencing their first Christmas without a loved one. The chosen beneficiaries of this year’s event are Major Greg Barney, Frank Hugh Chillemi, Edmundo (Mundo) Campbell and U.S. Marshal Deputy Commander, Patrick Thomas Carothers.

The 2016 event will run from approximately 8.30am until 5.30pm and will feature youth and adult matches, raffles, an online auction (you can participate even if you don’t attend the tournament) and a moment of silence for the honourees. The top auction prize this year has been donated by GIS and its partner, Virgin Atlantic Airways, and includes 2 x free economy class tickets to England with Premier League match tickets included (terms, conditions and exceptions apply). Atlanta United F.C. will once again be heavily involved in the event as the lead sponsor on the day. GIS have also contributed a series of signed jerseys from our professional partners in Europe, along with other leading European soccer clubs, as part of the auction.

With over 55 teams expected to attend this year, player numbers above 750, as well as the expansion of the tournament to include a ladies competition, the Father Christmas Cup continues to be a cornerstone of community cohesion and togetherness, at a time of year when it is needed most. The addition of more sponsors, participants and awareness surrounding the competition only serves to reinforce the notion upon which it was founded – the power of hope, peace, civility and regard for one’s fellow man.

Global Image Sports is proud to be an active sponsor to the event and will be sending out a team on Saturday to take part in the competition and lend our support on the day. The success of the event is only made possible through the engagement and generosity of the wider Atlanta Soccer Community.

As a final bit of food for thought – the core founding principle of the Father Christmas Cup comes from a story left on the fields of Flanders during World War I. On Christmas Day in 1914, German and Allied forces stopped shelling each other and instead met in no-man’s land to partake in a game of football. The image of casting aside one’s pre-conceived ideals to instead show compassion, good nature and non-prejudice is a potent message that underpins the substantive ethos of what the Father Christmas Cup aims to get to the heart of, in speaking to the beneficiary families.

Global Image Sports would like to wish everyone involved on Saturday the very best in the running of the day and also to send a message of support to the families involved in the event. Soccer as a source of community spirit is a powerful force indeed at this time of year.

Follow all at the Father Christmas Cup action on the day via Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.

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Blog | Global Image Sports Announces Partnership with Georgia Soccer - Global Image Sports | GIS
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Global Image Sports Announces Partnership with Georgia Soccer

Posted by Marketing, 7th December 2016

Global Image Sports (GIS) Announces Partnership with Georgia Soccer as an Official Soccer Tour Provider.

November 18th 2016 - Georgia Soccer is pleased to partner with industry-leading sports management company, Global Image Sports (GIS) who will become an official tour provider for its members.

The partnership will see GIS working closely with Georgia Soccer members and their teams to provide both youth and adult soccer tours that deliver unique access and experiences to the extensive network of GIS professional partner clubs across the globe. GIS will also offer members additional opportunities around coaching and player development in the state.

Georgia Soccer Executive Director Greg Griffith noted that: “We are really excited about becoming partners with GIS. Being able to offer these tours to both our youth and adult members will be a unique opportunity for all who love the game. GIS offers great access to some of the best known professional clubs in the world and will provide tour participants state of the art training opportunities along with a wonderful cultural experience. We also look forward to working with GIS and its extensive professional club network to host more events in Georgia”

GIS Chief Executive Officer, James Abrahart said: “We are truly excited about this partnership with Georgia Soccer and the opportunity to offer their members wonderful life long memories through our sports tour experiences. Additionally we look forward to building on this partnership and developing some unique programs aimed at players and coaching development.”

He went on to explain, “GIS is a sports management company unlike any other. Our established relationships with a variety of professional clubs afford us access to world class training and a personable, welcoming feel to every tour we organise. Our network of contacts and years of experience means we can find the best training and teams for your group to play against as well as arranging a truly unforgettable cultural experience.”

GEORGIA SOCCER and GIS will work together to deliver the following benefits and programs to their members.

1. As Official Soccer Tour partner GIS will offer industry leading tours to Europe. GIS provides unique experiences for youth and adult teams, individual players, coaches and fans through their network of professional European clubs. GA soccer members will receive discounted rates for GIS tour offerings.
2. Coaching education seminars- GIS & GA soccer will be offering unique coach education clinics for GA soccer members in the summer of 2017.
3. International coaching trips- unparalleled behind the scenes coaching education at top European professional academies.
4. Unique reward opportunities for GA soccer players, and coaches- ie prizes/recognition.
5. Development pathways for players and coaches.

Over the next several months more information about the partnership and programs will be forthcoming. In the meantime for 2017 youth trips GEORGIA SOCCER members should contact aldo@globalimagesports.com for information.  For 2017 adult soccer tours and to register members can visit www.globalimagesports.com/services/travel-tours/adult or email nickb@globalimagesports.com for more information.

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Blog | Global Image Sports Announces Partnership With The USASA - Global Image Sports | GIS
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Global Image Sports Announces Partnership With The USASA

Posted by Marketing, 17th November 2016

Global Image Sports (GIS) Announces Partnership with the United States Adult Soccer Association (USASA) as a Tour Provider

November 17th 2016
- The United States Adult Soccer Association (USASA) is pleased to partner with industry-leading sports management company, Global Image Sports (GIS) who will become an official tour provider for its members.

The partnership will see GIS working closely with USASA members and their teams to offer tours that deliver unique access and experiences to the extensive network of GIS professional partner clubs across the globe.

USASA Executive Director Duncan Riddle noted that: “We are really motivated about becoming partners with GIS. Being able to offer these tours to our thousands of members will be a unique opportunity for all who love the game, especially since it is not every day you come across a partner who can offer unparalleled behind the scenes access. We also look forward to using GIS and its extensive network to host more events in the domestic US.”

GIS Chief Executive Officer, James Abrahart said: “We are truly excited about this partnership with the USASA and the opportunity to offer their members wonderful life long memories through our sports tour experiences.”

He went on to explain, “GIS is a sports management company unlike any other. Our established relationships with a variety of professional clubs afford us behind the scenes access and a personable, welcoming feel to every tour we organize. Our network of contacts and years of experience means we can find the best teams for your group to play against as well as selecting and customizing a tour to your needs when it comes to sampling local sport and arranging a truly unforgettable cultural experience.”

As a globally established company in operation for nearly 10 years, GIS are able to offer tours all over Europe, South East Asia, Australia, New Zealand, Mexico, Canada and the United States. The professional clubs they work with have over 1600 years of shared history between them and GIS is trusted with these iconic brands. These clubs play in the English Premier League, English Championship, Portuguese Premier Division, La Liga and the Dutch Eredivisie so a full range of options are available.

The 2017 adult tour calendar includes a Scotland tour in late August to visit host partner club Rangers FC in Glasgow. This tour includes playing soccer games against local opposition as well as 2 rounds of golf on famous Scottish courses. Sightseeing and exploring in both Glasgow and Edinburgh will make this a truly memorable experience.

USASA members can see all the 2017 tour details and register at www.globalimagesports.com/services/travel-tours/adult or email nickb@globalimagesports.com for more information.

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Blog | Chievo Verona 2017 Coaching Education Trip - Global Image Sports | GIS
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Chievo Verona 2017 Coaching Education Trip

Posted by Marketing, 20th October 2016

ChievoVerona Coaching Education Trip

Dates: February 3rd – February 10th 2017
Location: Bottagisio Sports Centre, Verona, Italy
Capacity: 9 Coaches

GIS’ professional partner, A.C. ChievoVerona will be hosting their second annual coaching education week in February of 2017, following the huge success of the inaugural event earlier on this year. The main goal of the program is to give exclusive access for GIS affiliated coaches to the ChievoVerona facilities, training programs and methods/philosophies that govern the football club’s academy infrastructure.

For the week long duration of the course, all coaches in attendance will have unlimited and open access to all training sessions and will be offered the opportunity to interact with the players, coaching staff as well as senior Academy personnel into what the reasoning behind the method is all about. There will also be classroom sessions that explain and present Chievo’s setup when it comes to scouting, player recruitment, strength & conditioning, nutrition and also the finer details about how the academy judges development and its views on integrating players into its Primavera squad (second team) and eventually first team. There will also be exclusive closed doors access to a first team training session at the Veronello sports complex near Lake Garda.

Away from the education, coaches will have the opportunity to explore the amazing city of Verona, attend a live Serie A game as well as have access to all academy fixtures for observation and assessment. GIS will also be arranging for the group to spend a day at Inter Milan and as part of their academy setup! The group are looked after by Davide Caliaro – the head of International Development for ChievoVerona and the head coach of the U13 squad at the academy.

The 2016 coaching trip featured 6 staff from the Southern Soccer Academy (who operate in Georgia, Florida and Alabama) and have nearly 12,000 players in their network. They had lectures from Marco Fioretto (Academy Director), Cristian Cantarelli (Chief Scout) and Lorenzo D’Anna (Head Coach – Second Team). You can read more about this trip here.

A video interview with Simon Davey, Director of SSA, about the week can also be viewed here.

Davey said “The facilities are first class and for us [SSA] who are trying to build a program, the access you get is superb. I cannot thank the staff enough, it helps us develop our own programmes and take a level of education back to America that is hugely beneficial when implementing our ‘pay to play’ model.”

If this sounds like something you would be interested in attending or would like more information – please email Aldo Marinelli at aldo@globalimagesports.com or get registered by clicking below. Spaces are limited so sign up fast!


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Blog | GIS Player Profile: Merritt Morine - Global Image Sports | GIS
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GIS Player Profile: Merritt Morine

Posted by Marketing, 19th October 2016

Player Profile

Merritt Jaxx Morine
Born July 14th, 2002
Current Club:  Lakehead Express (Thunder Bay, ON)
Interests: Soccer, Cheerleading and Basketball
Ambitions: Play for Team Canada and become a Sports Trainer
Number of ID Camps Attended: 4
Number of National Camps Attended: 5
Number of Elite Trips Invites: 3

Merritt Morine is an example of a stand-out GIS player. Shy and nervous at first glance but with a determination and love for the game of soccer that impacts all around her. Frequently invited to the National Camps and Elite Trip programs – this talented young soccer player has made Italy her second home after travelling across 4 states, 2 provinces and 9 cities to get there.

Hi Merritt – can you tell us a bit about your soccer background and where your love of the sport comes from?
I started playing when I was 5 years old! From the age of 9 I was playing rec level soccer and competitive games. This was what we call a fundamentals league but my Dad played up to state level so I was always around a soccer ball from a very young age. In the area we live in, there are two serious clubs – Thunder Bay Chill and Lakehead Express and I have been lucky enough to play for both since the age of 9. My current coaches Rob Pasqualino and Savario Lento put me in alongside the boys as I always feel I need more of the competitive training!

When did GIS first appear on the scene?
We first found out after speaking to a local girl who had attended a GIS camp with West Ham United so I thought I’d try it myself. Three years later and I’ve managed to go to the camp each year – earning 3 elite trip invites and 5 national camp invites along the way.

What are the main differences between the training that you notice?
Chievo is a lot more technical – a lot of work on ball control, dealing with balls in the air, bounces, volleys, throws and receiving the football. West Ham is more about the ball being on the ground and understanding tactics. Doing both as a player helps me double up and cover both areas in a shorter time span! I love the bicycle kick shooting practice with Chievo and also the foot skill program with West Ham.

And you enjoy doing both?

Yes! I think you have to because you can take the best bits from both and use them to help yourself as a player. A lot of players in the local area have been hearing about the training I’ve been doing, the trips I’ve been on and the impact it’s had on me so they are now going to GIS camps to try out themselves. We don’t have anything like this in our city so to have access to this level of soccer training and these kinds of opportunities is really special.

You mentioned the trips you’ve been on – where did you end up going?
The first time I attended a ChievoVerona National Camp, I got invited back to Italy! I absolutely loved it – we were lucky enough to see AC Milan v Chievo in Serie A and training alongside the Italians was very special – but they were extremely good! It made me see the level they were able to reach and playing alongside their team was a tremendous honour. It was also tough to get used to the speed with which they play but it was a brilliant experience and it made me realise what I have to do to improve.

How do you think you’ve improved as a player over the last few years then?
2 years ago I was not a confident player at all – now I am the engine room of the team. I have better footwork, I’m faster and I can identify the gaps in the opposition much quicker. I’ve also got a stronger shot and I understand better where the ball should be going before I receive it.

While at the Chievo National Camp this past August in Arizona, my mom was sitting with a Californian coach who ended up inviting me to play in a tournament in Stanford! So straight after the National Camp we flew to San Francisco, trained with them for a week and finished runner up in the Stanford Classic! They’ve invited me back for another tournament with more to come in 2017 – this wouldn’t have been possible I don’t think 2 years ago so it’s nice for me to know I’m always improving and getting better.

I’ve also been invited to train and work alongside teams from Oakville, Ontario, Canada, Riverside, California and Minneapolis!

That’s fantastic! Well done! How was the rest of the National Camp?

It’s really hot all day! You have to be very careful but also very clever with what you do. It’s not humid like the National Camps in Georgia, which I prefer, but it does cool down at night a little bit. It’s an amazing camp and it goes to show how good the coaches are if you can improve and feel that improvement in just 4 days of really good and focused coaching. I am so grateful to GIS and know I would not be the player I am today without them.

And what are your targets for the future Merritt?
I’d like to trial for the provincial team and hopefully the state team. The ultimate goal would be Team Canada! With GIS – I’d like to do a trip to England, which may be possible as I got selected from the West Ham National Camp this year! Playing football in England is the ultimate dream and I can imagine playing alongside Katie Bottom, who coached me at the National Camp this year and who was an amazing coach and player.

What would you say the best things are about the GIS partnership?
I like the variety – we get access to different kinds of training so we always learn something new. I think as well it has made me a more confident person and player by forcing me to adapt and really get out of my comfort zone. I was talking to a lot of girls at the Chievo camp in Arizona this year and they ALL want to come to Italy now! I think the best thing is the coaching though – I’ve been so lucky to have been trained by some of the best coaches from around the world. My Mom and I worked out we have done about 120 hours of training with GIS programs. Oh, and meeting a lot of friends on Snapchat and Instagram and keeping in touch with them as a result of GIS camps is also a nice bonus – we choose to go to the camps so we can all see each other again!

Merritt was talking to Darran Walter, Operations & Pro Club Liaison Officer for GIS Europe.

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Blog | GIS Winter Series Events - Global Image Sports | GIS