Olé Football Academy’s technical director Alan Koch and two of Olé FA’s elite players headed to Edinburgh, Scotland on September 16th, 2023 for a two week football trial. Coach Koch and 2005 born players Jamie Wildash-Chan and Bruce Izumi took the lengthy two day journey to join Hearts FC of the Scottish Premier League on a training stint.
Both players trained primarily with the Hearts reserve team known as the B team. They completed four training sessions and got to play in a friendly match. They were also able to join the Hearts U18 team for two sessions.
“My experience in Scotland was absolutely unreal,” Wildash-Chan said. “I was able to learn so much about what it takes to play football at the top level. I am incredibly grateful for the opportunity at Hearts.”
“It was an unreal experience to be exposed to such a high level training environment and explore the standard of professional football,” said Izumi. “Thank you to everyone at Hearts for being so welcoming and giving us this amazing opportunity.”
Both players performed incredibly well and did not look out of place in one of the top professional environments in Scotland. They returned to New Zealand on September 30th with a greater understanding of the required next steps in their pathway and an increased intensity that has become infectious around our training environment already.
Olé FA and Western Suburbs FC would like to send a “heart” felt thank you to Hearts FC and WeeJambos for providing an amazing opportunity for our young players.