Diego (center right) waiting for a pass
Motion Metrics data-labeling assistant Diego Garcia is also an elite youth soccer player. He plays wing for the U17 team at Vancouver’s Faly Soccer Academy. Motion Metrics recently sponsored his trip to France where Diego and his teammates visited one of the country’s top club teams and participated in the Paris World Games, an international youth competition. Diego tells his story:
Week One: Metz
We arrived in France on June 28th for a two week trip. The first week was spent at the professional training center of FC Metz, a club in the French 1st division.
Every day at the training center had a fixed routine. Every morning we ate breakfast at 8 at the dining hall. We then went to the training facility from 9 to about 10:30. The coaches of the professional team set up each practice during the week. After training, we would go back to eat lunch and then in the afternoons we had some free time to sightsee and explore the town of Metz. After dinner, we generally had meetings and presentations explaining what it was like to be professional. There were even a few times when players from the 1st division team would come and have a Q&A session with us. Then we would go to bed at around 10:30, ready to wake up early the next morning.
Diego – top row, second from right
While in Metz we played against the U16 FC Metz team but lost. It was a great experience playing against one of the best teams in France for their age and seeing the difference between the top levels in Canada compared to France (there was a huge difference!). Our second game in Metz was against the “feeder” team for the U16 FC Metz team, which we won and for our final game, we traveled to Luxembourg to play against the top team there, this was by far the toughest game. We won 2-1.
After training with the club in Metz, with the coaches watching us, they outlined specific parts of our game for us to improve on. Once our coach in Vancouver feels we have accomplished these goals; we can then go and try out for the 1st team in Metz.
Week Two: Paris
The second week was spent in Paris. This was the most important part of the trip: The Paris World Games. Teams from all over the world came to participate and we represented Canada.
Our team placed 1st in the group stages but then unfortunately got knocked out in the quarter-finals by one of the top teams in Paris.
Overall it was an amazing experience and taught me a lot about myself and the professional system in France. The most invaluable lesson was the amount of work and focus it takes to make it to the next level; it was all very inspiring.
This trip was very important to me because it was a great opportunity to play against the best competition, and a higher chance to be noticed by a club in Europe. If anything it prepared me for the standard of play at the very top level and exposed me to many club scouts that will be watching the tournament. I am very thankful for Motion Metrics’ generous support!