The Dayton Dutch Lions FC congratulate U17 Boys Senior Academy player, Lucas Hudson-Groves, in being the latest DDL player heading overseas.  Lucas will be spending at least the next 12 months in the academy of Basingstoke FC in Basingstoke, UK, which is in Hampshire, about an hour west of London.

He has agreed for the next year to be a part of the Academy scholar program.  This allows Lucas to accelerate his soccer training while being able to continue his school work.  They provide the following:

Basingstoke Town Football Club will give the opportunity for players to have four training sessions – per week – and a game on Saturday morning. This pathway won’t clash with any education that the player is committed to.  Benefits include:
  • Regular training and games
  • Training sessions led by UEFA A and B licensed coaches
  • A varied and challenging syllabus that coincides with the club philosophy
  • A chance to progress into the Basingstoke Town under 21 squad
  • All match and training kit
  • A tour abroad to a professional club
  • A chance to represent the senior club of the town

Lucas has quickly adapted to his new environment.  He has started training a couple days a week with his team, but the highlight so far is being asked to take part in a couple training sessions with the professional team.  The academic part does not start until September so it is all soccer for now and getting adjusted to his new surroundings.

DDL FC U17 Academy Coach Bruno Lopes shared, “We are so pleased for Lucas and this opportunity for him.  He has the talent, desire and willingness to learn that should allow him to continue to grow.  He was a pleasure to coach as he constantly pushed himself and those around him.  He made our team better.  He has great potential and we wish him the very best.”

Hudson-Groves’ participation in the professional training sessions definitely provided some interesting moments:

First, the speed of play was so much faster than anything he had experienced.  Everything they did was at a whole new speed……passing, shooting, reading the game and talking…..everything was instant.

Secondly, during one of the sessions, Lucas recognized one of the players from his FIFA video game who had played previously for Reading or Wimbledon……a very cool and motivational moment.

Lastly, he started to hold his own, scored a couple goals leaving the manager, or “gaffer” as he’s called to tell the team something to the effect that “this lad is running circles around us!”

A great way to debut……Dayton Dutch Lions FC ~ The Gatewayt to Professional Soccer !

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