13 Year Old Fairfield County Resident Goes on a Professional Evaluation with Champions League Club,
By SoccerViza FC, Patch Poster | Apr 9, 2018 11:05 am ET | Updated Apr 9, 2018 11:18 am ET
Jeremy Cooke has made an impression on SoccerViza FC (SVFC) Director/ Professional Scout, Joe Funicello since their first meeting on a soccer field. The 6'2" midfielder who is currently an 8th grader at the King School in Stamford, only joined SoccerViza Football Club in June of 2017 and since joining he has made an immediate impact on the club and team by contributing to a second place finish in the Connecticut Club Soccer League and adding two tournament trophies along the way.
According to Funicello, "Jeremy has always intrigued me as a player. He has many qualities that help distinguish him from others on the field."
That intriguing presence landed Jeremy in Cyprus with APOEL FC's youth professional academy. APOEL is one of the top professional clubs in the world as they competed in the prestigious Champions League this fall against the likes of Real Madrid, Borussia Dortmund and Tottenham. Jeremy recently returned from a five-day professional evaluation, in which he trained with the professional club's 2004 boys' academy team and was given a full performance evaluation by the APOEL coaching staff and director. "SVFC was started by SoccerViza Pro which is a professional scouting agency that I began after I retired from playing the game professionally. I used my contacts to coordinate Jeremy's professional evaluation. This opportunity is something Jeremy will never forget and it will be an invaluable experience that will certainly help his future development as a player," commented Funicello. Not only will the experience leave an indelible mark on Jeremy, but the feedback from the club's youth academy director, Constantinos Georgiades, will certainly motivate him to continue to develop as a player and reach his dreams of being a professional soccer player. "It was good having Jeremy come in to train with us. He has some appealing qualities that do make him attractive. We will stay in touch with Joe and continue to monitor his progress to see how he continues to develop."
Jeremy and his father were equally impressed by the entire experience and the culture of a top professional European club. Subscribe"I appreciate SoccerViza and APOEL creating this opportunity for Jeremy," said Jeremy's father, Wayne Cooke. "This is a once in a lifetime experience which we will never forget. Going on this trip enabled me to see how a European Academy program is run. What stood out to me was the respect the kids had for the game, coaches and one another. What I also appreciated was the level of commitment and focus from the children. Jeremy now has a better understanding of what is required if he has dreams of playing at the college or pro level." "When my Dad told me we were going to Cyprus to train with APOEL I could not believe it," said Jeremy. "I cannot thank SoccerViza, Coach Joe, APOEL, Bruno and Constantinos for making this happen. The players and coaches at the APOEL academy were so welcoming. From day one they treated me as if I were one of them. They translated to make sure I understood instructions from the coaches. The kids were dedicated, committed and focused. As soon as we walked onto the field everyone began to juggle and then we stretched without direction from the coaches. Not once did a coach have to ask one of the boys to pay attention. I was able to experience the day in the life of a professional academy player. Now I have an idea of what it will take to play at the next level." There are many attributes that make Jeremy a potential prospect, from his size at a young age to his technical abilities there is no doubt that the Fairfield County resident can continue turn heads on the soccer pitch.
"This is a player I will continue to keep my eye on throughout his development. He is only 14 and has tremendous room to continue to grow as a player and person. I am sure he will start turning heads at the collegiate level in the near future and I look forward to guiding his family through the process," said Funicello.