One Enterprise Select Soccer player is preparing to trade the U.S. for Europe and experience the game of “football” on a whole new level.
Ten-year-old Olivia Palfreeman, a goalkeeper for Enterprise Select Soccer’s U11 team, will be traveling to Spain to participate in a special soccer camp conducted by RCD Espanyol, one of Spain’s premiere La Liga teams. Palfreeman received the opportunity thanks to her participation in two special soccer camps stateside: an ID camp with Enterprise Select Soccer and a national camp in Rome, Georgia.
“In Enterprise, they had an ID camp and I got selected from that to go to the national camp in Rome, Georgia. Then I got selected from that to go to Spain,” Palfreeman said. “I’m excited to go. I’m looking forward to the camp and seeing (the league) play a game.”
Palfreeman will be accompanied by her father Jason, who is also a coach with Enterprise Select Soccer. He said the opportunity is beneficial for his daughter, her team, and the club that will be instructing American players in Spain.
“The team is RCD Espanyol, and they play in the La Liga league,” Jason said. “There are teams from Europe that all have these programs where they let kids from the United States and other countries like Canada come. I think they’re looking for talent, and part of this is for those clubs over there to gain their popularity. Some of the best players in the world come out of Spain, and the club that she’s going to participate with is probably the third most popular team in Span between Barcelona and Rio Madrid. This helps them kind of gain popularity if they get kids from the United States to go over there and actually follow them.”
Palfreeman, who has played soccer for approximately six years and hopes to become a professional player, said she is looking forward to the training she will receive from seasoned European players.
“We’ll probably learn more teamwork and more moves, like saving goals, things with your feet, and other things like that,” Palfreeman said. “My favorite thing about soccer is probably how into it you are. When you get into the game, it’s really fun standing out there catching.”
As a coach, Jason said he appreciates his daughter’s focus and drive to be a better player, stating that her attention to detail is what sets her apart as a player.
“I think as a coach, you’re looking for kids that are trainable -- what I mean by that is kids that when they’re at practice, they’re paying attention, someone that’s attentive and knows when to joke around and when to work hard,” he said. “That’s something that she does; she does very well at paying attention, and I think that’s what got her noticed at these camps. She does very well at paying attention, and the things they teach her, she applies when she’s actually playing.”
Both Palfreemans expressed gratitude for the opportunities presented to Enterprise Select Soccer players thanks to the club’s leadership and director Marco Lascano’s desire to give the ESS kids a chance to play their best.
“As a club, the club is doing a good job going out there and finding these partnerships with different organizations to give the kids an opportunity to be noticed and seen,” Jason said. “Without the club she wouldn’t have this opportunity, and Marco is doing a very good job at promoting the job and getting our kids noticed.”