From the beginning, the Inter Miami CF Academy presented by Baptist Health has strived to create a group of world class competitors with talent from our local community. In order to take scouting to the next level, the Club implemented its Discovery Program in the Fall of 2020, using it to recruit players for its Academy.
“The Discovery Program for Inter Miami is really a player identification program. The development phase for this group of players is happening in the local clubs. We want to work alongside them to see what players are scouted or recommended to us that could potentially play in our Academy and pro player pathway,” said Director of Player Development Darren Powell. “This gives the players an opportunity to come in and visit with us, to see how our coaches work, what our playing style is and what our demands are for the players. It also allows the coaches and our staff to work hands-on with players that have shown good potential while they continue to play with their clubs. It improves our overall player identification process.”
As part of the program, the Club selects a group of local players to visit its facilities for a training session every two weeks. Those invited are among the best in the U10-U15 age groups, and have a chance to become members of the Academy if selected at the end of the season.
The players invited to train, who receive approval from their clubs to participate in a minimum of two sessions, continue to feature in games for their respective teams. Following the discovery training sessions, Inter Miami continues to evaluate the participant’s performance with their teams.
Academy coach Ben Applefield, who forms part of the Club’s Discovery Program team, shared what he looks for in young players.
“As a club, we aim to have an attractive style of play and impose our style on the opponent. This requires our players to be strong technically and comfortable with the ball at their feet, as well as having a high soccer IQ in the way they make decisions and process information on the field.”
Inter Miami Academy Director of Scouting John Deeley feels that the Discovery Program can make a big impact not just in fútbol, but across the local community.
“The Discovery Program offers a great opportunity to identify the top talent in South Florida while also collaborating with the Directors, coaches and players of the clubs in our area,” said Deeley. “We think it can be a win-win with our neighbors in soccer as we’re already getting positive feedback from many of the club’s directors.”
Fans can follow the Inter Miami Academy journey online by following the Twitter account @InterMiamiAcad or via Instagram @InterMiamiCF_Academy.