Local youngsters at Oceanfront Virginia Beach, have been gaining valuable beach soccer expertise and coaching from Barcelona and Spain legend Ramiro Amarelle as part of the North American Sand Soccer Championships (NASSC).
The 2016 U.S. Open is due to get under way on Friday but the build-up to the competition has seen two-time FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup Golden Ball winner Amarelle put on a series of training camps where local kids can hone their skills with one of the sport’s all-time greats.
Sessions began on June 4th and run until June 9th, with aspiring goalkeepers also able to receive coaching from Spain and Tahiti stoppers Dona and Jo Torohia.
Both have been named best goalkeeper at recent FIFA Beach Soccer World Cups and the trio will offer expert hints and tips for the next generation of beach soccer players.
Pupils have been getting to grips with ball control and other beach soccer skills over recent days and walk-up applications are still being accepted, for those who wish to attend during the rest of the week.
"I've been delighted with how the sessions have gone so far and the kids really seem to be enjoying themselves," Amarelle commented in the midst of his successful coaching camps.
"We've tried to teach all the basic skills of the sport while keeping it fun and enjoyable, which, of course, is what beach soccer is all about. I'm sure the remaining sessions will also be a success before I turn my attention to retaining the U.S. Open with Barca."
Amarelle - crowned MVP at last year's event - is to serve as player and coach for the defending champions, with the side having become the first European team to feature in the U.S. Open last year.
Leading striker Noel Ott is also among their roster with all players having now arrived in Virginia Beach ahead of their opener on Friday.
Fifteen other sides will go up against Barcelona to try claim the title, including last year’s finalists HRSC Elite and the Costa Rica national team, with prize money of $25,000 on offer for the winners.
Read all about the teams competing at this year's U.S. Open and stay up to date with the action by visiting the NASSC website.
Picture via www.facebook.com/NASSC.HRSC
Pic by MANUEL QUEIMADELOS / BSWW