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posted: 1/7/2014 2:50 PM

Campton United boys' soccer teams improve sportsmanship, skills by season's end

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Submitted by Campton United

The Campton United boys' soccer teams completed their inaugural first season in the NPL -- Midwest Developmental League

The 1999 and 2000 boys' teams finished their first season participating in the Midwest Developmental League and showed well for the club. Nearly every match was a hard-fought battle.

The boys played clubs from Michigan, Indiana, Wisconsin, Minnesota and Illinois. The learning curve was tough, as the boys had to become skilled at competing at the highest levels in the region within a short time span.

Even though the playing level was high and the competition fierce, the emphasis was still on player development throughout the season. Teams played to win, but not at the expense of teaching players the proper way of executing the game. Teams played out of the back, players connected multiple passes, the technical range of players was solid and relevant coaching points could be heard. Every club they faced also showed respect for the game with tremendous sportsmanship.

The club-based model of the NPL-MDL was instrumental in helping all players learn more techniques and improve skill sets throughout the year. By watching the other team's matches, the players had the opportunity to learn even more. The boys could observe players in their same position, with the exact same responsibilities. This is an invaluable tool for self evaluation. With both teams traveling together, they strengthened the bonds between players on different teams and created a positive dynamic among all the players.

They are looking forward to adding the older boys' teams in MDL for the rest of the winter and spring seasons. MDL will continue to strengthen players within the club, allowing boys to see how a player at 17 performs, along with providing them a path of where they can grow.