EASTCOAST Futsal Academy continue to kick goals.
Fresh from a partnership formed with Hyundai A-League club Brisbane Roar, EFA has extended its tentacles to also now have a presence in Italy through ElevenSport Academy.
It means that Eastcoast will be one of the first clubs in Australia to have a full-time Eastcoast office located in Italy.
That will help with the development of its players as they aim to progress into professional leagues and chase contracts in Europe.
"We will have a dedicated pathway for those players who have goals beyond what happens here nationally in Australia in both futsal and football," Eastcoast director Mick Day said.
"It's the first real player program and pathway that feeds into the Italian professional league such as the Serie A.
"Eastcoast currently have players identified by Italian clubs and as part of the partnership with Eleven Sport Academy."
As part of the partnership, players will have access to a villa on site in the south of Italy which will make the progression easier to a professional setup.
We will have a dedicated pathway for those players who have goals beyond what happens here nationally in Australia in both futsal and football.Mick Day
"This will give us an Italian base for players that come through us so now we can have multiple Eastcoast players living and staying in the same villa," Day said.
"That makes it so much easier for our players because you'll have people around you from your team and club and not having to do things solo.
"That's the hardest part for anyone going over there without family.
"For our player preparation, we are running the curriculum they run over there now, so when our players go over there, they will slot straight in.
"That's a massive advantage for our Eastcoast players."
It's the first real player program and pathway that feeds into the Italian professional league such as the Serie A.Mick Day
However, Day said that didn't mean only players from the Mid-North Coast would be suitable.
"The other way (players can pursue professional careers in Europe) is for clubs or players around Australia that want to come through Eastcoast we can send them on a player preparation program," he said.
"They will still get all the benefits and the opportunity to be looked at and from there, the next step can be devised for them."
Should players then transition into European or Italian league clubs, the potential was there to earn a full-time living.
"Those contracts that are there for our players are substantial contracts," Day said.
"They come with a lot of benefits and a good salary so players can make a living out of playing in Italy."
Eleven Sport chief executive officer Lucia Ponzo is excited about the partnership.
"This is an important step forward with our Australian friends," she said.
"We want to strengthen this collaboration more and more and become Australian athletes' second home in Europe."
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