RIGA CUP, LATVIA
Over the years, teams such as Manchester City, PSV Eindhoven, Tottenham Hotspur and Norwich have frequently participated in the tournament. If you are up for the challenge, travel with us to Riga to play against some strong teams and get valuable match training. The competition will be held over several weekends, one for each age group, spanning January and February.
Players will receive coaching and guidance from our team of experienced and skilled Portuguese coaches.
WHO IS IT FOR?
NF Academy participates in Riga Cup with both regional, international and elite selection teams. To be in our U14 or U16 elite selection team you need to have a high national level. For the regional and international selection teams, players should have from a good to a high regional level.
Players in the following age categories can apply for participation:
• U13 (born 2008)
• U14 (born 2007)
• U15 (born 2006)
• U16 (born 2005)
• U17 (born 2004)
GOALS WITH THE PROGRAM
Our main objectives in NF Elite Selection Riga Cup is to provide players with international match references against strong teams, give the players a better understanding of the game and provide experience in integrating into a team with good players from different countries. Players living in countries with no league matches in the wintertime will have a unique opportunity to play five quality matches and get valuable match training.
During the preparational training camp and tournament, we will do a full evaluation of all the players. All the players will be provided with a detailed evaluation report with the purpose to give guidance for their training work when they return to their country.
“To have programs like NF Academy is fantastic. When you train with top-level coaches and other same age players you really see where the international football level is.”
Bjørn Helge Riise, previous Fulham and Norway player
• Breakfast, lunch, dinner
• One training session on the afternoon of the arrival day
• Transportation to training session and tournament matches
• Supervision of players throughout their stay
• Five football matches
• Experienced Portuguese head coach per team
• Physiotherapist and goalkeeper coach
From 699 EUR (4 days / 3 nights)
• Transportation to training session and tournament matches
From 375 EUR (4 days / 3 nights)
Includes: Home & Away Jerseys, 2 training shirts, 2 shorts, 2 pair of socks and 1 sweater
Includes: Home & Away Jerseys, 2 training shirts and 2 shorts
Over it’s 20 year history, Riga Cup has attracted the attention of big clubs from all over Europe. From being a small competition with only four participating teams in it’s first year, the tournament has grown to now host over 130 teams and over 2000 young players each year. This year’s edition is hosted at The Olympic Sports Centre and Skonto Hall, with the latter being in immediate walking distance from the hotel we will be staying at.
More information: http://www.rigacup.lv/winter/
Riga Cup can be combined with a family holiday. The old city, the most beautiful in Europe according to some, is known for its architecture, charming streets of cobblestone and culture. With loads of sites to visit, the Latvian capital is a city that always has something to offer. Delve into history or art at one of the many museums or historic sites, visit the Riga Central Market or go see the reigning champions of the Latvian league, Riga FC, at Skonto Stadium.
We value to give good consultation before booking a program to ensure the right challenge for all our participants. Best way to identify if this program is suitable for you is to start by sending us a request. Please give us some information about the club, position, age, level and goals, and we will follow up from there. If you have some video available, please share.
Are you unsure if you have the level to be in this program? Don’t hesitate to contact us. We can let you know when the next available local training camp in your region take place, and evaluate the player for international programs.
• Day 1 – Arrival at 13:00. 90 minutes training session at 13:30 (recommended, not mandatory)
• Day 2 – Tournament matches
• Day 3 – Tournament matches
• Day 4 – Last tournament match with awarding ceremony. Departure.
4* AC HOTEL BY MARRIOT
In the culturally diverse capital of Riga, the AC Hotel Riga offers an enriching hotel stay. The city is sculpted with the world’s largest collection of historical Art Nouveau architecture and considered by UNESCO a World Heritage Site. Surrounded by the best of what the city has to offer in both culture, sports and restaurants, the hotel boasts great reviews from guests.
It is just a few minutes walking distance of the Skonto Hall, where the tournament takes place.
HEAD COACH AND NF ACADEMY DIRECTOR
NF Academy International Director Gonçalo Nunes has an impressive 25-year background in youth football. He is a solid resource for both NF Academy and the players in the academy system together with NF Academy Director Joao Plantier.
Gonçalo has mainly worked as Head Coach, technical coordinator and technical director for 25 years in international football. He has a UEFA-A license as well as level 3 IPDJ as a sports coach, and is really looking forward to working closer to the talented players of NF Academy.
He has worked under Carlos Queiroz, and the Manchester United football school project for 6 years. Gonçalo has also been linked to Sporting Clube de Portugal for 2 years, and for the past 5 years he has been responsible for the international field of youth football in Sport Lisboa e Benfica. There he has also been a player developer coordinator for the past three years.
During the last decade, he has been involved in several international projects and programs at various levels, where he has traveled around the world, as well as coordinating and involved with thousands of players and coaches on programs in Portugal.
Gonçalo will select the coaching staff for this program. You can see all our coaches here.
«I participated with NF Academy’s U13 team, which was great! Vi got to the quarter final, where we lost to Sporting CP on penalties. It’s not the best way to go out of a competition, but the whole setup is great with some very good coaches!”
Niklas Haugland, Leeds U23 and Norway U17 national team
“I would say my time with NF Academy has helped take away the challenging aspect that new situations can produce, such as getting national team callups, changing clubs or taking further steps as a player. Their programs are on a high level, with good coaches, and there are players from different nationalities who seek the same as you. It really makes you develop both as a person and a player.”
Oscar Fuglesang, Silkeborg and Denmark U17 national team
«João Plantier has played an important part in my career for several reasons. He gave me freedom and believed in me. We had a close relationship, and he monitored me the whole way. João gave me feedback on what I needed to improve during matches, and last but not least, he was very good at constantly providing me with new challenges.”
Zeca, Captain of FC Copenhagen and Greece national team
“I played together with same very good players and trained under very competent coaches. First and foremost, it was a great experience, and I got a good reference on what level the best teams in Europe were on. Such programs carry a lot of worth, because they later on make the transition to new teams and levels easier.”
Kristian Arnstad, RSC Anderlecht and captain of Norway U16
“The training sessions are on a very high level, and there are exercises I have never participated in before. I have learned a lot, which I take with me to my training back home in Norway”
Dylan Ryan Murugesapilla, Lillestrøm and captain of Norway U15
“My boys (born 2004 and 2007) are really excited to come to the IberCup Cascais tournament. Not only to play against top teams but also to see where their current level is and to train and meet other good players around Scandinavia. To have programs like NF Academy is fantastic. When you train with top-level coaches and other same age players you really see where the international football level is.»
Bjørn Helge Riise, former Fulham and Norwegian National team player
«It wasn’t until we came home that we saw the huge improvements in Kevin as a player. He has a new authority about him now, and his decision making is better. The reason for this, is good experiences and good coaches at NF Academy. We won’t for a second regret we chose a team with the competence that NF Academy has.”
Thomas Hansvoll, former professional boxer and national champion
“The stay with NF Academy gave me a taste of everyday life as a professional. Very competent coaches and good players around me. The days were good, and I learned a lot. It was after this stay that I dared to visit foreign clubs to show what I can do.”
Lucas Kåhed, IFK Gøteborg and Sweden U17
“I am very happy with last year’s NF Academy participation in IberCup. It was very exciting and inspiring to get to play in a team with so many good players from Norway, Sweden and Denmark. I got motivated to give even more after having played against and seen how good oponents from countries such as Portugal, Spain and Mexico were.”
Fredrik Oppegård, Vålerenga and Norway U17
«During the easter of 2018, I was in Cascais, Portugal with NF Academy to participate in IberCup Cascais 2018. It was my first time with NF Academy, and a great experience. I got a lot from the trip. The training, matches, coaches and players were a fantastic mix of both fun and serious football.”
Filip Mellbin, Denmark U16
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