Premier Soccer Academy

Testimonials

"Premier is an outstanding academy where I have learned cognition, character, and competence both on the field and off. Premier Academy has provided me an excellent place where I strengthened my game as a player, and because of Premier and director Shawn Agnew, I have been given the opportunity to play CCAA level soccer for St. Thomas University. My time with Premier is something that will stick with me and the atmosphere it provides for a player to grow is unlike any club I've played for in the past. Team trips to Victoria and Washington remain highlights for me. I'm grateful I found Premier, as within it I've been able to grow as a soccer player and as an individual."
Nick Reis
Athlete
Jeff Wong
Surrey, BC

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My 13-year-old son Lucas Wong loves playing the advanced European style of football that is taught at Premier Soccer Academy. And he loves playing with like-minded players committed to this style of play. This style is based on a methodology made famous by professional soccer clubs such as Barcelona in Spain, and by top professional players who were developed as youth through these systems, such as the world famous La Masia in Barcelona. In our research as a family, we visited Spain and watched La Masia kids in a game and then watched the professional team play live at Camp Nou with 98,000 other fans! Wow! We saw and experienced something different in those players, in their football culture and development systems. We caught a European football methodology and philosophy virus that has never left us and that we had never seen in Canada up to that point. Many of the top players in the world who are now considered football gods within the game’s history, such as the likes of Messi, Iniesta, Pique, Xavi and others, were raised with these systems. After two years of searching locally within Metro Vancouver, we found only a few academies that had elements of these systems, some more than others. Premier Soccer Academy, a fairly new and developing academy, was on the top of our list.

In order for my son to achieve his vision to play professionally, he wanted that superior methodology rather than the Canadian style of football that is prevalent in almost all Canadian clubs, even at the BCSPL (also referred to as HPL or PL) and Metro levels, and in many academies. From my vantage point, the Canadian style and philosophy is one based primarily on player size and speed (although at this age, players growth spurts are timed differently), the ability to grind (rather than to play with skill, accuracy and high football IQ), dribbling the ball through countless opponents only to lose possession, and a strategy involving a lot of kick and chase and 50/50 balls which often involves defenders booting the ball in the air over the entire set of midfield players (including my son) to the general vicinity of strikers who will hopefully get some of those balls and score. This inferior style has unfortunately afforded the Canadian Men’s National team a Fifa international ranking of 122 at its lowest (August 2014, October 2014) and only 40 at its highest (December 1996), appearing in the FIFA World Cup tournament on only one occasion generations ago in 1986. 

Lucas’s plan to play football tuition-free with scholarships within a prominent college and then to one day play professionally required the resourcing and support of a superior system committed to him, his long-term development and his goals as an individual (colleges and professional clubs don’t recruit teams, they recruit individuals). Lucas’s goals required a premium product–that is the primary reason Lucas is at Premier!

My son also enjoys learning from and playing for Premier coaches. They value Lucas and each individual kid over their teams and are helping Lucas and others achieve their career aspirations. In contrast many coaches, clubs and academies value individual team wins and rankings, and perhaps egos, at the expense of individual kids and that approach burnt my son out and contributed to him almost quitting the game he loves and that we invested so much time, energy and resources into. Furthermore, Premier’s founder and technical director, Shawn Agnew, and other coaches at Premier Academy, have each played professionally in Europe and/or South America and have high level coaching certification. They are also just exceptional coaches! They are providing rare football knowledge and perspective, including what’s required beyond the pitch and what is beyond Canada. This only possible from coaches who played professional football internationally and who believe this is possible for our kids. They provide an innovative, well-thought-out and visionary program with many features I have learned are only found in top professional clubs around the world and locally in the Whitecaps residency program.

Lastly I must say, that at around my son’s age and older is when many elite youth players, especially Metro or BCSPL, lose their love for the game and quit. This is partially due to the overwhelming stress and pressure put on kids to win, to keep their place on the team, or to even get game time–the younger the kid, the more ill-equipped they are in their maturity to deal with this. And if they quit altogether, it could be that the objective has been failed. Parents must protect their kid’s mental health and esteem at this vulnerable age, protect their investment, and protect their kid’s fun allowing them to learn how to deal with these realities incrementally. Although elite football requires diligence, sacrifice, focus, and much financial investment, once it loses its fun, it’s no longer the game that inspired our kids to play in the first place. Through Premier, my son who for a season of life lost his love, found it again and is re-inspired and resourced to achieve his football dream, through this highly recommended premium program that is Premier Soccer Academy.

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Clark Carracedo
Pitt Meadows, B.C.

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Premier Academy is our end of discovery! Our search for a new home has officially come to an end and the start of a new development journey down the correct path for our son Cole. Our search for a program that targets individual player development has taken us down many different avenues that include, not for profit clubs and Academies! All have done their best with the tools & resources that they have available. However, they all have missed key technical, tactical and cognition ingredients in the development recipe for player development. Shawn Agnew and his coaching team at Premier Academy have taken modern training methods and mixed them with a professional program, intelligent 12 month schedule and loads of passion for the sport to develop my son’s skills on and off the field. Now, my son can solve fast, real life decision based soccer situations which in-result he has broken through barriers and provided confidence to believe that every training & game scenario has a solution that be identified and executed.

In the end, the proof is in the results and after a short 4 months, Cole is now playing with the best players in the Province and loving Premier Academy’s full time program. Thanks Coach Shawn & Coach Endre plus the coaching crew at Premier, we are excited to see what the future holds for my son long term.

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Steve Lemky
Delta, B.C.

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My Daughter has been training with Premier academy for just over a year now. The growth in her game has been amazing, everything she already did well, she does better, any weak points in her game have gotten stronger and she is a more complete player than ever! As you would expect in any academy her ball skills have grown but her biggest improvement is the way she mentally processes soccer. It’s easy to see that the game has slowed down for her and I’m certain this is due to the way Premiere Academy trains her to think ahead , to know what she’s going to do with the ball before she has it. 

My Daughter enjoined the winter Futsol training when she had never taken to the indoor game before, that extra work in the rainy/ snowy season kept her skills sharp during the down time in the outdoor games. In our most recent evaluations she was moved up a tier and into a new position!

We couldn’t be happier with the results or the Academy!

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David Hanwell
Squamish, B.C.

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Shawn loves the game of football and he tries to share that passion with the kids, players and parents around him. His commitment to the game is undeniable, and this shows every time he begins a training session. When I watch my son play during these sessions he’s engaged and focussed, but most importantly, he’s having fun. Learning and having fun, the two things that help you grow a love of the game. This is what Shawn and PSA provide.

My son sees the game as a fan of Barcelona, he wants to be like Xavi and Iniesta. Pass, move, receive, pass and move. Shawn’s coaching style and game theory provides the support to play this way and teaches the other players around him these same ideals. All his coaching methods revolve around total football, passing and moving, simple and effective. His drills are fast-paced, intense, but fun and players are learning and improving without realizing it.

Now that PSA has joined the BCASL, their three-step approach to the season gets the most out of the full year. Playing outdoors in the spring and summer and getting to take part in a league against other academies. Then the switch to futsal during the cold and wet winter months and playing a game that differs from outdoor football. Playing outdoor football then switching to futsal also changes the focus during the season and makes it feels like a different game.

One of my main concerns with an academy would be the lack of games available, but this is far from the truth, they play more games than club football provides. Having said that, Shawn understands the strain and stress of a long season and provides physio for his players during training and games, which is amazing. His program also plans downtime for recovery and to help players avoid burnout from overdoing it. It’s all the little things that add up and make PSA an elite programme.

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Darcy White
Maple Ridge, BC

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My son Joshua joined Premier at the beginning of this year after his U14 Metro season wrapped up. My son and another boy Kaleb on our team were invited for evaluation for Fraser Valley HPL and both families turned it down. After researching our options we decided to go with Shawn and Premier Academy. My son has always been one of the top players at the top level in his community pushing himself to go further every year. We started to notice that the higher you go with your community teams its more about winning than actually developing the kids. Not-for-profit Club coach’s are usually volunteer or coach for a small amount of money and do there best with the season time that they are given. This really limits the development of the kids that want to play year round. Premier’s High Performance Program is a full-time academy that plays all year round, indoors (futsal) and outdoor. The Clubs number one goal is to develop the kids individually in a team environment so they can maximize their greatest potential. Wining or losing is part of development and should not be the number one goal.

I’ve never met any Coach that has more passion for the game of soccer than Shawn and his program reflects that. He left his career in law enforcement to pursue his passion to change soccer in Canada and is working his product full time. The Premier Program goes far and beyond any other soccer training I’ve seen in B.C.

If you have anymore questions feel free to call me.

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Marko Pavicevic
Coquitlam, BC

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I have two sons that currently attend the Premiere Soccer Academy (PSA), that is directed by Shawn Agnew. My sons have been with him since the Spring of 2015 til now. After a few months of joining up with the academy I had read all of the testimonials that have been written on his behalf. From our perspective (my sons and I) they are all true.

As a parent and coach, I know it is hard to keep youth interested in things we teach verbally or illustrate physically. PSA uses a large variety of new and innovative training methods that keeps the kids motivated. The fact that Shawn and his staff are all talented players helps them earn the respect from the kids by leading by example and gives the boys/girls something to aspire to. Shawn goes above and beyond his call of duty, he has been to my son’s club games on cold, wet rainy days. As well, Shawn is always e-mailing and texting links for parents and students to further their soccer IQ and knowledge. It is obvious that Shawn truly loves the game and what he is doing, while that passion translates well to our children. I believe it is all the things I have mentioned that create a professional atmosphere for athletes to thrive in, without using verbal intimidation (I have never heard the staff raise their voices in anger).

Personally I love the game and have played, watch, and studied soccer all my life. I have played at every level in B.C. soccer, from being Canadian Champions in my youth years to various amateur levels post high school. My point is that I believe I have seen it all as far as coaching, training, and player’s successes and failures. Most coaches of Association Club Teams try to do their best, with what they have. Majority of the season there is no attention to the technical weaknesses that the players have, the coach will just exploit the strengths. This happens at every level because coaches strive towards a win for pride, a lack of understanding of youth development, or to keep their position as the head coach.

You don’t get that from the Premiere Soccer Academy because it is all about youth development on every aspect of the game for each individual. Winning in the Academy is seeing the players reach their full potential. I do take soccer seriously but it still needs to be fun. I think it teaches good life lessons to our young and gets them out of the house. Last summer my sons were springing out of bed at 5:30am to get to a PSA summer session for injury prevention but I struggle to drag them out of bed at 7:30am for school. I relate what Shawn does to the teachers in school that kept classes exciting and had the passion to teach and could make it fun/interesting. Those are the classes I remember that I excelled in.

Since being in the Academy my younger son (U-13) has gone from Div. 3 to Div. 1 and is now playing some games with the MSL team with a chance of staying permanently. My older son (U-15) went from Div. 2 to being invited to HPL assessments that ended with an invite to continue to train in 2016. This all happened because I noticed that the Academy improved their mental and physical game, as well the Academy staff can professionally and effectively communicate to other soccer organizations regarding the youth and their technical development.

My family hold Shawn and the Academy in high regard and appreciate the professional service, as well as the personal qualities he adds to it. He has become a great mentor to my sons.

Thank You Shawn!

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Ian Ashley
Maple Ridge, BC

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The Premier Soccer Academy (PSA) is more than a soccer academy, it is a commitment. I have been involved in competitive sports much of my life and have had the honour of coaching various sports, including soccer at several levels. Over the past few years, I have witnessed countless hours of various soccer camps; practices at levels such as: Div 1, Metro, HPL, and Academies operated by professional soccer teams. In addition, I have witnessed countless hours of the Premier Soccer Academy training and I would rank the Premier Soccer Academy as #1 in front of any of these groups.

My reason for ranking PSA number one, is that I have never witnessed ANY individual or groups with as much passion, desire, and commitment to developing youth soccer players. Unlike the big groups out there who use soccer camps and academies as a pure marketing tool, Coach Shawn has done the opposite. When Shawn takes on a youth athlete, he takes on a long-term project that requires countless hours of investment. He doesn’t only strive for short term goals, but also long term that have realistic outcomes. He looks for the child’s input and asks them what their own personal goals are. Whether the athlete’s goals are University or Pro, Shawn will speak the hard cold truth and put the building blocks into place.

The commitment that Shawn has shown for my son is unbelievable and second to none. Shawn has spent countless hours developing my son’s soccer skills. His session exercises are up-tempo, technical and fresh. In a typical B.C. Soccer Season, players will participate in two 90 minute practices per week with one game on the weekend. These practices are typically ran by volunteers like myself who have never played professional soccer or understand what it takes to play professional soccer. For that matter, out of the high-level B.C. soccer coaches, only a few have played higher than a local University level. In reality, Canada is not known for soccer, so only a few qualified coaches like Shawn exist.

In contrast, while training with PSA, you get professional coaching and professional guidance to your son/daughter’s short and long term goals. My boy has had the opportunity to train full-time throughout the Summer and in a variety of environments PSA puts on that would mimic of what professional training would look like in Brazil & Europe. The development my son has made in the last seven months is unbelievable. I cannot thank Shawn enough for his passion, desire, and commitment to my son and others involved in the Academy.

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Kah-Mei Smith
Port Coquitlam, BC

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Another parent introduced Shawn and Premier Academy when it was just beginning. I took my son Cameron to a first trial session and stayed to watch. The personal attention and coaching was something I liked. At the end of the session, my son asked if he could get signed up for the academy because it was fun and he learned a lot during that first session.

Shawn has been a very involved coach, both on and off the field. When Cam broke his leg, Shawn was quick to call, offer resources such as an introduction to a great physiotherapist, and even went with us to that physio appointment, staying to make sure Cam was properly cared for. He went above and beyond in his concern, and that was very touching.

Shawn has also opened his soccer book library to the kids, and also sends out regular emails to parents, helping us navigate through all the information that are thrown at us parents, and helped us make sense of different training. He also offers many extra practices and training sessions, for example, Cam really enjoyed going to the spring training camp this year.

Through Premier Academy, we have learned a lot about the soccer world, were introduced to futsal, and we’ve recommended Shawn and the Academy to countless other players and families, most which have signed up. Cam is happy to have so many of his friends at this academy.

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Chris Ting
Port Coquitlam, BC

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You build a player like you build a house, the basis (foundation) of a player is the technical aspect. The second floor is the tactical. As a parent who loves the beautiful game of soccer, I have found that Premiere Soccer Academy firmly adheres to this principle. Not only do they adhere to the principle, they have international professional experience and foundation training to understand it and perceive what makes a great soccer player. They seek to build soccer players according to international standards, and I appreciate that tremendously.

I have recommended and will continue to recommend Premiere Soccer Academy to anyone who is serious in developing as a soccer player to international standards.

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Jason Whittaker
Port Coquitlam, BC

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I was introduced to PSA by a fellow Parent. Ever since joining, my boys Owen & Nolan have really picked up their skill level and work ethic. Shawn has been very good to my boys and they have really respect him as a coach. I have mentioned PSA to several parents and many have joined. Owen and Nolan always come home saying Shawn is fun & challenging. PSA is getting the fun back into soccer for my boys!

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Mauricio Villamizar
Port Coquitlam, BC

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I was introduced to Shawn by another parent. During the first trial session my son liked the new experience (Futsal) and the one on one coaching that Shawn provided to all the players. Ever since he joined the Premiere Soccer Academy my son’s skills have greatly improved.

Within a disciplined, methodical and fun environment, players learn how to develop new useful skills. Through the combination of regular soccer field practice, indoor futsal, and beach soccer, players are kept motivated. At practice there is always a nice atmosphere because Shawn provides a good balance between discipline and fun. He always arrives with a positive attitude, full of energy and becomes part of the game by playing with them while guiding and correcting on the spot decisions made by the players during the game practices.

They not only learn about soccer, but Shawn also teaches them about how to take care of their bodies, how the body works, good eating habits, etc. Things that not only will help them in their game, but in their lives.

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L. Lindbjerg Strelau
Port Coquitlam, BC

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First and foremost, Premiere Academy and Coach Shawn LOVE the beautiful game of soccer and it shows at every session, whether at 7:30am or 5:00pm! They are passionate in their coaching, earnest in sharing knowledge, and mentor each boy according to their skill and aptitude. My son started soccer quite late compared to his peers and had a lot of catching up to do. Initially, he worked with Coach Shawn 1:1 which was exactly what he needed. He encouraged him when he was frustrated and inspired him to reach above his current capability by setting personal soccer goals. Setting and achieving these goals not only improved his game playing but also helped him develop perseverance, discipline, respect for the game and an understanding of the amount of effort it takes to play well. Every time my son achieves one of his personal goals, I can see how proud he is of his achievement which was realized through his own hard work, aided by the personal attention he has received from PSA.

My son continues to participate in the Senior Program and is excited for every single session whether it be on grass, sand, or indoor futsal.

I cannot thank the Academy and Coach Shawn enough for the energy, concern, and mentorship that he has provided for my son which has resulted in not only a better player, but a kid who still loves playing soccer!

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Harry Koutsouropoulos
Port Coquitlam, BC

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My son joined Premier Soccer Academy in late winter of 2015, doing 8 weeks of a indoor futsal training component. This was the first time he had ever done futsal and it helped his ball control quite a bit. He enjoyed being with the coaching staff and other players and decided that he wanted to continue with the Spring / Summer Academy semester.
Premier Soccer Academy also offered optional Pre-Season Training which involved quite a bit of training in the sand which helped develop my son’s strength, agility, and quickness during the months of July / August. In the last 5 months, between the Spring / Summer Academy and the Pre-Season Sand Training component, he has shown quite a dramatic improvement in his abilities and soccer IQ.

The coaching staff at Premier Soccer Academy are very knowledgeable and provide a challenging and fun environment for the boys to train in. The training sessions are well organized and transition quickly and seamlessly between different drills so that the boys are always involved physically and mentally and not just standing around. The coaches will stop and correct any mistakes they see, but also encourage creativity, and making quick decisions with or without the ball.

My son has been to several other Academies in the lower mainland, but has decided that he only wants to continue with Premier Soccer Academy.

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