Future stars going Dutch

CAMERON MAXWELL -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 1:06 PM ET

When it comes to soccer, these kids are unbeatable.

It's been a long time since the McKenzie United FC lost a game and, now that the U-11 team has moved up to in the U-12 age group to get more competition, nothing has changed.

In fact, the club is so talented it is planning on going to the Netherlands in March to train with and play against Dutch powerhouse Ajax, which boasts a top-notch youth academy.

Team manager Harm Deckers said it's the trip of a lifetime for a group that's shown some amazing skill on the soccer pitch.

"Our coach, Joe Canejo, started working with some of these boys five years ago ... and it turned out they're really a quite competitive group of kids," said Deckers.

"As we played in the past outdoor season, we had a very, very dominant team.

"We won absolutely every game we played here in Calgary, that we played in tournaments against teams from out of province."

Winning is actually a bit of an understatement.

United annihilated most of its opponents over the summer with scores in the 20-1 range at some points.

In the summer season the club went 30-0, wining every title in sight, including the city championship and a few tournaments.

"It became apparent this team was a cut above the age group and it was truly remarkable," said Deckers.

"So me and Joe got together over the summer to see what we could do because we might have something very special."

Deckers and Canejo put together a video of team highlights from the summer and sent it to an affiliate of Ajax.

"They have one of the pre-eminent soccer academies for kids, starting at the age our kids are," said Deckers, adding Ajax officials were impressed with what they saw and wanted to work with the McKenzie kids.

The time in the Netherlands, 10 days in all with games against top Dutch club teams, will be a great learning experience for the kids, who certainly could use the extra competition.

After the summer season, the club moved up into the next age group and continued its winning ways in the U-12 group during the indoor season, wining lopsided contests. The club captured the group title.

The goals kept coming, too.

Through seven games, Brendan Canejo tallied 34 times, while Paco Deckers potted 28, also in just seven contests.

In addition to the two goal scorers, defender Brandon Duarte is also a heck of a player, although he doesn't find the back of the net as often.

When they leave for Amsterdam March 25, some of these players will surely be considered future prospects for Ajax with their play.


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