To close out 2020 and ring in 2021, we would like to introduce the SoccerNation family to Juventus Academy Boston.
We asked the Bill Altieri, Club President, to tell us more about their club and how they are impacting the lives of young athletes in Boston.
How did Juventus Academy Boston come to be?
SN: How did Juventus Academy Boston come to be?
Bill Altieri: We started out working with Juventus FC in establishing some high-end soccer camps in the Boston area. After two summers of camps we agreed to take the next step and create an official Juventus FC International Academy. Currently there are 60-65 worldwide. We are the only one in New England, and that is our focus.
55 coaches. 100 competitive teams.
SN: How many teams, coaches, players are there? Does your Academy span from rec thru competitive?
Bill Altieri: We have about 55 coaches and about 100 teams. We have almost 1700 players in total so far this year. Our focus is strictly on committed and talented players — within an age-appropriate context. We have avoided the recreational mass youth soccer market by design. It isn’t that we don’t support recreational soccer, because we absolutely do, but we believe that you cannot be all things to all people — you need to focus on serving a distinct market segment. There are plenty of town soccer programs and clubs that address the needs of recreational players. We want the player that can’t get enough soccer and is willing to do the hard work to realize his or her soccer dreams.
We currently offer an introductory program for U8 players as well as competitive play for U9s thru U20s.
High Standards, Constantly Innovating: a Professional European Academy
SN: How are you different from other local clubs? What do you want families to know about Juventus Boston?
Bill Altieri: We are different because we are highly focused, we have higher standards, and we are constantly innovating. Everything we do is carefully thought out and has a purpose. We have created a European professional academy here in New England. Our offering is completely different than what any other club offers.
“We are all about the quality of the soccer experience.”
Bill Altieri: There are so many clubs that will take every player that shows up whose family is willing to pay the fees. They operate exactly as they are intended: they are businesses first and the soccer is more of an afterthought. We are a different kind of organization. We are all about the quality of the soccer experience. We are much more serious about developing our players to their full potential and we therefore focus on providing advanced training and unique soccer experiences to players that are more committed to soccer.
Bill Altieri: Our players and families are the ones that want more: more training, more development opportunities, a more intense training environment. We are certainly not the right fit for everyone, but we are the ideal home for those passionate young players that are looking for the next level in soccer development and training.
Juventus Academy Boston wants to “remove pay-to-play barriers”
Bill Altieri: Like most organizations, we do not have unlimited resources. We believe that our success is tied closely to our ability to allocate our resources most effectively in order to optimize the development of our players. We need to channel the most resources to our most committed and talented players, which is what we do. Our goal over time is actually to break down and completely remove pay-to-play barriers for our top level players.
Bill Altieri: We do a great job of leveraging technology to enhance our offering and accelerate player development. We film every match within our academy across all age groups. Our top teams utilize highly advanced player tracking technology in training sessions and matches in order to provide our team of sports performance analysts with lots of data to help us to evaluate both our players and coaches and to drive exceptionally high standards and continuous improvement throughout our academy.
The Italian Connection and a Global Mindset
SN: How involved is Juventus FC in Italy?
Bill Altieri: The relationship with “the mothership” in Italy is a great one. Juventus FC are all about helping us to provide the best soccer experience possible. They train and certify all our coaches and they evaluate us as we deliver our training sessions. They want everything to be a positive reflection on Juventus. Through them, we are also able to take our players and teams to experience European soccer first hand. These are formative experiences for our players that inspire them to recommit themselves to their own development as players.
Bill Altieri: I remember a very special moment a couple of years ago on the plane returning from a Juventus World Cup tournament. That’s the massive tournament Juventus FC holds in Italy each year for all of its international academies. A player sat down next to me on the flight and shared with me his personal plan for improving his game based on what he learned from the tournament. He saw that players from other countries were so passionate about soccer and how this passion drove their commitment in training, which in turn gave them a huge advantage as players. It was as if a light bulb turned on. He now understood why it was important to bring intensity and professionalism to each and every training session. Since then, that player has remained in our program and has continued to develop and grow in leaps and bounds.
SN: Thanks so much for sharing that. Best of luck to Juventus Academy Boston in 2021!