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Spanish pro soccer club conducts talent search, clinic in Manteca
Valencia coach Ismael Fayos was in Manteca at Woodward Park as part of a talent search as well as share the club’s methodology.

Valencia CF, a professional soccer club in Spain competes in La Liga, one of the top leagues in all the world.

Valencia has academies in North America, including Montreal, home to its top youth academy.

 In January two players from the Manteca Futbol Club began residencies with the academy. There, Audie Garza (Sierra High) and Cole Ballard (West High in Anchorage) train with the club's top youth coaches.

Valencia director Chafik Mihoubi and coach Ismael Fayas visited Manteca for a talent search and to share their methodology on Monday and Tuesday with upward of 40 young area athletes. The club is visiting the Central Valley to also show their appreciation and gratitude to the families, coaches and teams that have shared their talent with them. 

James Burns is the boys technical director and coach with Manteca Futbol Club.

“We've been very fortunate to create this relationship with Valencia and its staff, and we hope this bridge will allow us to expose more and more of our young talent to the professional academy and residential experience,” Burns said. “Along with exposing our players to their training environment, we hope our coaches and guests will get a chance to see how Valencia, a club renowned for its development, operates on the pitch and views the game.

“Manteca Futbol Club is dedicated to development, and as a coach, it's been my sole ambition to push the talent I'm connected with to the highest levels possible. I've sent players onto MLS Next teams and academies in the last year, and I hope this visit marks the start of someone else's journey.”