CFA Players Welcome Package Thank you and welcome to CFA

First of all we would like to warmly welcome your family to Canada First Academy. We look forward to having you as part of our CFA community. We are committed to providing a fun, nurturing and challenging environment to help our athletes to become the player they would like to be.

With entry into Canada First Academy each player commits to high training volumes, self training at home, proper nutrition and self responsibility as an athlete.

Rene Kwol

Welcome Note From The CFA President

Soccer - to me - has always been - and still is every day - the greatest sport.

It has always inspired me and rewarded me with countless moments of excitement, pleasure and sense of achievement and self development. It is a fast, dynamic, technical, and strategic game which can be simple in certain situations and extremely complex in others.

To become an elite soccer player requires - like any high performance activity in other fields - an enormous amount of effort, training, outstanding coaching and facilities, determination, persistence and last but not least, a strong, healthy body to prevent injury. On the course to becoming top athletes our kids will have to invest many hours of training. Therefore we are focusing on fostering individual, long term player development. This obviously requires a major commitment and a lot of passion for the sport by the athletes, CFA and certainly their parents.

Canada First Academy - founded in 2012 as non-for-profit organization and based in Toronto - is determined to provide the optimal environment for the development of Canada's future top soccer players and create an organization that will be able to facilitate professional training for our athletes in top facilities all year round.

Rene Kwol

President and Technical Director

Our Unique Approach

What sets CFA apart is our unique approach and emphasis on individual development based on the actual development stage of the player not on age. Our player centric development plan ensures optimal education for each player based on their specific needs and talents. The approach is systematic, development specific and individual. We develop strong personalities with optimal techniques under pressure, high tactical skills, fitness and determination. CFA's program is derived from the successful Talent Development Program of the German Soccer Association DFB, which kindly supported CFA's program set up.

In CFA, players are assigned to teams and training groups according to their development stage, with expectations and challenges in place according to Long Term Player Development (LTPD) recommendations of the Canada Soccer Association (CSA) and the German Soccer Association (DFB). CFA is an annual program providing regular training throughout the year.

CFA’s teams are playing in the high level Ontario Academy Soccer League (OASL) under the umbrella of Ontario Soccer with full membership benefits. The players get challenged according to their actual needs: individual player development and quality of playing style has priority over game results.

Program Outline

In CFA all teams train using the same training philosophy with added personal touch by the coaches training style and soccer philosophy. CFA chooses coaches fitting its soccer strategy, personality requirements and high level coaching qualifications.

Up to age 15, all players are exposed to different playing positions to improve understanding of the game and develop offense and defense skills alike. Starting age 15 CFA will introduce position specific playing and specific goal keepers at the age of 12. Matches are played in the Ontario Soccer League or as friendly matches against other clubs and academies.

Goal Keepers have the opportunity to receive special goalkeeping training in addition to team training.

Team doctor and fitness coach collaborate to prevent, treat injuries and rehabilitate players.

Outdoor training

Coaching Guideline

Training will be according to CFA Coaching Guidelines and yearly training plans plus elements required to address short term improvement in certain areas.

CFA training incorporates the ball as much as possible and optimises the amount of ball touches per player. The training has typically 3 elements: warm up, main training, scrimmage. The main training contains a mix of exercises, drills and small sided games focusing on a specific topic. One topic will be followed for several training sessions to allow for consistent improvement and allow enough time for adaption and learning. At all times we train both feet.

The training atmosphere is focused, fun and nurturing. The players are encouraged to self organise themselves and their training teams to foster personality and organisation development. The coach is mentor, friend, teacher and role model to our players. Older players take leadership and support the younger kids in their development.

CFA’s Holistic Long Term Player Development

  1. Tactics (offence and defence)
  2. Fitness
  3. Technique
  4. Personality
  5. Player Capabilities

Tactics (always in offence and defence)

1v1 situations
Player distribution on the field
offence/defence strategies
1-2 players up/down situations
possession play
switching the game (sides and pace)
group tactics


Speed over short and longer distances
Movement speed and coordination
Stability and core strength
Injury prevention and proper warm up, cool down


1st touch in direction of play
Ball control of low and high balls
Dribbling and tricks
Passing over short and long distances
Cross and finish
Goal keeping


Self responsibility
Self confidence
Risk taking
Positive attitude
Support and motivation towards others
Discipline and concentration

Playing capabilities

Creativity and initiative
Solutions variability
Always involved in the game - even if far off the ball
Quick recognition and adaption of action
Visual Awareness
Swift change of direction
Fast and intelligent transition from Offence/Defence
Visual Awareness
Swift change of direction
Outdoor Training

CFA Vision

Establish a world class soccer education program with outstanding quality players
Establish a world class modern, combined soccer/school facility in Toronto
Supply athletes to our National Teams

CFA Mission

We strive to provide the optimal environment for our students to become confident,outstanding soccer athletes with strong personality, who also excel in their academic education.

The values we are looking for in ourselves and our athletes are:

Love for our sport
Desire to achieve excellence
Persistence and determination
Constant learning, improvement and development
Synergy and teamwork
Integrity and Respect

Academy Team Programs:

CFA’s Academy Programs are for talented, young soccer players who want to advance their game and are committed to training several times weekly.

Junior CFA: Bambini

Junior CFA: U8

Individualized Development Program for 2013/14 year olds. These players play competitive in our U8 teams.

Junior CFA: U9

Junior CFA: U10

Individualized Development Program for 2011 born children. These players play competitive in our U10 teams.

Junior CFA: U11

Individualized Development Program for 2010 year olds. These players play competitive in our U11 teams.

Golden Age CFA: U13

Individualized Training Program for 2008/09 year olds that are ready for the next phase of their development. These players form our U13 teams.

Senior CFA: U14 – U19

Individualized Training Program for 14 to 19 year olds that want to master the technical and decision making skills needed for the next stage of their game. These players form our U14 to U19 teams.

CFA U14/U15/U16

Individualized Training Program for 13 to 18 year olds that want to master the technical and decision making skills needed for the next stage of their game. These players form our U14 to U19 teams.
CFA Principles
Summer 2017 in Unterhaching
At FC Bayern Munich in 2016

International Professional Exposure

Players who have consistently demonstrated outstanding skills, reliability and persistence are invited to CFA trips to international top professional academies or adult teams for trial trainings.

Since 2015 CFA players were training with FC Ingolstadt, 1860 Munich and FC Ismaning in Germany
Since 2016 Bayern Munich in Germany
Since 2017 SpVgg Unterhaching in Germany.
CFA teams will travel to international destinations to assess their capabilities and enjoy the soccer culture of other countries.

Accepting CFA Membership Invitation

When a family decides to accept the invitation to be part of CANADA FIRST ACADEMY they can expect to become part of a welcoming, friendly and soccer enthusiastic community. When we are on the field sometimes we will practice longer because we are having fun and the circumstances allow us to do so. So please leave extra time for pick up. CFA players have already decided that soccer is their sport and dedicate the full effort exclusively to CFA training and matches. CFA incorporates elements of other sports in its program.

Players are encouraged to take responsibility of their own development and follow the guidance of the coaches as their mentors. Self discipline, focus, passion, desire and persistence are a must.

Players and parents should recognize that players will be released from CANADA FIRST ACADEMY if the player does not fulfill the standards of the academy in behavior, work ethic, training participation, reliability, discipline or skill level.

Player’s code of conduct:

Must be punctual to all practices (15 min before) and games (45 minutes before)
CFA players are not to participate on any non-CFA soccer programs without the express consent of CFA Technical Director
CFA players are not to participate in activities that interfere with CFA Team Program’s schedule
Must wear CFA outfits at all training sessions and games
Must show discipline on and off the field
Must show consistent attendance at practices and games, attendance status needs to be punctually and reliably maintained in team management tool
Show loyalty to CFA and its members
Must follow proper nutrition and place full effort into home fitness and technical work
Be polite, respectful and courteous to CFA members, opponents and officials
Take all CFA players serious independent of age and gender
Be a leader and role model for younger kids, learn from older kids
Embrace mixed age and gender CFA philosophy
Abide from bad behaviour, bad language or bullying
Players are supposed to contribute their best effort to team performance
Show respect towards CFA equipment, help during set up and take down
Show self organization and responsibility for individual development

Parents code of conduct:

Parents should ensure that players arrive at least 15 minutes prior to practice start and 45 minutes prior to game start
Inform the coaches of injuries or illness
Maintain attendance to training sessions and matches at least a week in advance, in case of absence give short reason (in Team Management Online Tool)
Must respect the coaches and their decisions and should show respect to officials and opponents. Coaches will not discuss game related issues, only player development
Parents are not to coach the players or give advice to players during academy activities
Give positive reinforcement and resolve conflicts by using the proper communication channels (coach, technical director)
Show loyalty to CFA and its members
Encourage players to exercise regularly at home and watch soccer online or on TV
Try not to give extensive feedback to players right after practice or match
Try not to put the player under pressure, foster their self development

Coaches code of conduct:

Prepare and deliver training sessions that are development stage appropriate, organised, high quality and fun.
Follow CFA and CSA Coaching Guidelines for long term player development
Provide a safe and encouraging, positive learning environment
Prioritize player development and team overall performance over winning, without neglecting a winning mentality
Ensure regular (every 6 months) player profile updates and give feedback to player and parents
Be role model and ensure correct behavior towards players, parents, officials and opponents
Promote fair play
Promote healthy life style and player self responsibility
Arrive at least 15 minutes before practice and 45 minutes before matches
Always wear CFA gear at all CFA events
Scout players suitable for the academy, promote CFA
Inform CFA about all non CFA soccer activities, ensure no regular scheduling conflicts

Announcements, Meetings and Communication


Social Media Pages
You can follow CFA on different social media where we will post news and upcoming events.


From time to time we would like to inform about the strategic development of CFA and discuss with our membership possible alternatives. It is necessary that at least one parent per family participates in these meetings.


All families need to maintain the CFA team management tool reliably and regularly to allow for good planning of games, events, trips and training sessions. The tool also provides an online CFA calendar.


Twice a year the players will receive a player profile to provide feedback and inform the parents about their development stage. Players need to ensure to be present at the profile sessions.

CFA Soccer Philosophy

We strive to play a soccer style dominated by technical play, where ball movement has priority over player movement

We try to play with the least amount of ball touches necessary, the first touch is always into playing direction

Everybody is an attacker and defender and is always accessible for passes - including the goal keeper

Goal Keeper is used as an additional player and needs good passing technique

The individual development has priority over team success

The ball never stops moving

We enjoy the game, treat each other with respect and support each other

We are always striving to dominate the game, creativity and action instead of reaction

We are able to master difficult technical and tactical tasks under high pressure

We demonstrate passion and desire to win without neglecting game quality

We have a performance oriented mindset and are highly self motivated

We are responsible for our own organisation off and on the field

CFA thanks our Sponsors


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Bereket T. Gebrekirstos


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