Hermon High School girls soccer coach M.J. Ball (center), pictured during a team practice in 2015, is bringing some English soccer coaches to Bangor a four-day youth camp and evaluation session. Credit: Larry Mahoney

The Wolverhampton Wanderers finished atop the standings in the Championship league in English soccer last season and earned a promotion to the country’s top league: the Premier League.

Coaches from the Wolverhampton Academy program will be in Bangor July 9-12 to conduct a camp and evaluation session.

It is the first-ever arrangement between Wolverhampton and Bangor’s River City Athletics soccer program.

Wolverhampton holds camps across the United States and invites the best to attend their United States Academy program based in Rome, Georgia. The top players from that event will be invited to train with Wolves coaches in England later this summer.

M.J. Ball, the director of coaching for River City, said there will be a camp for 9-to-13-year-olds from 9 a.m. until noon and another for players 14-19 from 1-4 p.m. They will be held at the Dorothea Dix facility in Bangor.

“This gives kids a great opportunity to train with a group of academy coaches from a team that is going up to the Premier League, and the bonus is they have a chance to earn an invitation to Georgia,” said Ball, the head coach of the Hermon High School girls team.

“And, for our coaches, they can learn different ideas, philosophies and training sessions,” he added.

Players must preregister as soon as possible. The fee is $165 for River City players and $195 for nonaffiliated players.

“This won’t be your typical camp. It’s going to be very technical. It’s for kids with aspirations to do bigger and better things,” Ball said.

Ball has been involved in an English Exchange program since 2016 in which he takes high school players to England every other year and hosts English youngsters in the other years.

“My biggest concern was how much was it going to cost us. But we just have to cover the cost of renting the field and housing their coaches,” Ball said.

Information is available at rivercitymaine.com, fields4kids.org, or by contacting Ball at mjball517@gmail.com or 991-8940.

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