A Message From New SAI Academy Soccer Director Herve Diese

sai academy soccer director herve diese intro

I am delighted to join SAI Academy as their Soccer Director. It not only gives the students a chance to develop into pristine soccer players and students, but I also believe in their methodology and balance between school and soccer development. I am currently an MLS Academy and ECNL coach for Orlando City Youth Soccer but my journey began many years ago on a different continent.

I was born in the Democratic Republic of Congo, raised in South Africa where I began playing soccer from the earliest ages. I came through Roberstam Academy on the Southside of Johannesberg where I learned my trait as a player. Robertsham was a modest academy without the glitz like the bigger PSL clubs but produced 80 percent professional players every graduating year and 40 percent national team players. Development was key and we stuck to our guns.

I eventually moved to New York whereby I played semi-pro for various teams whilst in college and began coaching girl’s varsity at the United Nations International School. We turned the program for zero wins in two years into one championship and a runner-up medal within two years. I left the school to create a travel program on the upper east side of manhattan using the recreational potential within that area. Starting with four teams that club, now, Simply Sports, has over 25 youth teams competing at the highest level.

I was then recruited by the New York Red Bulls to coach their youth clubs and Regional Development School. After furthering my education with the MLS club I relocated to Chicago to start a high school program as their High School Director for Northwind Soccer Club, an AYSO travel club. We started with one high school team, recruited players to create sixteen high school teams with multiple championships, and graduated ninety percent of our players into college programs.

At this time I was an assistant at the University of Chicago, helping the team to two Final Four runs and conference champions in two years. I then moved to FC United creating new curriculums for their development academy and pre-academy players in preparation for college and pro soccer life. I also assisted the Sockers Academy graduation program called FC Bridges, where I coached pro and college players during their preseasons, such as Chris Mueller, and coached graduated college players seeking pro teams. I finished my coaching journey in Chicago as High School Director of Chicago City Soccer Club, creating three new teams in my first winter tryout by expanding the programs to different high schools in different parts of Chicago as a partnership to develop players for a better travel and school soccer seasons.

I now join SAI Academy as the Soccer Director to use my knowledge and experience to expand the current curriculum to provide a developmental journey for our players, where they can join our program from a young age and graduated out of high school well prepared to become key college players and pro players if they so wish to go down that path. My passion is to show players how they can balance their lifestyle and train at a level that only results in individual, group, and team development. By understanding the relationship between the brain and the body, we will coach players to make the correct decision and prepare the body to execute those decisions at a speed that is of comfort within a match.

I am excited to begin this new journey with you all.

See you on the field.

Coach H

Shamini Ghay

Shamini Ghay is the Academy Director and Founder here at SAI Academy. She has years of previous experience working in the sports academy industry. Her mission for SAI is to provide an individualized development experience for students in both academics and athletics.
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