European FC (EFC) of Vernon looked to Brazil for their first director of coaching.
Thiago Menezes, 34, was born in São Bernardo do Campo, São Paulo and turned professional at age 18 when he was selected for the Paraná Club in the Brazilian first league. He went on to play 11 pro soccer seasons all over the world, including Argentina, Luxemburg and Malta.
He was selected for the Brazilian national Futsal team where he played for two seasons. Futsal is played on a hard court, smaller than a football pitch, and mainly indoors. It can be considered a version of five-a-side.
“Not only does Thiago bring a wealth of experience in playing the game but also as a coach and mentor he is able to identify and develop in the youth player those qualities that are needed to succeed in today’s game,” said Ian Murphy of Euro FC. “Thiago holds a UEFA Pro coaching licence, the highest coaching qualification in all of soccer, and has been able to convert that knowledge into experience by coaching boys and girls youth teams to championship titles in his native Brazil.”
More recently, Menezes was the coach responsible for high performance player development at the Barcelona campus (FCBEscola) in Vancouver. He will coach via remote for a few months before arriving in Vernon.
In addition to EFC providing quality local training and game experience through the B.C. Academy Super League, their affiliation with the International Futsal Alliance allows their members to play internationally, and now with the addition of Menezes, they qualify for membership into the prestigious Asociación Mundial de Fútsal (AMF) – the World Futsal Association.
Said Dan Reid, board member and academy director: “The addition of Thiago elevates European FC to the top of player development in the Okanagan and further cements our position as the Futsal centre of excellence in the province, which is a fantastic achievement for a small community like Vernon.”
EFC’s U11 OK Diesel squad shaded Faly 3-2 in Academy league play in Vancouver. Using a solid back line of Brendan Elder, Niko Martselos and Ayers Cull and a stellar effort from keeper Adam Merke, EFC kept Faly off the scoresheet for the first half while the midfield maestros of Mavi Arora, Ben Challen, Dominic Lopez and Joe Reid supplied endless balls to the speedy Mason Clerke and Kai Payeur up front.
Clerke clicked on a first-half scramble and then EFC allowed Faly some life before Clerke punished some sloppy defence with another two goals for his hat trick.