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Armada FC Partners With Real Madrid Foundation And Publix

North American Soccer League team of Jacksonville Armada FC announced a partnership with the Real Madrid Foundation, RPM Sports and Publix to bring player development clinics to Northeast Florida this summer. The Real Madrid Foundation is the social and cultural awareness arm of Real Madrid C.F. and is charged with promoting the values inherent in soccer in Spain and around the world.

Real Madrid, founded in 1902 and based in Madrid, Spain, is one of the world’s premier and legendary professional football clubs. It has established itself as a major force in both Spanish and European soccer, holding nine European Cups, three International Cups and the title of FIFA’s Best Club of the 20th Century. Some of the sport’s top players have played for Real Madrid including Cristiano Ronaldo, Zinedine Zidane and David Beckham. More than 287 million people support Real Madrid worldwide and the club is considered one of the 20 most iconic global brands in the world.

“Real Madrid is one of the world’s most respected and renowned professional soccer teams,” said Steve Livingstone, president of the Jacksonville Armada. “In establishing this partnership and our summer clinics with Real Madrid Foundation, we are bringing an unprecedented level of player development to Northeast Florida, thanks to our partners RPM Sports and Publix.

“This is the first of many steps that Jacksonville Armada will take to create a stronger culture of soccer in Jacksonville and our wider region. This partnership will be a great addition to the regional soccer landscape, and we would also like to thank Jacksonville Football Club youth soccer club and Duval County Public Schools, which will be supporting the clinics by providing venues and coaching support.”

Julio Gonzalez Ronco, general director of the Real Madrid Foundation, expressed great pleasure and satisfaction to be holding the eight training clinics in the Jacksonville area and to be bringing world-class coaching skills to young players in the region.

“We look forward to a long and fruitful partnership in Jacksonville,” said Ronco.

There will be a total of eight, five-day Real Madrid Foundation/Jacksonville Armada Player Development Clinics, presented by Publix, in Northeast Florida starting June 23 and running through Aug. 15, 2014. The clinics will be hosted by Real Madrid Foundation coaches and supported by Jacksonville Armada coaches and staff. There will be up to 200 spaces available at each of the eight competitive clinics, which will be open to boys and girls ages 8 to 14.

The clinics are designed to develop the talents and skills of the best young players in the region while exposing them to other players, new coaches, new instruction and professional programs. The five-day sessions, presented by Publix, will provide many of the region’s best young soccer players with concentrated on- and off-field training and coaching, as well as the opportunity to compete against their peers.

Over the course of the week, players will take part in practices, games, presentations and special positional sessions. Each of the clinic participants will receive a complimentary Publix gift bag valued at $200. This bag will include exclusive Real Madrid and Jacksonville Armada gear and four ticket certificates for a Jacksonville Armada 2015 home game.

In addition, one lucky clinic participant will be selected, based on skills gained and progress throughout the clinic, to attend a Real Madrid home game in the famous Santiago Bernabéu Stadium during the 2015 La Liga season, courtesy of RPM Sports. RPM Sports, headquartered in the U.S. with offices around the world, is a global leader in developing youth training programs.

“I am proud to be able to help youth in Jacksonville and across the country realize their dreams through this partnership with the Real Madrid Foundation and the Jacksonville Armada,” said Shadi Bteddini, CEO of RPM Sports.

The Real Madrid Foundation, in partnership with RPM Sports Management, reaches 21 countries worldwide with its player development clinics and camps. All clinic and camp coaches are official Real Madrid staff from Spain who only coach in accordance with the club’s philosophy, and the Real Madrid Foundation/Jacksonville Armada Player Development Clinics, presented by Publix, will bring them to Northeast Florida for the first time.

“The Real Madrid Foundation clinics have changed the lives of young people all over the world,” said Dario Sala, general manager of Jacksonville Armada. “The mission and vision of Jacksonville Armada aligns perfectly with the goals of the Real Madrid Foundation and RPM Sports. We are excited to partner with them and look forward to developing a long and successful connection here in Northeast Florida and Southeast Georgia as we look to expand the clinics in the future.”

According to Mark Frisch, owner of Jacksonville Armada, one of the best features of the clinics is the chance for players from Jacksonville and the First Coast to play with and against one another while also gaining instruction from top-level international coaches. Aside from working with players to improve their skills, Frisch said the clinics provide other benefits such as the relationships players and Jacksonville Armada management will develop with other players and Real Madrid coaches and administrators.

“We are exposing local players to some of the best coaches in world, and we are forging an important connection between Jacksonville and Real Madrid that could possibly one day result in homegrown talent climbing through the ranks en route to playing for Jacksonville Armada, Real Madrid or another world-class organization,” said Frisch.

Duval County Public School high schools and the area’s largest youth soccer club - Jacksonville Football Club – are also providing support for a number of the clinics.

Prospective clinic participants can register for the clinics at www.jaxarmada.com/realmadridclinics or can pick up a registration form at any local Publix store throughout Jacksonville. Registration for the clinics must be completed by May 31.

Clinic Dates and Locations:

Clinic 1: JUN 23 - JUN 27 - Atlantic Coast High School
Clinic 2: JUN 30 - JUL 4 - Atlantic Coast High School
Clinic 3: JUL 7 - JUL 11 - TBD
Clinic 4: JUL 14 - JUL 18 - Fletcher High School
Clinic 5: JUL 21 - JUL 25 - Stanton Prep High School
Clinic 6: JUL 28 - AUG 1 - TBD
Clinic 7: AUG 4 - AUG 8 - Patton Park
Clinic 8: AUG 11 - AUG 15 - Patton Park