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The OPDL Spotlight Series - Nepean Hotspurs Soccer Club

By OSA News, 09/07/16, 5:00PM EDT


The Nepean Hotspurs Soccer Club (NHSC) is proud to have taken part in the OPDL for three consecutive years. As an OPDL License holder since 2014, the club currently has six active teams, which include a boys and girls team in U-13, U-14, and U-15. Many of the players have been a member of the Hotspurs for the majority of their soccer career. The OPDL program has offered a unique opportunity for the players to improve their skills and extend their knowledge of the sport to the greatest of their ability. The Nepean Hotspurs are among the few clubs granted this opportunity that promotes continual growth and improvement in player and club development.

What makes the club different than the other 20 OPDL License Holders? 

With six active teams compromised of over 105 players, we pride ourselves with effective youth development programs that ensure players reach their highest level of potential. Our soccer club is highly recognized for our dedication towards full implementation of the OPDL Technical Criteria, as well as including the OPDL Grassroots Criteria and LTPD model of player development in our many programs. The support and encouragement of our qualified coaches, and our dedicated volunteers and staff encourage players to continue to improve and succeed. Most notably, the players representing the NHSC badge adopts a very humble, yet unique approach that can’t be missed on the pitch.

What achievements in OPDL are you most proud of? 

The OPDL program has led to improvements in multiple areas for not only the players but also the coaches and other club representatives. We are very proud of our high retention rate of the Hotspurs OPDL players, which continues to increase. All NHSC teams in OPDL are dedicated and motivated to put forth their best effort and performance to ultimately achieve their goals as a team. Often faced with physical, strong, and quick opponents, the NHSC continues to tackle every challenge with a strategic approach and comprehensive attitude that will thereby make our players better overall for the future.

Share a story of a difference maker within your OPDL program

A notable difference maker within the OPDL program and who has been involved since day one is Coach Duane Barker, the coach of the Boys U-14 team. Coach Duane has been the cornerstone of our program and has been key to the success of not only his team, but also many other club teams. The time and effort Coach Duane contributes to his players reflects their work ethic on the field. The most important thing to our club is ensuring that our players are given the most effective and proper coaching techniques possible and continue to play hard and respectively.

What impact has the OPDL program made on your club overall? 

NHSC prioritizes the importance of implementing high standards in coaching for all level of players. Throughout the entirety of NHSC history within the OPDL, the level of intensity increased which allowed further soccer education for the players. We pride ourselves in establishing effective coaching knowledge and principles required at the OPDL level. On and off the field, the 6 active OPDL teams demonstrate effort and determination, as the OPDL program encourages players to develop a consistent and hardworking approach to any challenges at hand. The OPDL program is very specific in emphasizing the importance of quality training in the successful development of players.

What is something people should know about your OPDL program specifically? 

The NHSC OPDL program puts a large emphasis on developing the necessary skills to achieve success for each individual player. Our duty and goal as a support system is to push the players to their full potential, helping them grow not only as soccer players but as people. NHSC likes to take challenges on the pitch, which allows us to teach players how to problem solve and make quick decisions. It is important that the NHSC players are provided the best guidance there is to offer, and it is imperative that they are pleased with their progress on all levels.

Biography of Contributor - Boris Bajagic

Boris Bajagic, the NHSC's Technical Director, a Canada Soccer National “A” Licensed Coach, and an OSA Master Learning Facilitator/Evaluator.

For 45 years, Boris has been working at all levels of soccer development all around the world, extending his vast experience in soccer management and training in youth development programs.

As an original member of the OSA Technical Advisor Council, Boris has contributed towards the creation of the Ontario Player Development League, one of the only youth high-performance leagues in Canada.