Luca Calandra, 9, is headed to Milan, Italy next week for an international soccer camp. (Leslie Calandra)

Cloverdale soccer player to attend A.C. Milan camp in Italy

Luca Calandra, 9, is headed to Milan, Italy next week for the opportunity of a lifetime

Surrey’s Luca Calandra is preparing for the soccer experience of a lifetime.

Next week he will depart for Milan, Italy, where he will take part in the Associazione Calcio Milan (A.C. Milan) soccer camp from March 15—18.

Nine-year-old Luca, who is currently in Grade 4 at Cloverdale Catholic School, earned the opportunity by participating in the A.C. Milan Junior Camp in Vancouver.

Luca was one of three players from that camp to be selected for the international program based on his talent, positive attitude, and ability to be coached.

A.C. Milan is a professional soccer club in Milan, Italy. Founded in 1899, it is recognized as one of the most successful soccer clubs in the world. The club hosts Juniors Camps in more than 100 cities around the globe, giving boys and girls ages 5 to 16 the chance to work with coaches from the A.C. Milan coaching staff.

The A.C. Milan Junior is “cool and fun,” said Luca, who has attended the Vancouver camp for three years.

The most cool and most fun part of the camp, according to Luca, is at the end when they do a shootout with all groups and all ages, and whoever wins gets a prize.

Luca knew that they selected a few players from the Vancouver camp every year to go to Italy, and told his parents that it was his dream to go, said his mom, Leslie Calandra.

“We told him, ‘Well you’ve got to keep working hard and you never know what could happen one year.’ And here we are,” she said.

The Italian soccer camp consists of two days of training followed by a two-day tournament. The players then get to see the A.C. Milan team in action at San Siro Stadium, and get to meet the players after the game.

Luca is the most excited to play soccer, but he’s also looking forward to checking out the gear that the Italian players have and trying out a pair of Italian cleats.

He’s also hoping to run into his favourite player and fellow goalkeeper, Gianluigi Donnarumma.

Donnarumma plays for both A.C. Milan and the Italy national team. He was the youngest Italian to play in the under-21 division at 17 years of age, and the youngest goalkeeper to ever appear for Italy when he made his senior international debut at age 17.

Luca said he wasn’t sure why he like playing goal so much.

“When the ball comes at me, I like to dive for it,” he said. “And [I like] when I drop kick it super far.”

Luca has worked hard for the opportunity to play in Milan. He told the Cloverdale Reporter that during soccer season, which typically runs from September to early March, he’s out on the field nearly every day.

“I have practices Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday. Games on Saturday and maybe Sunday. Only one day off,” he said.

“I want to keep playing,” he said. “I want to be a professional.”



editor@cloverdalereporter.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Langley toddler with sun ‘allergy’ waiting for bone marrow transplant

Charlie Lock, 2, needs treatment to reverse damage caused by rare disorder EPP

Vancouver Giants sign forward Lukas Svejkovsky

The Vancouver Giants’ newest acquisition is being described as “an incredibly skilled… Continue reading

VIDEO: Township fire crews battle blaze in abandoned house

Thursday night fire is latest in a series of empty Willoughby homes to burn

‘Sabrina’ series will film late into the night in Cloverdale

Chilling Adventures of Sabrina will be on location at ‘Cerberus Books’ until early Saturday

Thunder down Victoria Shamrocks in Western Lacrosse Association action

Langley team closes the season with two games against Burnaby

BC Games’ Athletes Corner: What’s your favourite pump up song?

Check out what’s playing in the earbuds of BC Summer Games athletes before they compete

RCMP help to save goats from wildfire

The fast-approaching wildfire, sparked Thursday, forced the evacuation of five homes

VIDEO: Near drowning captured on popular B.C. river

Search and Rescue manager says the popular pastime of floating in the summer is inherently dangerous

Crosswalk vandalism leaves black mark for Cowichan as B.C. Games begin

Rainbow crosswalk defaced just days after being painted

Photo gallery: BC Games Day 1

A brief look at action from the 2018 BC Summer Games in the Cowichan Valley

UPDATED: Anti-pipeline campers digging in as eviction deadline expires

The City of Burnaby had ordered the Kinder Morgan pipeline protesters out for violating bylaws

Trump was taped talking of paying Playboy model: AP source

Source says former personal lawyer Michael Cohen secretly recorded discussion prior to 2016 election

VIDEO: How to throw a frisbee

Ultimate frisbee player Amy Mackay shows off the proper technique

Site C dam project plagued by problems: expert

E. Harvey Elwin expresses concern about internal BC Hydro and government documents

Most Read