In July 2015 Feyenoord and Saint Louis Scott Gallagher Illinois entered into an educational partnership. The goal of the partnership is to push both player and coaching development at the Illinois club, while expanding the brand recognition of Feyenoord in the USA.
Through the partnership with Feyenoord Saint Louis Scott Gallagher Illinois will be able to tap into Feyenoord’s knowledge and experience in the field of talent development. SLSG Illinois Boys’ Director of Coaching Blake Decker is happy with the educational partnership with Feyenoord. 'Having worked with Gido Vader and Melvin Boel informally for over two years now, as an organization, we are extremely excited to officially formalize the relationship between our clubs and look forward to exposing more of our coaches and players to the staff of Feyenoord as we have this past week in St. Louis. The opportunity to host Feyenoord this week has provided Gido, Melvin and Marchanno direct access to our players, coaches and directors. It was a great first step in our partnership which is designed to provide coaching education and support to our staff through a variety of modalities including coaching internships in Rotterdam, monthly conference calls as well as yearly visits from Feyenoord staff to monitor progress, provide feedback and further coaching education. Additionally, it will provide internship opportunities for our most talented players to train with the Feyenoord Academy in Rotterdam. From our perspective, we are now provided a platform to educate our coaches under the direction of a youth academy that is recognized as one of the world’s best in the development of professional and international players.’
For Feyenoord the partnership provides an avenue to expand its network in the United States, a country that was lagging behind for many years but is now rapidly overtaking its arrears in soccer. Now is the time to establish a foothold there, says Gido Vader, manager of international relations at Feyenoord. ‘Soccer is by far the fastest growing sport in the US, the country is producing a lot of talent and we want to be a part of that. Saint Louis has always been a hotbed in soccer and we have had very good experiences with SLSG Illinois thus far. Teaming up with them will provide us with a trusted partner in the States. In spite of the fact that the Feyenoord Academy is widely considered to be one of the best in the world, our club is not yet a household name across the Atlantic. This partnership will expand our network, but also provide us with a chance to gage the kind of talent present in the up and coming soccer market of the United States.’