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

‘One Night Out’: Sleeping outside in Surrey for youth homelessness

In 2018, 200 people spent the night sleeping in a parking lot for restaurant franchise’s fundraising effort

PHOTOS: White Rock marks Remembrance Day

Hundreds of people gathered Monday morning to give thanks to veterans

VIDEO: One injured in north Surrey shooting Sunday

Male victim taken to hospital with non-life threatening injuries

Surrey veteran talks about the emotional side of war

Reginald Wise served in the Royal Marines in WWII

VIDEO: Quidditch Canada’s Western Regional Championship flies into Surrey

Harry Potter-inspired event is at Hjorth Road Park

VIDEO: Hong Kong police shoot protester, man set on fire

It was the second protester shot since the demonstrations began in early June

Sportsnet fires Don Cherry after negative comments about immigrants

Don Cherry had said immigrants don’t wear poppies like other Canadians do

Trudeau’s new cabinet: Gender parity because it’s 2019? Or due to competence?

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will soon appoint his new cabinet

Coquihalla drivers urged to be careful amid freezing rain alert

Special weather statement in effect for highways between Hope, Merritt, Kamloops and Kelowna

Canada among three G20 countries least likely to hit emissions targets

It says Canada, South Korea and Australia are the farthest off

Conservatives’ Scheer wants Trudeau to open Parliament Nov. 25

That’s five days after Justin Trudeau is scheduled to swear in a new cabinet

14 SeaBus cancellations, free rides for veterans from TransLink on Remembrance Day

Free rides also available for current Armed Forces members, first responders

Last remaining Centurion tank from the Korean War makes its journey ‘home’ to B.C.

Tank arrives in B.C. the day before Remembrance Day after a more than 4,500-kilometre transfer

‘Your vehicle burns a lot of fuel:’ Victoria drivers wake up to angry notes

‘This handbill was left on your vehicle because your vehicle burns a lot of fuel,’ notes read

Most Read