Jamen Zander: “This country is very passionate about fútbol”


Zaragoza, Spain, Zaragoza, Spain. Jamen Zander (17) is living what for many is a dream come true: Play competitive soccer overseas. The native of Washington State, arrived to Zaragoza as part of our youth soccer training program where IFX representatives in Spain arranged a soccer tryout with the historic Spanish Club CD Fleta. The process for joining the team was smooth and straightforward. Jamen was invited to training sessions and the coach watched and decided that he would fit well with the team. Jamen becomes a good addition to the Spanish side as a dangerous striker when ready.

Before Zander joined the program he played for Whatcom Rangers and Seattle United most recently, both, USA soccer club teams in Washington state. "I chose to play soccer in Spain because I know that this country is very passionate about fútbol and I heard the style of play for some teams is focused mostly on the technical aspects of fútbol and this is what wanted to focus on."

IFX Youth Year is more than a soccer camp or an international soccer academy, it is a soccer program in Spain that mixes studies with the opportunity to compete in Spain youth soccer league for one half or one full academic year. While in Spain, our players live with a local hand picked host family, many times sharing the same love for the game of soccer. They attend local public high school to continue their education and accelerate their the learning of the local language.

"What I like the most is even though I am not fluent in Spanish I am able to understand what I need to do for the team. Players are friendly and so is the coach which makes it easy for me to do what is most important: Play fútbol. Spaniards are very accepting people and everyone I have met has been very nice. Kids from my school try and help me understand the topics in class and so do the teachers."

  • "I chose to play soccer in Spain because I know that this country is very passionate about fútbol"

Tasting Spanish soccer first hand is not the only advantage you gain with the IFX Youth Year, experiencing similar training methods similar to Spain club soccer teams like Real Madrid and Barcelona, an experience of a life time. "What I am going to learn from this experience is that I am able to accomplish many things even with a language barrier, I can learn and grow in a place that is completely different from what I am used to and I will have a greater understanding of a different culture. I will use the things I learned here for the rest of my life."

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