AX News

Inaugural women’s combine yields 3 success stories


Three players have been offered trials in Sweden’s prestigious Damallsvenskan following AX’s inaugural women’s combine. In a hugely successful event at San Diego, Courtney Strode, Elise Kotsakis and Hannah May-Kimsey made great strides into the ever-growing women’s game.

Top European coaches, some of whom will take their clubs into the European Champions League, were in attendance and saw a combine awash with talent. It is a vital time for those competing in the elite competition of women’s soccer as the 2015 campaign looms.

The Californian combine was an open-age event with most players aged between 21 and 23. It was 16 year-old Courtney Strode , however, who stood out from her peers.

Displaying a maturity that belies her years, central midfielder Strode caught the eye of many of those scouting, but it was Linkopings head coach Martin Sjongren who acted first. Strode has traveled with her father, Buzz, to train with the Premier League and Champions League giants. From her performances in San Diego, her first professional contract seems a formality.

KIF Orebro, rivals of Linkopings in both competitions, made efforts to snap up striker Elise Kotsakis . Head coach Rickard Nilsson recognized a talent that could slot right into his eleven and leave the best defenses reeling. The 23 year-old was unable to link up with them on pre-season though as she is contracted to another club. KIF Orebro are keeping tabs on Kotsakis, and Nilsson is sure to come knocking at the end of next season when she becomes a free agent.

Nilsson was also impressed with Hannah-May Kimsey , and recommended her to fellow Damallsvenskan boss David Kjellin of Mallbacken IF. Kjellin ensured that Kimsey will join his club for trial in July 2015, following her graduation from college.

The circumstances of Kimsey and Kotsakis were well respected, and AX Managing Director Alex Grendi was thrilled with the backing received by the coaches in attendance.

“Coaches Nilsson, Sjongren and Kjellin are highly impressed with the level and have offered full support in hosting the squad and notifying Premier League and Division One coaches of the games to give these girls the exposure they deserve.”

At the forefront of these on-looking coaches’ priorities is the continuing development of women’s football in Europe, and now AX have made their own mark on its improvement.

“Both our agency staff and the attending Damallsvenskan coaches were delighted with the standard,” Grendi said. “With this high calibre of player in attendance we are looking to put together an elite showcase squad for the summer.”

This showcase will be in Sweden, and AX’s women’s game will look to emulate the successes of its men’s game, which has seen over 100 success stories in the last 18 months.

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