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Training to Train – U13 OPDL Program

This stage is in line with the Training to Train stage of LTPD. It is our goal that once the players enter this stage, they are fully prepared to transition to our 11v11 soccer introduction at U13.

Technical development is always a priority while introducing tactical development based on the playing philosophy, training methodology and game model. FCD will operate with a complete 4-corner holistic approach which focuses on technical/tactical, physical, mental and social/emotional areas of player development. Our curriculum and focus can be found in the U13-U14 Overview and Curriculum. 


The Ontario Player Development League (OPDL) is the highest level of competition in Ontario for  players U13 and up. 

OPDL isn’t just a league. In fact, competition is a relatively small part of it. The league moves the focus  from solely trying to win a trophy or avoid relegation, to developing players through a structured blend of high performance training and age appropriate play. In the OPDL, you’ll see mandatory heightened training with sport science and sport medicine components, complimenting regular weekly game play against other top players, from May to October.

The OPDL is not for everyone. As the Elite Pathway for players in Ontario, it requires a high level of commitment.

For Players:

  • A full time commitment to training and games.
  • A commitment to excellence and growth

For Parents:

  • Financial and time investment


Why should your child consider the OPDL rather than other alternative development programs in Ontario?

  • Highest level and best competition league in Ontario for U13 and up
  • A professional approach to soccer development based on specific standards
  • Highly qualified coaches accountable to coaching development standards and regular assessments by the league
  • Training based on a specific development curriculum set by the Canada Soccer and Ontario Soccer technical departments
  • Medical and Fitness support staff
  •  Indoor and outdoor turf facilities
  • Player’s development is monitored and evaluated through the year, based on specific Provincial and National standards
  • OPDL players are scouted regularly and provided with the opportunity to be selected for Provincial and National programs

Recent FC Durham Academy 2008 Girls News

Carolina Grzesniak signs with UNB

By Rich Hirst 03/22/2021, 12:30pm EDT

University of New Brunswick

MARCH 22, 2021


Congratulations to FC Durham Academy (FCD) 2021 Grad Carolina Grzesniak on signing with University of New Brunswick (UNB)!

UNB is located in Fredericton, NB and the REDS compete in the AUS/U Sports.

Rich Hirst our Girl's High-Performance Manager says "Carolina has been with FCD since September 2019. She graduated high school in 2020, but decided to take a year to discovery more about herself before moving on to university. A decision that absolutely paid off for her! She has remained part of our FCD program and is currently training with our U21 university/college player group.  Carolina is a hard working, mobile and creative central midfielder that has the ability to find many different passes in the game. She is a pleasure to have in the environment, as she never complains and truly loves the game. Combining her abilities with her passion for the game will make her a key contributor at UNB starting immediately this fall!"

Congrats again Carolina!


Hailey Frampton signs with Mount Allison University

By Rich Hirst 03/20/2021, 12:00pm EDT

MARCH 20, 2021


Congratulations to FC Durham Academy (FCD) 2021 Graduate and FCD Girl's Academy Captain Hailey Frampton on signing with Mount Allison University (MTA)!

Mount Allison University is located in New Brunswick, play in the AUS/U Sports and is currently ranked by MacLean's Magazine as the #1 undergrad university in the country.

Hailey has been at FCD for 6 years and will always be a big part of our family.   Although, we did not have the opportunity to transfer the FCD Girl's Academy Captain Armband from 2002G Hannah Harkin to Hailey at our 2020 Grad Game due to cancellation, she has still assumed this leadership position for our girl's program.   At our Grad Game this year we will transfer the armband from Hannah to Hailey to our selected 2004G.

Rich Hirst our Girl's High-Performance Manager says "Leadership comes in many different forms both on and off the field.   Hailey has quite a few of the key leadership qualities - selfless, noble, integrity, gratitude, empathy, respect and communication.   She is the voice that doesn't stop in the game and is the person off the field you trust in.   Outside of her leadership, she dominates the air, has a tremendous understanding of tactics and distributes the ball with composure and confidence.   All areas that will allow her to play a key role and MTA.  I am grateful to have had an opportunity to personally coach Hailey for majority of her time at FCD and we are all so proud of who you are as a player and a person."

Congratulations Hailey!


Dior Wilson signs with University of West Alabama

By Rich Hirst 03/01/2021, 1:00pm EST

MARCH 1, 2021


Congratulations to FC Durham Academy (FCD) Goalkeeper Dior Wilson on signing with University of West Alabama (UWA)!

Dior is joining the highly competitive UWA Tigers Program that is always in the running Gulf South Conference Championship.

Rich Hirst our Girl's High-Performance Manager says "She has been with FCD for 7 season and will be graduating from our program having made an impact on many of our members and staff. Dior is another one of those players that I have been honoured to coach for a long time period.  Her game presence, game command and penalty area ownership is at an extremely high level which is almost impossible to find in a goalkeeper at this transitioning point. Quiet off the field and THE commander on the field. Combining this with her intense competitive mentality, bravery and reaction Dior will be stepping in as a Freshman and challenging for a starting position at UWA. The statement we use to describe an elite work rate in training is - "punching a clock". Dior exudes this statement!  I am thankful to also get to know Dior as a person over this time period. Well rounded, devoted, and sincere are a few words I would use to describe her."

We look forward to following this next step of her journey and all her future successes.