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FREQUENTLY ASKED
QUESTIONS

ICEF International Center of European Football - Boarding soccer academy in Europe

ICEF hosts players born between 1998 and 2010. We also welcome teams with players who were born in 2010 and prior.

ICEF is designed for elite and high-potential players, keeping in mind that the standards for competition in France are very high. Student-athletes must be able to keep up with all training and competition programs. All players who wish to enter the 10-month program must attend a tryout. During tryouts, the ICEF coaching staff will select student-athletes they believe are capable of competing at the level of all other players in Europe.

Pas de problème (No problem)! The center was designed to accommodate international players. There is no need to speak French to communicate with technical staff, administration, teachers, classmates, and teammates. However, please keep in mind that there is a focus on immersion in the French culture and it is a highlight of the program. By the end of the 10-month program, each player should be able to speak conversationally in French. The weekly experiences and 3-month program also offer French language classes.

Our facilities were built on the legacy of a professional D1 team, Evian Thonon Gaillard and we also own and operate the biggest club in the Greater Geneva area, Thonon Evian Grand Genève FC (formerly Evian Thonon Gaillard), with players from U8 through Senior that play at the highest level of FFF national competition.These players have received exposure and have been placed in professional teams in Europe. It is a very well-known football club and entity in Europe with a high reputation and support of peers in the football environment. Thonon Evian Grand Genève FC and ICEF have been developing the strongest professional connections for the last 20 years in Europe.

The director of the center, Patrick Trotignon, has led 3 football clubs to the D1 professional leagues in Europe with Servette Genève FC, Chateauroux FC, and Evian Thonon Gaillard.

Of course every player wants to make it to a professional team, but the reality is that it is extremely hard to do so. At ICEF, we give you the tools and the resources to guide you in the direction to achieve this dream and offer different life-changing opportunities throughout the process. As much as it is your dream to play professionally, it is our dream to get you there.

It is important that you understand though, that during your time at the center, you will have access to internship placement in the field and professional workshops where you can learn about the different careers there are in the sport apart from being a player, and most importantly you will grow mentally, emotionally, physically and become a better all-around individual.

Understanding that football development requires time, effort, and sacrifice, players who join us for the 10-month Pro Residency Program are welcome to come back to continue pursuing their pro preparation and education.

The International Center of European Football is the only center in the world to operate its own football club, Thonon Evian Grand Genève FC, a fundamental part of the larger project, Grand Genève Football.

The global project of Grand Genève Football gathers clubs from the Greater Geneva area, encompassing the largest number of women’s and men’s teams in the region, playing at the highest level of FFF national competition.

Throughout the year, ICEF student-athletes are exposed through and connected with the club, integrating teams in their respective age categories, allowing them to participate in high-level training sessions and compete against the best teams in the official French leagues.

All of ICEF’s programs are dedicated to creating a life-changing experience for its participants, focusing on elevating their level of play while developing the physical, tactical, technical, mental, and emotional aspects of the sport. The goal is to give players the opportunity to reach the professional level and elevate their training and preparation, to those required to play at the highest level of football in the world.

PRO RESIDENCY PROGRAM: Full immersion in a professional European environment changes players’ mindset while elevating their level of play for success on and off the field. Players participating in the Pro Residency Program have the opportunity to receive exposure and elevate their level of play.

WEEKLY INTENSIVE PROGRAM: This program enables players to live, train, and compete in a professional environment and benefit from ICEF’s on-campus and excursion/leisure opportunities.

GROUP/TEAM EXPERIENCE: Preparation, training, competition with immersion in the professional European landscape are available to teams and groups. Coaches also receive advice/mentorship from UEFA/FFF licensed coaches at ICEF.

All applicants who wish to enter the Pro Residency program must attend a trial (either in the United States or at the center in France). The Recruitment Team will only choose those players they believe are prepared physically, mentally, and emotionally and/or have the potential to compete at the highest level of football in the world. For weekly experiences, tryouts are not required.

Yes! Every player may get professionally assessed. However, only the top players will be selected for admission into the Pro Residency program.

Registration fees, professional assessment, and a uniform kit.

All applicants must bring cleats, shin-guards, socks, and sunscreen. Goalkeepers must bring gloves.

All applicants will be assessed by ICEF’s UEFA/FFF licensed technical staff in charge of recruitment

Non (no)! ICEF’s Recruitment Team speaks several languages and all assessments will be provided in English.

Parents are welcome to watch their children’s performance from the stadium’s bleachers. Though they are not authorized on the field at any time, an individualized meeting will be organized with the coaches and parents will receive a performance report upon completion of the trials.

All applicants will participate in professional football drills, small-sided games, workshops, and individualized performance report meetings. ICEF does not guarantee time of play to participants.

We recommend you arrive the day prior to get mentally and physically ready to perform at your best. If needed, we can move individualized performance meetings to an earlier time with the coaches for participants who need to catch a flight soon after the tryouts. We do recommend that participants wait until the following day to depart to give players time to recover from the day’s activities.

In order to attend the trials, you do not need further documentation than the one provided during your online application.

You will be informed of your selection around a week after the tryouts.

Participants are only required to attend one tryout. There is no appeal process for disagreement with the selection decision. However, participants may re-apply and attend how many tryouts they deem fit or necessary.

We require everyone (student-athletes, coaches and staff) to have an impeccable attitude, on and off the field. We reserve the right to suspend or expel anyone who does not behave or act in accordance to the code of conduct.

The activities, excursions and leisure opportunities are endless. Residents take part in many different activities during the year such as Golfing at the Evian Championship Course, Swimming, Bowling, Hiking, Rafting, Sailing on Lake Geneva, etc.

They will attend professional football games in Lyon and Geneva and visit cities such as Lyon, Geneva, and Paris. The center is located very close to the biggest football museums in the world, the FIFA Headquarters and UEFA Headquarters. In the center, they can benefit from multiple lounge areas, video games, where they can spend quality time and relax. Residents are under supervision at all times and follow a pre-established schedule every day of the year.

ICEF experiences are all-inclusive and all costs of activities are covered. However, residents have personal expenses which are not included, as well as are offered exclusive field trips (not mandatory) that do require an additional fee, such as a trip to Paris or a trip to the Ski Resort, Les Gets.

Student-athlete residences are located on ICEF’s private campus and are shared double rooms.

ICEF is an all-inclusive campus featuring top-of-the-line amenities. Everything is located on campus including student residences, media lounges, natural and heated turf fields, classrooms, spa, gym, media lounges, and restaurant.

The private center is supervised 24/7 and is closed to the public. It is a very exclusive environment.

Only 2 miles away. Emergency care is very efficient in France and everyone receives excellent care.

  • EMERGENCY: We call emergency professionals and they conduct the adequate procedures on the injured person. We will contact the family as soon as the student is on their way to the hospital and communicate effectively with families. We will also provide all the help needed in terms of transportation from the airport to the hospital/center to get the families to the injured athlete as quickly as possible.
  • NON-EMERGENCY: We call medical professionals and they conduct the adequate procedures on the injured person. For further examination, we will drive every student to the closest hospital for medical tests.
  • SICKNESS: ICEF provides medical care with an MD Doctor consulting on-site or in a city office.

Of course, student-athletes will be covered for all medical care and emergencies, including repatriation. They will be covered by April International Expat.

Of course not! At ICEF, we work on the development of every student-athlete on the field and also off the field for a successful future as a pro player or a university student. By enrolling in the Pro Residency program, each player receives the NCAA-approved credits necessary to pursue their education in France or if they decide to go back to their home country.

Student-athlete residences are located on its private campus and are shared double rooms.

Student-athletes who wish to attend ICEF’s Pro Residency program must attend a tryout in the United States or at the center to be selected for admission.

ICEF is obviously focused on the overall success of its student-athletes. Our requirement is that student-athletes can maintain an average performance in their schooling and are willing to work equally on the field and in the classroom.

Please refer to the Pricing section in the FAQ.

Yes. The price is reduced for those who decide to stay off-campus. Those that decide to do so should arrive after breakfast and may leave after dinner.

Student-athletes can choose to enroll in our American Middle & High School programs, French Middle & High School program, Cambridge International Education program, or College/University programs. Middle School and High School students attend a private school, Sainte Croix des Neiges and are guided by experts dedicated to international studies. Classes are specifically adapted to ICEF students, their needs and schedules.

Don’t expect anything less than a fully-packed schedule! Student-athletes will take part in different activities throughout the week including football (technical training, tactical training, competition), academic/language classes, video sessions, meetings with coaches, strength training, therapy sessions, free time, workshops, rest time, excursions and leisure opportunities. The typical weekday begins at 6:30am and activities end around 9pm. Curfew is at 10:30pm on weekdays and at 11pm on Fridays and Saturdays.

During the week, residents follow their academic programs until around lunchtime. The afternoon is dedicated to football: training, gym sessions, recovery, hydrotherapy, mental preparation, and more. In the evenings, activities include study time as well as extracurricular activities and rest/free time. All activities are balanced, allowing everyone to excel and flourish on and off the field.

Our training methodology is in line with the FFF guidelines, prioritizing learning through play, understanding and problem solving. We seek performance by putting our players in situations similar to those encountered in real games. Understanding the game and its environment is the number one priority to successfully adapt to the professional European game. In this way, age, position, or result of the game come secondary to understanding of the game and progression, which are the number one goal in creating a complete player.

INDIVIDUAL FOCUS

  • Soccer IQ
  • Strengths & weaknesses analysis
  • Physical development & strengthening
  • Recovery sessions
  • Mental conditioning
  • Introduction to professional athlete nutrition

TACTICAL SETUP & POSITION SPECIFIC TRAINING

  • Formation implementation
  • Offensive / defensive transitions
  • Position-specific training sessions
  • Set pieces

ELITE COMPETITION

  • Placement opportunity in our elite club
  • Friendly games
  • Scouting opportunities
  • 25 games against top youth european teams
  • 3 elite tournaments

TECHNICAL SKILLS EXERCICES

  • Rondo
  • Outnumbered plays / small-sided games
  • Implementation of offensive/defensive plays
  • Specific technical skills: passing, dribbling, finishing

VIDEO ANALYSIS

  • Tactical studies of professional teams
  • Personal player analysis (training/games)
  • Creation of video highlights

PHYSICAL AND MENTAL PREPARATION

  • Introduction to “invisible training”
  • Balanced and healthy nutrition
  • Introduction to recovery and care
  • Individualized coach briefs

The objective is to help players progress and develop through training sessions and matches in order to become complete and competitive players.

At the International Center of European Football, UEFA certified technical directors carefully build competition programs with highly regarded professional D1 and D2 partner clubs, allowing players to participate in at least 25 competitive games and 3 elite tournaments each season.

Partner clubs include Paris Saint-Germain FC, AS Monaco, FC Lyon, Servette Genève, Chateauroux, Strasbourg, Grenoble, Paris FC, OL Olympique Lyonnais, ASSE, Clermont Ferrand, Nîmes Olympique, Cagliari Calcio.

Subject to certain conditions, some players have the opportunity to climb up the ladder and join our club to compete in the official French league.

 

All players receive balanced meals that are based on performance optimization. Our chef prepares healthy dishes every day, with a nutrition plan based around lean proteins for muscle repair and recovery with paired carbohydrates appropriately timed for fuel. In addition, fruit, vegetables, seeds and wholegrains are provided as important vitamins and minerals, along with some healthy fats such as avocado, nuts, olive oil and oily fish such as salmon. Meals are adapted according to the time of day and the schedule of the competition: Pre-training, post training recovery, pre-game, and post-game recovery. Dietary adjustments are made per request.

This unique environment surrounded by mountains, forests and lakes makes the Greater Geneva area one of the best destinations in the world for high-level sport. It’s also one of the favorite destinations for pro clubs and teams such as: Liverpool F.C., Paris Saint-Germain F.C., Leicester City F.C., Southampton F.C. and Fulham F.C. National teams of Germany, Paraguay, Ivory Coast and Jordan women’s national team have also chosen Evian, by Lake Geneva, as their favorite destination for pre-season training.

Through ICEF’s exclusive partnership with the Monaco Sport Academy, student-athletes have a unique chance to experience their best-in-class approach to sport, as a result of their respected pedagogy, staff of experts, and renowned professionals. ICEF athletes can reap the benefits of MSA’s expertise, during an immersive exchange program, organized to elevate athletes’ mental and physical conditioning! They are immersed in a daily life where rigor, exigency and surpassing oneself are the key words. They will have the exceptional chance to live at the rhythm of the athletes of the Monaco Sport Academy, a true world reference in sailing.

A partnership with the Les Gets ski resort also allows student-athletes to participate in other sports such as hiking and other activities that the region has to offer.

Lake Geneva, in direct proximity, allows student-athletes to also do many water activities such as paddle, water skiing, in order to work on movement coordination, balance and also to have fun during off weekends!

Partnering with Paris Saint-Germain Academy USA allows us to create a strong bond and bridge between youth talent in Europe and the United States. It is also the opportunity to go even deeper into the French methodology by following the biggest French club philosophy of training and their philosophy of play. It gives the possibility to take the best out of the two continents, guaranteeing ICEF players get the possibility to continue playing at a very high level in North America and therefore get the opportunity to either get scouted by a U.S. college coach or a U.S. pro team.

This exclusive partnership is a strong opportunity for ICEF players to compete in a new environment. To date, the 12 member nations are: Qatar, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Jordan, Iraq, Bahrain, Palestine, Yemen, Oman, Lebanon, Kuwait, and Syria. Through this partnership, ICEF players will have new opportunities to get scouted for the possibility to receive pro contracts. With this strategic agreement, the excellence of ICEF crosses borders, being further recognized globally, in the Middle East.

The uniqueness of our academy is being international. Our experienced staff takes care of and develops players coming from all over the world. The distinctiveness of the center also lies in the different nationalities of the student-athletes who come from the U.S. and Canada, the Caribbean Islands, South and Central America, Africa, the Middle East, Asia and of course from Europe too. A variety of languages are spoken at the center. French classes are provided at school and English classes are also available upon request. Full immersion in the culture and an international experience are part of your journey in Europe. French will be learned a little every day, but it is not necessary to practice it to feel at home at the center.

ICEF recommends participants to stay for at least 3 weeks to get the most out of their experience at the center. Taking into consideration the fact that most participants travel from all over the world, ICEF believes that by staying for 3 weeks, participants make the most out of not only the full football experience, but also the time and expenses of travel. That said, participants are free to stay for as short or long as they wish, as all experiences are customized to individual needs.

All participants have the added bonus of being able to take French classes during their week(s) at the center

Yes. The price is reduced for those who decide to stay off-campus. Those that decide to do so should arrive after breakfast and may leave after dinner.

Don’t expect anything less than a fully-packed schedule! Student-athletes will take part in different activities throughout the week including football (technical training, tactical training, competition), academic/language classes, video sessions, meetings with coaches, strength training, therapy sessions, free time, workshops, rest time, excursions and leisure opportunities. The typical weekday begins at 6:30am and activities end around 9pm. Curfew is at 10:30pm on weekdays and at 11pm on Fridays and Saturdays.

Don’t expect anything less than a fully-packed schedule! Student-athletes will take part in different activities throughout the week including football (technical training, tactical training, competition), academic/language classes, video sessions, meetings with coaches, strength training, therapy sessions, free time, workshops, rest time, excursions and leisure opportunities. The typical weekday begins at 6:30am and activities end around 9pm. Curfew is at 10:30pm on weekdays and at 11pm on Fridays and Saturdays.

All participants have the added bonus of being able to take French classes during their week(s) at the center.

 

We assist non-EU residents in the visa application process by providing official supporting documentation from ICEF. However, we are not responsible for visa processes and fees.

The program price does not include the visa process, but families are assisted throughout the process.

If you are unable to receive a visa, you will receive a full refund (not including the application fee of €575).

Yes! ICEF runs on a rolling admissions basis so we are accepting student-athletes all year round. However, due to the fact that we have only 48 beds available for boarding students, we do not guarantee that there will be spaces available for enrollment in January. Therefore, we recommend players to begin the application process with a September starting date in mind.

If families are in town and want to partake in activities outside the center, they may dismiss their child  for the amount of time they wish before the day’s curfew. This must be notified to the administration prior to occurring. However, it is recommended that parents/guardians not interrupt the daily activities focused on training and academics.\\

Parents/guardians are allowed to visit their children at any time as long as it does not interfere with academic, training or competition schedules. They must advise the administration prior to their arrival on campus and sign a waiver to get their children out of the center for personal reasons. However, parents are not allowed in areas specifically designed for student-athletes, such as dorms or locker rooms.

For players born between 1998 and 2010 for football, school, and boarding, the cost is €59,000 plus a one-time matriculation fee and an application fee for Middle & High School and €68,000 plus an application fee for College & University.

For players born between 1998 and 2010, the cost for the 3-month program is €22,000 plus application fees.

The price for 1 week is €2,000. If you would like to get the pricing options for multiple weeks, please email us at [email protected] and a member of our team will get back to you shortly.

If you would like to get the group pricing options for the weekly experiences, please email us at [email protected] and a member of our team will get back to you shortly.