Study, Play and Develop Internationally

A tailored nutritional breakfast followed by high performance training on supreme pitches, rehab in an inviting pool surrounded by palm trees and study in your room overlooking greenery. That’s the life of a student athlete at International Development Academy’s Valencia campus.

There’s plenty of hard work in between of course that makes that dip in the pool and the trip to watch a La Liga game on the weekend all the more rewarding.

“We have created a platform that maximises every player’s development and exposure,” said Rick Angelicola, IDA Director of Global Business Development.

“Every player is unique. We want to empower our players to excel at the highest levels as athletes, students, and most importantly as young men and women that make a difference in this world.”

With multiple residential academies throughout Europe and the USA, IDA offers a variety of developmental pathways for their players at high school, university, and professional level.

Both the sport and the academics are structured to compliment each other, rather than compete. This maximises students’ preparation to enter a US or European university.

IDA’s campuses in Valencia, Spain; Reading, UK; and Rome, Italy could be the future homes of the UAE’s most talented football stars as IDA continues to foster pathways between the Middle East, Europe and the USA.

“The UAE is an exciting region when it comes to education and sports. We see how invested the local community and UAE leadership are, and we are extremely excited to open more doors for the UAE’s aspiring student-athletes,” said Angelicola.

IDA has adapted its living quarters and training protocols to align with COVID-19 protocols and allow athletes to still gain the most from their experience. While many players are currently stuck without options to play, IDA’s teams have already played more than 30 matches since March of 2020.

With links to high level leagues, there are opportunities aplenty for the players to develop their skills on field. Furthermore, by joining forces with players from around the world, Gulf athletes will have the opportunity to learn different playing styles from their teammates.

Check out a day in the life of an athlete by viewing the story of Belgium athlete Sam Bunch.

IDA’s leadership has more than 30 years of experience in the industry and all former collegiate players or possess professional playing experience. The IDA coaching staff are all UEFA and/or European licensed coaches.