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Aug, 2018

West Ham United Interested in Adam Lundegard

Story by Andy States of The Calvert Recorder

Speaking in July after accepting an offer to take over as the co-head coach of the boys soccer team at The Calverton School, Brian Martin talked about the impetus behind bringing the Bermuda Brazilian Soccer Camp, which has been held at Huntingtown High School the last few years, to the area.

“The whole purpose of doing the Bermuda camp was to give our kids in the county an opportunity to get better,” said Martin, who was previously as assistant to Huntingtown head boys soccer coach Charlie Russell before taking the Calverton spot. “People go up to Bethesda, D.C., wherever to get this type of training. We bring the Bermuda coaches over to try to provide the highest level of soccer training here.”

Huntingtown rising sophomore Adam Lundegard can speak to the opportunities the camp provides.

Lundegard, a midfielder who was named to the All-County team a year ago after scoring 11 goals and assisting on six others for the Hurricanes, went to London in July to train at the West Ham United Academy.

“Brian Martin is from Bermuda. Through that connection, there is a former professional who played for West Ham who is also from Bermuda,” said Lundegard, referring to Clyde Best, who has made multiple trips to Huntingtown to take part in the camp. “The annual camp that we have at Huntingtown has Bermuda coaches and players come every year. [Best] came and saw me there and talked to me and my parents and wanted to get me over there.”

Best played for West Ham, which competes in the Premier League, for the better part of a decade from the late-1960s through to 1976. His interest in Lundegard at the 2017 edition of the camp ultimately led to the young athlete making the trip across the Atlantic this summer.

“It was probably one of the most professional things I’ve ever done,” Lundegard said of his experience with West Ham. “I played with kids who are already getting paid professional salaries at the age of 17, and kids who are getting paid stipends at the age of 16. And the facilities were so professional, the coaches were professional. They even had fines you had to pay if you showed up late or didn’t clean up your stuff. I’ve been in professional environments before, but this was just next level.

“I’ve been a part of some really good training over here, too. I’d compare it most closely to a D.C. United Academy. The professional environment is pretty similar, but the talent that they get to choose from over there is nothing like what we have over here. I met kids from Greece, Albania, even Australia.”

Lundegard, who is currently training with D.C. United Academy, competed with a variety of different age levels while at West Ham.

“You could tell the difference in age through their size, but the skill level did not differ that much from the 14s to the 18s,” he said. “You could see the talent level that they have to be in the situation that they’re in. It was kind of surreal.”

This year’s camp at Huntingtown featured 22 players from Bermuda, while Shaun Goater was also present for instruction. Goater, a native of Bermuda, played perhaps most notably for Manchester City from 1998 to 2003 in a professional playing career that spanned roughly two decades. But for Russell, who along with Martin has been integral in the running of the camp since its inception, the highlight of the week came when Martin received a phone call from Best about Lundegard, who had only recently returned from his trial with West Ham.

“[Lundegard] had just got back from West Ham the week before our camp,” Russell said. “What was really cool was Clyde Best couldn’t make it, but he called Brian during the camp and let him know that West Ham actually wanted him. ... There are a lot of camps and there are a lot of good camps. But to have that direct link, it’s an impressive opportunity that just doesn’t come down the road to every player.”

Regardless of what lies ahead, the experience was one the 15-year-old Lundegard will not soon forget.

“I think it built a lot of really good connections for me that I can use in the future,” he said. “It also builds my résumé as I’m looking for colleges. It was just a really good experience, soccer-wise, to get in there and experience that. It’s once in a lifetime.”

Twitter: @cfhphilly

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