After more than 30 years, the Maccabi Toronto Soccer Academy is undergoing a name change. The organization founded and operated by Martin Scott since 1980 is now known as King David’s Stars Academy.
The name change coincided with the announcement of a new partnership with Israeli soccer club Beitar Jerusalem. The arrangement will see King David’s Stars Academy “serve as official and exclusive Canadian talent development” for the Israeli premier division team, said Scott.
Toronto-area youngsters will continue to be offered high-level coaching and development programs, along with competition in youth and elite soccer leagues, Scott stated. During the summer, King David’s Stars players will compete in the Soccer Academy Alliance Canada (SAAC) League, while older kids will play in other outdoor leagues. The outdoor schedule will overlap with the winter program, in which Stars teams will head indoors for games at either the Downsview Park Youth Soccer League or the Toronto Futsal Association.
Scott said he is in the process of contacting 90 players currently enrolled in Maccabi Toronto Soccer Academy programs and informing them of the name change. In addition, hundreds more on the group’s mailing list are being told of the shift. Some 350 kids have been trained at the academy over the last few years, he said.
Youngster enrolled in the academy’s programs will benefit from high-level coaching and tough competition. Boris Krimus, who has extensive coaching experience in Israel and Canada, will serve as head coach and technical director. Other coaches include Izzy EidnDor, Alon Reef, a former Israeli national player, Dejan Vugrincic, a former Serbian national and Raffi Fell, as well as himself, Scott said.
“Our focus is on technical development,” said Krimus “We identify areas of improvement, correct, encourage and celebrate each child’s evolution. We build character and leadership as much as teach soccer. The environment is disciplined but nurturing.”
If they’re good enough, they will have the opportunity later in their careers to try out for Beitar.
Few Canadians have played in Israeli professional leagues, but Scott said several Maccabi Toronto alumni have tried out, some successfully, including Shmuel Hazan, Ilya Orlov and Alon Badat.
The Maccabi Toronto Soccer Academy is not related to Maccabi Canada, which is a separate organization affiliated with the Maccabi World Union and which recruits players to represent Canada at the Maccabiah Games in Israel.