It’s our mission to create the ‘best of the best’ experiences and opportunities for youth soccer players through our clubs, events and facilities. We partner with like-minded clubs and provide them with the tools so they can focus on what they love most, coaching and helping their players achieve their dreams.
Throughout his playing career with Match Fit Academy and Surf Select, Aidan Grund, player born in 2006 from West Windsor Township, had the opportunity to experience ‘best of the best’ developmental opportunity, both locally, domestically and internationally. Aidan has a bright future and will be an asset for any collegiate program.
Read below his full interview, where talked to us about his experience with Match Fit Academy and Surf Select.
Match Fit Academy’s Aidan Grund is clearly a fine player and has become an incredible ambassador for our Surf Select Program.
Q: Aidan, when did you start with MFA and how did MFA support your development as a player on and off the field?
A: I joined Match Fit when I was 10 years old with Coach Rick Le and have had him ever since. Coach Rick demands discipline from his players on and off the field in many ways:
Put in the work
These messages have been drilled into each of us, which has made me a better person and player. I will never forget the first time I left my warm-up jacket after a practice. Rick made me run suicides at the next session. I learned pretty quickly to be responsible for my stuff.
Q: If we say Surf Select, what does that mean to you ,and how did you get involved with the program?
A: Surf Select means opportunity. Matchfit joined Surf Nation a few years ago, and Surf Select is a group of players selected from all of the Surf teams to compete at a higher level. Coach Rick recommended me for a regional tryout. From there, I was selected to compete on Surf Select national teams in FL and Ireland AND it opened the door to the FC Bayern Youth Cup.
Q: How did you find the talent pool at the national camp last year, and what do you think made you stand out across Surf Nation players?
A: There were a lot of really good players at this national camp. I think I stood out because of my technical ability and my vision on the field.
Q: How was the competition at Super Cup NI and what did you like the most about the experience?
A: The competition was the best I have ever played up to that point. I think my favorite part of that trip had to be playing against Man United. As a United supporter, it was sort of a dream come true.
Q: Tell us more about the FC Bayern Youth Cup. How is it to play at the Allianz Arena?
A: FC Bayern Youth Cup is a tournament with teams from 8 different countries. It is a 7 vs 7 format with 15 min games. Surprisingly, I found the 15 min games more tiring than any 90 min game I’ve ever played. We trained with some FC Bayern staff at the professional facility, including world cup winner Klaus Augenthaler, which was awesome. Everyone there was battling for one thing – to be selected for the FC Bayern World squad. Unfortunately, I did not get selected, but I was thrilled to see Victor from Nigeria get the opportunity. He was a talented player and deserved it. Unfortunately, we didn’t get to play in the Allianz arena because the professional game got moved. But we played in their old stadium, which was just as cool.
Q: What is your best memory with MFA?
A: I have a lot of memories with MFA, but the best one had to be at Nationals in NC, when we came back and won against Solar FC in the last few minutes of the game.
Q: What is your best memory with Surf Select?
A: I think my best memory with Surf Select was playing against Man United. Like I said, it was a dream come true to compare myself to these players. I also made some friends and gained new perspectives from the Surf Coaches.
Q: What is your long term objective as a player and how does MFA support you towards that?
A: My long term objective is to play at the highest possible level. MFA has always been a very competitive club/team. The training sessions are intense, there are a lot of talented players to play/train with and I appreciate the feedback from MFA coaches that improves my play.
Q: You travel the country and the world to play soccer in some great competitions – do you feel this is helping you to reach that objective?
A: Without a doubt. It has given me the opportunity to compare myself to some of the best players/teams in the world. From each experience, I have discovered something new to improve my game.
Q: Do you have any advice for any new Surf Nation players?
A: Give it your all as you never know who’s watching.