As a youth soccer club that strives to support the concepts of Total Football also known as

My my My my

All sessions will be conducted @ Valley Sports Center in Canton.

Mon, Nov 20, 27


Fri, Dec 1, 8 15, 22


Mon, Dec 4, 11, 18


Fri, Jan 5, 12, 19, 26


Mon, Jan 8, 15, 22, 29


Fri, Feb 2, 9, 16, 23


Mon, Feb 5, 12, 19, 26


Fri, Mar 2, 9


Mon, Mar 5




by posted 10/10/2017
DFA Advertisement packages



From our developmental soccer teams to our competitive premier teams, your company will receive exposure all over the Valley and the state of Connecticut with our sponsorship packages.


Your contribution will help our children be successful in their pursuit of developing not only their soccer skills, but also their sense of teamwork, sportsmanship, pride, community involvement and hard work. We take pride in trying to provide a positive growth experience to as many players as we can and we thank you in advance for helping open these opportunities to as many players as possible.


Monthly payment plans can be arranged in advance for sponsorship packages. Please contact our office at 860-319-9889 for any additional information or to set up your sponsorship package.




Silver Package - $250

  • Sponsor logo on website with a direct link to your business website

  • Sponsor logo on club flyers and other forms of advertising

  • Sponsor plaque

Gold Package - $500

  • Sponsor logo on website with a direct link to your business website

  • Sponsor logo on club flyers and other forms of advertising

  • Sponsor plaque

  • Sponsor logo on game jerseys for full annul season

Platinum Package - $1,000

  • Sponsor logo on website with a direct link to your business website

  • Sponsor logo on club flyers and other forms of advertising

  • Sponsor plaque

  • Sponsor logo on game jerseys and warm ups for full annual season

  • Sponsor logo on practice T-shirts (minimum 2 per competitive player)

by posted 09/28/2017
Our philosophy

How the U.S. develops its most promising young players is not just different from what the Netherlands and most elite soccer nations do — on fundamental levels, it is diametrically opposed.

Americans like to put together teams, even at the Pee Wee level, that are meant to win. The best soccer-playing nations build individual players, ones with superior technical skills who later come together on teams the U.S. struggles to beat. In a way, it is a reversal of type. Americans tend to think of Europeans as collectivists and themselves as individualists. But in sports, it is the opposite. The Europeans build up the assets of individual players. Americans underdevelop the individual, although most of the volunteers who coach at the youngest level would not be cognizant of that....

Americans place a higher value on competition than on practice, so the balance between games and practice in the U.S. is skewed when compared with the rest of the world. It’s not unusual for a teenager in the U.S. to play 100 or more games in a season, for two or three different teams, leaving little time for training and little energy for it in the infrequent moments it occurs. A result is that the development of our best players is stunted. They tend to be fast and passionate but underskilled and lacking in savvy compared with players elsewhere. “As soon as a kid here starts playing, he’s got referees on the field and parents watching in lawn chairs,” John Hackworth, the former coach of the U.S. under-17 national team and now the youth-development coordinator for the Philadelphia franchise in Major League Soccer, told me. “As he gets older, the game count just keeps increasing. It’s counterproductive to learning and the No. 1 worst thing we do.”

by posted 09/14/2016

DFA all the way!

by posted 09/08/2016
VT goes Dutch! What a way to end the season!



by posted 06/21/2016
DFA warriors

by posted 06/01/2016
Will Brisco joins DFA

Newsflash: Avon HS JV Boys Coach Will Brisco
joins DFA coaching staff.
See below for bio:
Will was born in West Hartford, Connecticut and has lived in Avon, Connecticut his whole life. Will has been playing soccer since I was 5 and have been fortunate enough to have his own soccer field in his backyard. Will was a captain at Avon High School in his senior year also earning the All-Conference award. Will went to Elon University in North Carolina, for a bachelors in Finance. Will has been the Junior Varsity and Assistant Varsity coach at Avon High school the last 3 years. Avon recently were Champions of Class L in 2014 and 2015.



by posted 04/08/2016
Kevin mcKenna joins DFA

Simsbury HS varsity boys coach Kevin mcKenna is joining DFA.

Kevin will be coaching our U15 Lions during their Spring 2016 campaign.

All-State Forward for Metuchen, NJ: late 70s
NCAA Division I Midfielder for University of Maine: mid 80s
Semi-Professional Midfielder for Rovers of Garden State Soccer League (NJ): late 80s
USSF: C License 
NSCAA: National Diploma 
Boys Varsity Soccer Coach: Simsbury HS (CT)

by posted 04/03/2016

by posted 03/25/2016
Rest in Peace Johan Cruyff

by posted 03/25/2016

by posted 03/04/2016
DFA welcomes 2 new staff coaches.





by posted 02/02/2016
Junk food? Just don't do it!


Amy Van Oostende Ntp Ok - kids and sports and nutrition. Junk food at practice, Gatorade during games, doughnuts after games, pizza parties?!? This is one of the worst! The mentality seems to be 'Oh, they'll run it off.' Or, 'They're active, they can eat anything.' So, clearly most parents are referring to CALORIES and/or getting FAT. Because you most certainly do not *run off* bad nutrition and furthermore, just because someone isn't 'FAT' doesn't mean they are healthy! In fact, this mentality is quite the opposite of what is true. Kids playing sports need to pay MORE attention to what they are eating, not less! Let's face it, as parents you are asking your child to perform at a level beyond ordinary. In some cases, soccer for example, at very intense levels of activity. And you're trying to fuel that activity on pizza and doughnuts?! This is not a good idea, plain and simple. And the only person who benefits from Gatorade is The Pepsi Co.




by posted 09/29/2015
Complete interview with the Valley Press


See below for complete DFA article that will be published in the April edition of Valley Press

Soccer ‘The Dutch Way’

Simsbury-based football academy teaches hardcore program

by David Heuschkel

Valley LIFE Staff

The Dutch Republic Lion is 
a symbol of national pride 
and appears everywhere in 
the Netherlands, Rens van 
Oostende said. It is emblazoned on 
the left breast of his black Adidas 
jacket. The lion is orange, the color 
synonymous with the Netherlands, 
and appears to be in either an attack 
or defensive mode.

“I like the lion,” van Oostende 
said. “It has spirit. It has aggression. 
It’s hardcore.”

When it comes teaching or 
coaching soccer, van Oostende is 
hardcore. The word represents one of 
the five principles of the Simsbury-
based Dutch Football Academy CT 
(DFA), a soccer program van 
Oostende and Farmington native 
Todd D’Alessandro started in 
February for youth ages 6-18. 

Then added to the other four 
principles – discipline, unity, technique 
and conditioning – you get 
the abbreviation D.U.T.C.H.

On the soccer field, van 
Oostende believes attacking is the 
best defense. It is the underlying 
philosophy to what is known in 
international soccer circles as “total 
football.” To van Oostende, it is 
known as “The Dutch Way.”

“It’s all about attacking, in your 
face. You lost the ball, you win the 
ball back,” van Oostende said. “You’re 
not looking at your teammates, 
you’re not lazy. You play with a good 
dose of healthy aggression.”

Starting in late February, DFA 
began holding indoor training sessions 
on Monday nights at the 
Premier Sports Complex in Winsted. 
On Tuesday nights in March, DFA 
was having sessions at the Ethel 
Walker School gymnasium. There 
will be four-day spring camps April 
14-17. For more information, go to

“We’ll get anywhere from 35 to 
40-plus kids for training sessions. 
That’s not bad,” said D’Alessandro, 
DFA’s director of girls soccer and 
the girls soccer coach at the Ethel 
Walker School. “The kids enjoy 
themselves. The parents see the 
kind of training we’re trying to give 
the kids. I think everyone sees the 
value in it.”

On Feb. 26, van Oostende and 
D’Alessandro hosted an information 
session about DFA at the Ethel 
Walker School. The presentation, 
attended by about 25 people, 
explained the history of total football 
and the meaning of D.U.T.C.H.

“Hardcore is my favorite one,” 
van Oostende told the group. “It’s 
simple. We do things the hardcore 
way. We train hard and we play hard. 
Don’t be lazy. Don’t let your teammates 
down. Don’t take anything for 
granted and think, ‘I’m tired today.’ 
No way. There is no escape.”

He adds, “I don’t take prisoners. 
I cannot stand players that train 
weak. If you train weak and you 
don’t train with the right intensity, 
we will be on your tail.”

In the early 1970s, the Dutch 
began playing what van Oostende 
described as a revolutionary style of 
soccer. He said defenders were 
attacking, attackers were playing 
defense, and midfielders were overlapping 
the forwards. The only player 
on the field who didn’t stray from 
their position was the goalkeeper.

At the 1974 World Cup, the 
“total football” style was showcased 
on the biggest international stage as 
Netherlands advanced to its first 
final. The Dutch lost 2-1 to host 
West Germany.

The total football system 
deployed by Netherlands four 
decades ago is used by Barcelona 
and other international teams, 
D’Alessando said.

D’Alessandro said his girls team 
at Ethel Walker is working toward 
playing that demanding style by 
always pressing hard.

“It’s hard because you have to be 
really fit,” D’Alessandro said. “But 
we’re focusing on having players who 
have the ball skills to play attractive 
soccer like that, to keep their fitness 
up to play like that for 90 minutes 
and keep the pressure up for the 
entire game.”

Being from the area, 
D’Alessandro was well aware of the 
stronghold the sport had on kids in 
the Farmington Valley. A couple of 
years ago he met van Oostende when 
both were working at the Pro Soccer 
Experience (PSE), a premier club that 
was launched in 2010.

“We just kind of have like 
minds in terms of playing soccer 
and coaching,” said D’Alessandro, 
who played for Farmington High 
School and later at the University of 
Connecticut in the 1980s. “The idea 
[to start a club] kind of took hold 
and grew.”

Growing up in Netherlands – 
where soccer is without question 
the top sport – van Oostende said 
he was always intrigued with 
America. His grandfather used to 
travel to the U.S. on business in 
the 1960s and ’70s. Upon returning 
one time, he told his grandson 
that he saw some kids playing soccer 
and how the sport was gaining 
popularity on the other side of the 
Atlantic Ocean. 

“It was almost like listening to 
Mickey Rooney,” van Oostende said, 
recalling the conversations he had 
with his grandfather. “He was an old-
school guy, but he was wearing these 
khakis pants. He looked American. 
He always came back with great stories. 
Needless to say, if you were a 
young kid you were like, ‘Hey, I want 
to do this myself.’”

Starting in 2001, van Oostende 
spent his summers working at 
Winning Mood soccer camps in 
Colorado, Wisconsin and New York, 
teaching players “The Dutch Way.” 
He flew back and forth between the 
Netherlands and America for seven 
years, using a U.S. work visa that 
allowed him to stay in the country 
for eight or nine months at a time. 
He worked at fall camps in Fairfield 
County for a few years. 

In 2006, van Oostende’s 83-year-
old grandfather’s health was failing. 
Before he took his last breath, Henk 
van der Klei told his grandson to get 
on the plane and don’t look back.

“He passed away one week after 
he told me to follow my dream and 
don’t come back to Holland if something 
would happen to him,” van 
Oostende said. 

His dream has taken him to places 
like West Lafayette, Ind. He met his 
wife there while working as the director 
of coaching for the Tippco Soccer 
Club. It has taken him to Texas, where 
he was the head coach for the Houston 
Dynamo Juniors.

“Great contract, great club. But 
my wife couldn’t stand the heat,” van 
Oostende said. “It was 107 degrees 
and you had scorpions in your yard.”

His dream took him Kingston, 
Mass., where he was a technical 
director for Paul Turner’s Ultimate 
Soccer Academy. Last year it took 
him to Avon, where he and his wife 
settled and started a family. 

“I got to continue to do this 
and make my grandfather happy,” 
van Oostende said. “I’m glad I did 
that because it brought me a lot of 
happiness.” VL

Rens van Oostende

“We do things the hardcore way.
We train hard and we play hard.” 
–Rens van Oostende

by posted 03/27/2014
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