Academy Player Profile Player Profile – Miles Bransford #61, 2006B Premier By John Downey My favorite part of my job at Inter Atlanta FC are the kids I get to see on a weekly, monthly, and hopefully a multi-year basis. In the last 10 years with IAFC’s Academy, I’ve managed roughly 4,500 children that have come through the program. I’ve been lucky to get to know a good portion of these players, and not simply as soccer players, as they continue on through the program and into our Select league. Even some that graduated from our Select league and are now off to college. Not all of them are still playing soccer competitively, but I’m fortunate to have relationships with them to keep in touch. While my job is focused on kids’ soccer, I’m grateful to get to watch your kids develop into people. Miles Bransford is a 12 year old student at Renfroe Middle School and a current Inter Atlanta FC player. He is a respectful and humble kid, able to hold conversation as if he’s already an adult. He plays for Coach Ryan McConnell’s 2006B Premier team, in our Select/Jr’s Program. Miles was in the Academy for two years and is currently in his first year of Select (13U) 11v11 play. I have gotten to know him a bit over his time at the club and look forward to continuing watching him develop both on and off the field. In 2014, Miles tried out for our 9U Academy, but did not make it into any of the 5 teams in his age group. In 2015, Miles tried out for 10U, but again, was not offered a roster spot into any of the 5 teams in his age group. It’s hard enough to make cut calls to anyone, much less to the same player two years in a row. I remember dreading making the phone calls to pass on this information to his parents, Steve and Amy. While I am sure they were disappointed, neither parent questioned the tryouts process, demanded a meet, nor argued the final decisions. They were extremely supportive, accepting, and respectful. In 2016, Miles tried out for 11U. This time, Miles was offered a roster spot in IAFC’s 2006B Silver (5th) team, while his younger brother, Rocco, was offered a spot into our 8U/2009B age group. Miles trains hard to improve his skills. I remember seeing him at a State Cup game in June 2017, watching his friends play, while practicing juggling his soccer ball. I’ve seen him at the fields on his off days, practicing on his own. Each of his coaches have remarked how great a player he is to coach, because of his work ethic as a team player, his attitude towards learning, and his determination to improve. Over the course of the next two years, Miles was promoted from Silver to Gold (4th), then from Gold to Excel (3rd), and then again from Excel to Premier (2nd). In 2018, Miles also tried out for and was accepted to the Georgia Soccer 2006 Boys Olympic Development Program (ODP). With still many years to play and develop, who knows where Miles will end up as a footballer! Inter Atlanta FC Newsletter | January 2019 2

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