From left, Steamboat Springs soccer players Cam Daly and Charlie Welch are on their way to a six-week camp in the Macclesfield FC International Academy Residency Program. (Photo by Shelby Reardon)

Steamboat Springs is a difficult place to get exceptionally good at football. With long winters, short summers, and no indoor facility, it’s hard to get enough game time to compete with players from warmer climates or who can play year round.

That didn’t stop 16-year-old Charlie Welch and Cameron Daly from pursuing excellence in beautiful football.

The two not only compete for the Steamboat Springs High School football team, but have also received private training from Mario Boschi, a Steamboat resident, for the last 2 1/2 years. Their extra effort has paid off as both have been accepted into Macclesfield FC International Academy, where they will hone their skills for six weeks from a top-class coaching team as they compete against professional and semi-professional clubs.

Welch found the camp online and they both decided to apply.

“With skiing, it’s easier (finding new opportunities) when you come from a ski resort,” said Welch. “But we don’t have that many options in football, so it should be fun to see what we can do with it.”

Six weeks is a lot of football, but both guys love it. Daly loves the team aspect, but he’d be lying if he said the joy of the goal wasn’t his favorite.

“And I like to win,” he said.

He hopes the camp will be a strong addition to his resume and college applications. He wants to play in the div. I level. He believes the academy could open doors and build connections that could help him achieve that goal.


16-year-old Steamboat Springs soccer player Cam Daly shoots the net during a private coaching class with Mario Boschi at Steamboat Springs High School. He is on his way to a six week camp in the Macclesfield FC International Academy Residency Program. (Photo by Shelby Reardon)

For Welch, he hopes that this will make him feel less torn between football and skiing. Not only is he a university soccer player and one of the goalkeepers, he is also an alpine ski racer. Which is not sure if he wants to focus on a sport – let alone which one he would choose. His experience in the UK could help him decide.

The couple could be offered a full-time residency scholarship.

Daly and Welch have worked with Boschi for more than two years, a relationship that began when Welch’s mother met the former Canadian Premier League player. Welch met him the next day and was thrilled with the experience of working with Boschi. Daly soon joined.


16-year-old Steamboat Springs soccer player Charlie Welch saves a shot from teammate Cam Daly during private training with Mario Boschi at Steamboat Springs High School. He is on his way to a six week camp in the Macclesfield FC International Academy Residency Program. (Photo by Shelby Reardon)

Boschi has connections and knowledge from playing and some training of the game so he just wanted to pass on his knowledge. The three of them work all year round, mostly when there is no snow, run exercises, perfect their technique and just spend hours in the field.

“They come in, they are very respectful children. It’s always about “thank you, thank you trainer” and I learn from them. We have this relationship, ”said Boschi. “You have foresight. They are great soccer players and great skiers too. It is wonderful. It’s nice to see these children have the opportunity to do other things too. It seems like football at the moment, maybe it’s skiing, but at least some doors are open to them. “


Mario Boschi has been training Charlie Welch and Cam Daly for more than two years. The couple will be directed to the Macclesfield FC International Academy Residency Program in Manchester, UK (Photo by Shelby Reardon)

Departing early Saturday morning, the boys hope to see the Sailors girls in a round two playoff game against Evergreen while they wait to board.