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Soccer academy has lofty goals

Imagine a soccer stadium designed to hold 1,000 fans on Whidbey Island.

That’s the goal of Mikael Kerleau-Idrissi, who runs the French Soccer Academy.

“We want to bring a franchise to this island,” Kerleau-Idrissi told parks commissioners at their meeting last week. “We need a stadium with lights, so that we can start professional development teams here.”

The French Soccer Academy, begun in December 2007, was organized by Kerleau-Idrissi, Seattle Sounders champion forward Sebastien Le Toux and physical therapist Eman Kerleau-Idrissi.

The academy hopes to begin with franchise teams from April through August next year. The basic idea is to act as a feeder system for the professional Sounder soccer team.

The academy currently uses the upper field in Community Park for training and teaching, but wants to expand.

“We are asking for help with office space,” Kerleau-Idrissi added. “It will cost about $75,000, but we expect to get the funding from Boeing, Microsoft and other companies.”

“Soccer is our passion; to feel the joy playing. It is our mission,” he said. “We want to be a credible presence here.”

Parks officials, however, suggested the academy look elsewhere.

“It certainly is an interesting concept,” said Parks Commissioner Matt Simms. “I’m not sure if the scale of your idea fits in with the parks district.”

Simms recommended Kerleau-Idrissi get in touch with the South Whidbey School District to see whether Waterman Field would be available.

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