Villarreal Academy 2022: The Yellows family just keeps on growing!

Villarreal CF
Villarreal CF
Published in
10 min readDec 23, 2022

External forces have changed the soccer scene in the last couple of years, but Villarreal Academy, the Yellow Submarine’s international expansion project, is back in full flow and the Yellows family just keeps on growing! Now “normality” has resumed, Villarreal’s partner and affiliate academies have been able to come to Spain from far and wide to participate in the club’s different programs for international players and coaches. In 2022, Villarreal Academy has added more academies to its arsenal and maintained strong connections with its existing global partners. It’s safe to say the Yellows family are swarming the soccer world and there are no signs of letting up!

Some of the highlights from the Villarreal Academy project from 2022 were the numerous visits from international players and teams for the Player Training Week and Team Playing Experience programs, as well as several visits from international coaches to participate in the Coach Development Program. What’s more, our Villarreal Academy coaches have visited our partners around the world for tryouts, camps, tournaments and extended stays, successfully transporting the Villarreal CF methodology to all corners of the globe.

Another stand out moment was Villarreal’s involvement at the 2022 United Soccer Coaches Convention in Kansas City. Villarreal CF International Business manager Brandon Páramo was invited to lead a lecture session and Villarreal Academy coach Carlos Ortiz carried out a field session for the participants.

Needless to say, it’s been a busy year for Villarreal Academy so let’s take a closer look at what events have taken place throughout the year.

North America

The beginning of the year saw many of Villarreal’s North American academies heavily involved at the club and new additions to the Yellows family were made.

First of all, a great partnership was formed with Villarreal Alberta Academy. The connection with the soccer academy based in Edmonton, AB, Canada, was formed on April 1st 2022 and has seen great opportunities come to life already for some of their players this past year. Two Villarreal Alberta teams took part in the Villarreal CF Team Playing Experience and were fortunate to bump into some first team players too!

Not only one, not even two, but three Canadian partners joined the Yellows fold this year! Villarreal Manitoba Academy were second. Situated in Brandon, MB, Canada, it is the first club in the area to be partnered with a professional soccer team. This year Villarreal Manitoba also held their first ID camp attended by Villarreal Academy coach Nano Márquez.

As well as two partner academies, a new affiliate academy was announced with VanCity Pro Football Academy. Situated in the heart of Vancouver, BC, Canada, the academy’s director Imran Tahid headed to Vila-real to kick off the affiliation and begin the process of implementing the Villarreal CF methodology in Vancouver.

North America saw more partners this year with two more connections in the United States. First off Villarreal Chicago Academy was established in Chicago, IL and Provo Athletic Club was named as an affiliate club from Provo, UT. Provo Athletic Club have been heavily involved with the Yellows this year, taking part in the Player Training Week with a total of 19 players across two visits and bringing two coaches for the Coach Development Program. And not only that, Villarreal Academy coach Carlos Ortiz travelled to Utah to support the club with player development and coach education in an extended stay.

Among the Yellows’ new partners, Villarreal’s existing partners in North America were all welcomed back with open arms. The Player Training Week and Team Playing Experience, as popular as ever, saw ten of our North American academies visit with their players and teams.

Villarreal Force Academy were welcomed back first and had three visits throughout the year with one player on each occasion attending for the Player Training Week. Villarreal Force players trained with Yellows Academy teams and Villarreal CF coaches in an intense week of Spanish soccer.

Villarreal Nebraska Academy visited the club at both the start and end of the year bringing nine players for the Player Training Week and two teams for the Team Playing Experience. Not only have their players had fantastic opportunities to taste “fútbol” life here in Spain but their coaches have had time to observe and learn from our Villarreal Academy coaches. A handful of their coaches taking part in coach education sessions and the Coach Development Program where they learned first-hand about methodology that has served Villarreal CF so well in recent years. Not only this, but Villarreal Academy sent two coaches to support the academy in Lincoln, NE. Villarreal Academy coaches Alejandro Rodríguez and Vicky Yarnold served two extended stays within the year.

Villarreal Virginia Academy also had two visits to Spain in 2022. In April, Virginia brought over two teams for the Team Playing Experience. They also had the opportunity to return to Spain recently this December for the Player Training Week with four selected players. Villarreal Academy coach Rafa Borillo visited Virginia for an extended stay to support VIVA with player development and at the academy’s tryouts.

Villarreal Las Vegas Academy has been especially involved in this year’s events at Villarreal CF, arriving on Spanish soil in May for a Player Training Week, bringing four players for the once-in-a-lifetime experience. Excitingly, Villarreal Las Vegas is also helping to host this year’s Villarreal Academy North America Select Team ID Camp in December. (More below!)

Villarreal CD Mexico Academy also made their presence known this year as they took seven of their players across the pond for the Player Training Week and one coach for the Coach Development Program.

The partnership with Villarreal NY Bolaños Academy extended into this year as they were invited for a Player Training Week too. Seven players from the New York academy had a blast experiencing the true “fútbol” culture in Spain.

Villarreal Houston Academy were also welcomed back this year bringing over eleven players for the Player Training Week. With such a big group they all got a taste of playing against and with many Villarreal youth teams and experiencing soccer the Spanish way for the first time.

Villarreal Montreal Academy were the next academy to land on Spanish soil this year as they brought two teams for the Team Playing Experience. Not only that, but they got to meet some of their heroes from the Villarreal CF first team like Aïssa Mandi, Francis Coquelin and Arnaut Danjuma!

Villarreal Puerto Rico Academy had two visits this year for Player Training Weeks in January and May. Extraordinary opportunities for three players who were selected from the ID Camp held in Puerto Rico back in 2019.

Camps have also been a feature of events in North America this year. Two of the Villarreal Academy coaches, Vicky Yarnold and Vicente Benlloch, ran the Elite Player Camp at the SPIRE Academy in Geneva, OH. The fantastic camp saw two special soccer players selected for the Player Training Week in Spain for this season.

To finish the calendar year, as mentioned previously, Villarreal Academy will host the Villarreal Academy North America Select Team ID Camp with invited players from all of the Yellows’ North American partner academies. The camp, hosted in Las Vegas over three days, from December 27th to 29th will see all invited participants train under the supervision of Villarreal Academy coaches and teams will be chosen for U13 and U19 boys and girls. What’s more, one lucky and talented player will earn a full one-year scholarship at Villarreal CF in Spain!

Throughout the year Villarreal Academy technical coordinator David Navarro and coach Carlos Ortiz attended tryouts at all US partner academies, analyzing the talent on show and choosing players to attend the Player Training Week at Villarreal CF.


Villarreal Academy saw their connections within Europe grow even stronger this past calendar year.

Camps have been a strong pull with two summer camps held this year in Latvia and Ireland. The Villarreal Rigas Summer Camp was attended by Villarreal Academy coaches Ismael Ortuño, Rafa Borillo and Alejandro Rodríguez and the Villarreal CF & Cobh Ramblers FC Summer Camp in Cork was ran by coaches Rafa Borillo and Héctor Monfort. Players were selected by the coaches for the Player Training Week from both camps.

There was also a special visit from coaches from the Slovenian Football Federation. 12 coaches visited for the Coach Development Program where they learned the methodology and skills of a Villarreal CF coach and to look at developing and progressing Slovenian footballing at all levels.

South America

Villarreal Uruguay held camps at the start of 2022 in Montevideo and Punta del Este and a two-day coach education course was held in between with Villarreal Academy coaches Nano Márquez and Ismael Ortuño. Four players, two from each camp, were chosen for the Player Training Week and campe to Spain in October. In February 2023 the Yellows will be heading back to Montevideo to hold a camp and a week-long coach education course.


Expansion has continued throughout Asia and new connections have been made in the Middle East. A new partner academy and affiliate academy have been formed this year in Villarreal Malaysia Academy and La Academia de Futbol Kuwait, respectively.

CEO Massimo Giannelli and managing director Jonathan Abishegam were key figures for Villarreal Malaysia in getting the partnership over the line this year and the academy situated in Kuala Lumpur has taken Malaysia by storm. The passing of Massimo Giannelli earlier this year deeply affected the academy and everyone involved with the founding of Villarreal Malaysia. May the partnership between Villarreal CF and Villarreal Malaysia Academy continue for many years to come in honor of Massimo’s memory. RIP Massimo.

La Academia de Futbol Kuwait, a new affiliate club, was the next in line to reap the rewards of partnering with Villarreal CF. The affiliation which officially began in July of this past year, has already been active with Villarreal Academy coach Alex Antonelli travelling on an extended stay to support the club as its technical director.

Villarreal Israel Academy not only made the trip to Spain on three separate occasions but hosted an ID camp in Israel under the supervision of technical coordinator David Navarro and coach Ismael Ortuño. Two players travelled to Villarreal for two separate Player Training Week experiences and two coaches also attended Villarreal CF for the Coach Development Program.

Villarreal Academy collaborated with Villarreal 11 (Endeka Sports) to host the Villarreal CF Football Camp Thailand with Villarreal Academy coach Héctor Monfort. Here the players got to showcase their talent over a week-long camp and experience the Villarreal CF methodology first hand from fantastic coaches.


Villarreal Academy family was busy down under as Villarreal Sydney Academy and Villarreal Melbourne Academy had great years, continuing to fly the Yellow Submarine flag proudly in Australia.

Villarreal Sydney visited Villarreal CF in January of this year with three players for the Player Training Week. With the coaches very impressed, an ID camp was organised in April for Villarreal Sydney and Canberra with coach Nano Márquez. As the cherry on top of the cake, two Villarreal Sydney teams came to Spain for the Team Playing Experience in October. A lot of work has been done with Sydney and it has really paid off for the academy’s development and their progression.

Villarreal Melbourne also made the big trip to Spain this year bringing eight players for the Player Training Week. An unforgettable experience for players of all ages.

Villarreal Academy loves to welcome its international partners to Spain all through the year and as every year passes it is great to see the development of not only the players on the pitch but the standards in coaching and the growth of the academies in their local communities. Be it for the Player Training Week, Team Playing Experience or Coach Development Programs, it is always a great time when the Yellows’ partner and affiliate academies visit the infamous Villarreal CF. Bring on more new collaborations and continued connections in 2023!