Sporting Omaha FC is proud to recognize our own Johnny Hansen, former Sporting Omaha FC player who has spent the better part of the last four years in the Sporting Kansas City Development Academy. Johnny just finished his career in the DA with Sporting KC and will enroll at Gonzaga University for the Spring 2019 semester and begin his college playing career next Fall. Johnny was gracious enough to share some thoughts with us recently and we hope that our current players pick up some valuable advice from his experiences.
“I think I was about 10 or 11 when I knew I wanted to play soccer at a high level. I had an older sister that was playing college soccer at the time and that’s where my motivation came to play soccer in college. It wasn’t until I was in 7th grade when I went down to KC for the Sporting KC Affiliate weekend when I decided it was my goal to play in the Development Academy.
“I think one of the most important lessons I've learned while being in the Academy is to stay focused, always work hard and go the extra distance on and off the field. Whether that's making sure you’re always engaged and getting the proper repetition in training or making sure that you are helping out at the facility before or after training ( filling the fridge, cleaning the locker-room, putting away equipment, etc.). The coaching staff have very high expectations for their players and they expect everyone to give it their all on and off the field.”
“My experience at the academy prepared me for the collegiate level in a lot of ways. It gave me the opportunity to train every day at a very high level, where I was challenged going up against teammates that were also pursuing playing soccer at a high collegiate level. With training everyday and traveling for games on the weekends I developed good habits with balancing both school and soccer.”
“One of the challenges I faced was having to move away from home, leaving my family and friends in Lincoln. I didn’t have a typical high school experience and didn’t have a lot of free time to hang out with my friends and family.”
“Looking back at my time with the Academy and where I am now, I would do it all over again. It was a great experience that allowed me to challenge myself mentally and physically. It tremendously helped me in finding college opportunities and opened doors in finding the best college that fit me.
“One piece of advice that I think all younger players with the same ambitions that I have would be to never lose sight of what your goals are. With this, they should know that with something this special comes with an extreme amount of work. Nothing happens overnight, it takes years of perfecting your craft. But if you’re dedicated enough, you can surely make it happen.”
“I am extremely thankful for Sporting OFC and all that the club has done for me leading up to my transition to the Academy!”