MARK OLIPHANT – Nürnberg, Germany


Nürnberg, Germany- Fall 2011


CLUB: FC Nürnberg


Mark Oliphant during a training session with Bundesliga club FC Nürnberg


To be honest, I was a bit hesitant about the opportunity to make a trip to Germany with the IFX program. I was not sure if it would be worth the risk of cleaning out my wallet for a German adventure. I finally just went for it and was headed to Nuremberg, Germany. As soon as I landed I knew that this would be an adventure I would never forget. I am proud to say that I quickly stepped into the role of the touristy person with eyes wide open and camera ready for anything. However, pictures could not do any justice for the awesomeness of the architecture, the landscape, and the weather that surround me during my stay. Every time I was able to roam the city I found a new piece of culture that topped the experience from the day before. Also the food was more than fantastic. Everything I tasted seemed to overwhelm my taste buds with pleasure. I am the type of person to try almost anything and am pretty sure I did not leave without a clean plate. The German culture, landscape, and food certainly captured my affection and will be visited again in my future for sure.


But beyond all of my tourist activities, I did not miss out on the sole reason I came to Germany which was to play soccer. Although there was a language barrier that was ever present on and off the pitch, it was interesting and actually pretty fun to try and work my way around it. However, being engulfed in a language I have never been exposed to, there was a universal language that we were all able to communicate perfectly with and that was the language of soccer. Soccer is a commonality between every player from all over the world. I met players from Switzerland, Thailand, Haiti, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, and some other American players as well, but no matter where we were from or what language we know best, soccer was the universal language! It was such an indescribable experience to walk onto a field not knowing what conversation is about but still knowing how to communicate when there was a soccer ball around.


One of the most interesting aspects of this program was being able to train with multiple teams with different styles of training and to see how the game of soccer is the same yet totally different. This opportunity was one of the most amazing things I could ever experience. It is difficult to put the experience into words, but I can say that my love for the game for the soccer has grown insurmountably! All in all this experience has exceeded my expectations and was definitely worth it!.


Mark Oliphant FC Nürnberg


PATRICK TEAGUE – Leuven, Belgium


Leuven, Belgium- Spring 2007


CLUB: Oud Heverlee Leuven


Patrick Teague trained with 2nd division Belgian club
Oud-Heverlee Leuven in Spring of 2007.


During the month of January I lived in The City of Leuven and played football for Oud-Heverlee Leuven (OHL) of the Belgian 2nd Division. I enjoyed a memorable cultural and football experience. OHL feature a very professional setup, which is highlighted by one of Belgium’s top youth systems. Culturally, Leuven, which resides in the Flemish speaking region of Belgium, offers centuries of tradition and history. (suite…)

BRANDIN McCLAY- Weiden, Germany


Weiden, Germany- Spring 2008


CLUB: SpVgg Weiden


Brandin McClay, above, signing his first professional contract with SpVgg Weiden of the German Oberliga after his participation in the PRO IFX.    


My soccer experience in Germany was life changing. Training with various clubs and leagues helped me develop as a player. Some of the clubs I went to included SpVgg Bayreuth, SV Weidenberg, SGV Friesen, and SpVgg Weiden. It was a very unique journey for me. The language barrier was difficult but sometimes soccer has its own language…a language I believe I was able to master.