Advanced players gather at Predators Soccer Camp

Players take shots on goal during the Predators Soccer Camp Wednesday in Milledgeville. /(Luke Hetrick, WGXA)

MILLEDGEVILLE, GA -- Close to 100 elite soccer players flocked to Milledgeville this week for the Predators Soccer Camp.

Held annually in Baldwin County, former Bulgarian Soccer star Velko Iotov teams up with camp founder Stepan Bardizbanian inviting top young talent from across the state to advance their skills on the soccer field.

The Predators Camp focuses on in-game decisions, problem solving, and tactical instructions coming straight from professional soccer coaches. The camp's success has continued to grow on a much larger level than just Baldwin County. Predators Camp has produced three professional players as well as six national team participants and three more players in the National Development Program.

"We've had players that have been to this camp and have made it to pros," Iotov said. "We still have actual players that play for the national teams right now that has been to Predator camp. Every single comment that we have from them is thank you so much for helping me be a different player."

As the camp's legacy continues to grow, so do the expectations. With professional coaches teaching athletes the game directly, it gives the players hope to one day achieve extreme highs. Bardizbanian says the work ethic must come first.

"It's not some kind of dream," Bardizbanian said. "I always say you have to first believe and then the hard work comes after the believing."

The camp continues in Milledgeville through Friday.

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