June 19, 2020
Player Insider: Phillie Villapudua
My soccer journey started at 4 years old when I started playing recreational soccer. I joined my first club team at seven years old. I continued to play for a couple different local club teams until I joined Barça Residency Academy. I went to a Grande Sports Academy camp in 2017 just before they became Barça Academy. I always wanted to play for an Academy team, so the following year when I was old enough, and was given the opportunity to be a part of the Barça Academy U15’s. I was more than excited to join and be a part of the program. Another interesting thing that led me to coming to Barça is that, I have many good memories at the Grande fields from when I was younger, such as watching MLS teams’ preseason trainings and also playing in different events there for many years before I got to Barça. I also have always been a big Barça fan so being a part of the Barça Residency Academy program here in the U.S. is extra special for me. I plan on making some more good memories here with Barça and maybe someday in the future as a pro player myself.
As a Barça Residency Academy commuter, my day is a little bit different. I attend Hamilton High School in Chandler. School starts at 7:25 and ends at 2:15. Sometimes I stay after school to get some help if I need it but usually, I get home around 3pm. Soon after getting home I quickly eat and do as much homework, and studying as possible before we have to commute to Casa Grande, it’s about an hour drive. We usually leave at about 4:30 for training. Once I get to Casa Grande, we start training and we train until 8pm. We then return home, we usually get home around 9pm, eat dinner and finish any homework that I may have not finished before leaving to train. From the very beginning I knew that it would be a sacrifice and it wasn’t going to be easy but I also knew this was the best place for me to develop as a player. I was going to do whatever it took to make it happen.
Since joining Barça a few years ago I feel like I have developed as an overall player, and have gained a lot of experience. I have now been with the program for the last 2 years and soon will be starting my 3rd season here at Barça Residency Academy. I’m really looking forward and excited for the new season to start. I can’t wait get back to training with my teammates and playing games especially after the very long unexpected break.
My goal at Barça is to continue improving and developing. Whether that be at trainings, games, or weight sessions. My goal this upcoming season at Barça is to work for the opportunity to go to “La Masia” in Barcelona, Spain. My ultimate goal is to play at the professional level and to get there I’ll continue working very hard.