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Next Level Training
About Us

Trainers

Train with the Best

Next Level Training’s coaching staff represents some of the most knowledgable and technical soccer coaches in the state of Michigan. All of our trainers had successful playing careers, both in college and professionally, and have been hand-selected to join the NLT team for their technical skills, tactical knowledge, and coaching abilities.

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Aaron Byrd FOUNDER AND TRAINER Read Bio
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  • Back to back national finalist with Vardar 81 club team
  • 4 year starter and 3 year captain at the University of Detroit Mercy
  • Successful professional career with Windsor Border Stars and Waza Flo-Pro

Aaron Byrd

FOUNDER AND TRAINER
  • Back to back national finalist with Vardar 81 club team
  • 4 year starter and 3 year captain at the University of Detroit Mercy
  • Successful professional career with Windsor Border Stars and Waza Flo-Pro

Aaron’s distinguished and successful soccer career largely began as a player on the Vardar 81 club team. While serving as one of the captains of the squad, the team made back to back National Tournament appearances and finished second in the country for two years. Aaron continued his career collegiately at the Division 1 level, starting every game in his 4 years at the University of Detroit Mercy. Aaron was named team captain from his sophomore year forward, becoming the only 3 year captain in school history. Aaron currently ranks in the university’s all time top 10 in career goals, assists, points, and games played. Also while at UDM, Aaron was named to the All Newcomer Team, All Conference Teams and the CoSIDA Academic All District Team. Aaron simultaneously graduated with Magna cum Laude honors, achieving a bachelor’s degree in marketing. Following his Vardar and collegiate accomplishments, Aaron went on to play five years professionally for the Windsor Border Stars and five years with the Waza Flo Pro Indoor team before his career was disrupted by a serious knee injury.

While playing for Windsor he earned the 2004 Rookie of the Year Runner Up award for the League. In 2006 he won the Golden Boot as the league’s top goal scorer and was named League MVP Runner Up. In 2007 Aaron was presented with the WESPY award (Windsor’s version of the ESPY) for the Top Male Soccer Athlete. Aaron is the all time leader in Windsor Border Stars history in goals, points and assists. During his professional indoor career with Waza the team won one National Championship and made two additional National Final appearances. Aaron’s passion for translating his knowledge and skills to the individuals he trains has earned him and Byrd Academy/Next Level Training a stellar reputation for developing each and every player’s full potential as an individual, soccer player, athlete and competitor.

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Renato Susnja NLT Trainer Read Bio
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  • Highly decorated player in the Schoolcraft College team that finished 6th in the nation.
  • Only player in University of Detroit Mercy history to be named Team MVP, Offensive MVP, and Defensive MVP in the same season.
  • Back to back regional championships with Detroit United of the MPSL.

Renato Susnja

NLT Trainer
  • Highly decorated player in the Schoolcraft College team that finished 6th in the nation.
  • Only player in University of Detroit Mercy history to be named Team MVP, Offensive MVP, and Defensive MVP in the same season.
  • Back to back regional championships with Detroit United of the MPSL.

Renato was born in Bosnia and he and his family then moved to Germany, where he lived for five years. In 1999 he came to America to further his education and with a desire to participate in the sport he had excelled at while in Europe. As hoped, his soccer career, as well as his educational endeavors, flourished. His international experience paved the way to a full scholarship to Schoolcraft College. While at Schoolcraft his team finished sixth in the nation at the National Tournament and he received many All-Conference honors. In 2006, Renato transferred to Division 1 University of Detroit Mercy where he was elected team captain both years. In his first year he was named to the Horizon League All Newcomer Team and All Conference team. He also earned the Offensive Player of the Year award. Due to his versatility as a player, Renato was both a midfielder and a defender.

In his second year at UDM he again was named to the All-Conference Team, and this time his talents and ability were truly highlighted as he was honored as Team MVP, Offensive MVP, and Defensive MVP. Renato was the first player in the school’s history to receive all three honors in the same year. Renato graduated with a degree in communications and earned his Master’s Degree in Business Turnaround Management. After college Renato joined the Detroit United team and played an integral role in their back to back Regional Championships. His playing career was cut short after he suffered his second knee injury. Now, Renato has turned his focus to sharing his passion and expert technical and strategic knowledge of the game to help others excel in the sport of soccer.

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Scotty Wright NLT Trainer Read Bio
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  • Back to back national finalist with Vardar 81 club team.
  • 2 year starter for the University of Detroit Mercy Titans.
  • Successful professional career with clubs including Detroit Arsenal, Windsor Border Stars, and Waza Flo Pro.

Scotty Wright

NLT Trainer
  • Back to back national finalist with Vardar 81 club team.
  • 2 year starter for the University of Detroit Mercy Titans.
  • Successful professional career with clubs including Detroit Arsenal, Windsor Border Stars, and Waza Flo Pro.

Scotty grew up in Canton and played for the Canton Soccer Club. At 15 he joined the Vardar 81 team with Aaron where they won back to back Regional Championships and finished second in the nation two years running. For years, Scotty was selected for the state Olympic Development Program (ODP). In his senior year of high school, Scotty tallied 29 goals and 10 assists. His overall exceptional performance led to him finishing fourth in voting for the highly touted Mr. Soccer award. In 2000-2002, he and Aaron were reunited at the University of Detroit Mercy. Scotty started every game during his two year career at the University, where he was an integral memberof the Titans’ squad. After leaving UDM, Scotty played for the Detroit Arsenal, one of the top amateur teams in the country.

After his time with the Arsenal he played professionally with the Windsor Border Stars where, depending on need, he started either in midfield or in defense. He currently plays professionally for the Waza Flo Pro indoor soccer team. Scotty’s success is grounded in hard work and discipline blended with a genuine love for the game. Those qualities shine through in his effective training style as he devotes himself to helping others succeed.

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Dylan Dorley NLT Trainer Read Bio
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Dylan Dorley

NLT Trainer

Dylan is one of the most technically crafty players this state has ever seen. His feet are super quick and confident with the ball, yet he’s as humble as they come about it. He’s extremely confident in one on one situations and can easily change a game with his attacking style. Dylan grew up in the Chesterfield area where he played club soccer for Waza FC and was an Olympic Development Program (ODP) player.

A knee injury halted his youth career for a bit for rehab and as he returned he went on to play soccer at Defiance College where he had 13 points as a freshman, started all 19 games, and led the team to their best record in the school’s history.

After college he couldn’t stop playing the game he was super passionate about. He continued on for 3 years as a part of the famous Detroit City Football Club (DCFC) where he got to show off his incredible skill and love for the game. Dylan is currently a member of one of the top amateur teams in the country, Carpathia FC, where he is able to continue playing the game he loves at the level he enjoys competing. You won’t find a smoother or quicker set of feet on any dribbler out there.

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Connor Ballantyne NLT Trainer Read Bio
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Connor Ballantyne

NLT Trainer

Connor is a hard working and crafty player who is extremely knowledgeable about the finer technical and tactical aspects of the game. Connor grew up in Rochester, Michigan. He began his playing career with Vardar Soccer Club and was a participant in the Olympic Development Program at the state, regional, and national pool levels.

At the collegiate level Connor played for the University of Dayton, where he helped the Flyers to win the Atlantic Ten Championship. He then transferred to Oakland University where he was a two year starter and crucial part of the Golden Grizzlies squad for his two seasons before his career was cut short by injury.

After graduating from Oakland, Connor continued to play with some of the best amateur teams in the area including Oakland County FC, and Force FC mens teams. Presently, Connor is focused on helping the next generation of young players cultivate the work ethic, tactical knowledge and technical ability they will need to excel at the game he loves.

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Belal Khoulani NLT Trainer Read Bio
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Belal Khoulani

NLT Trainer

Belal Khoulani grew up in Flint playing with FOB soccer. At age 12 Belal joined Vardar and, through them, was introduced to Next Level Training and fell in love with the program. While playing for Vardar his team won three State Cups, had back-to-back regional championships, and finished third in the nation.

In 2016 Belal began playing for Schoolcraft College, where he was made team captain. In his two years as captain, Belal led his team to the national championship game, where they unfortunately saw their only loss of the season (18-1), but did end up the number two team in the country. In 2018 Belal transferred to The University of Wisconsin, Green Bay, where he played starting RB his second year, and that team finished fourth in the conference.

After university Belal continued to play with teams such as Oakland County FC and the Flint City Bucks. Belal has trained with NLT throughout his career and believes he would not have had the success he has without it.

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Ablaye Camara NLT Trainer Read Bio
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Ablaye Camara

NLT Trainer
As a family we can’t say enough about Next Level Training. The experience that we have with each of the trainers is amazing. We witnessed Aaron and his team of trainers take our late-to-the-game 12 year old and, over a period of 5 years, provide her with a level of training that developed her technical skills, soccer acumen, and confidence to be competitive as a Division I collegiate soccer player. The environment they provide elite players in high school, collegiate and professional training sessions can not be matched. What is even more impressive is the personal mentoring and encouragement they provide along the way.
Pejman A, NLT Parent
My oldest daughter, a 2024 Vanderbilt soccer commit, has attended NLT for several years. My only regret is not starting her in the program sooner. Without a doubt, Next Level Training is the premier supplemental training program for aspiring soccer players in the Midwest. I didn’t know what level my kids would achieve in their soccer careers when we started at NLT but what’s most important to me Is that they look forward to it. When I drop my kids off at NLT, they sprint out of the car with smiles on their faces and when I pick them up, they may look a little tired, but they still have that same smile.
Katie F, NLT Parent
Just wanted to send a big thank you to everyone at Next Level... My son, Joshua, did not make the school team last year. He started training with you right after he was cut. The same coach that cut him last year told him he saw a “big improvement” this time around, and he made the team! You guys made the difference!!! Thanks again.
Heather F, NLT Parent
I wanted to take this opportunity to thank Next-Level for the work they have done with Aarav. I have seen his skills develop from the first time he was introduced to Next Level last summer, when he was playing for a B-team of an average club to now, when he is playing for an A-team of a very competitive club. Doing the camps and the regular technical training throughout the year has been key to bringing him where he is today. Continuing with Next Level for me is a no- brainer and truly well worth the money.
Rajiv A, NLT Parent
Class act all the way around: Energetic, professional, motivating, and challenging. Next Level Training kept the group focused and on task working hard with 100% effort the entire session. Every player in attendance enjoyed the training and the atmosphere NLT provided. The only question afterwards was “when do we get to train with Aaron again”. Best technical training I have seen, well done!!!
Chad S, NLT Parent

NLT is first class. If you are looking for excellent skills/technical training for your child at a high level, this is the place to be. We can’t thank the coaches enough for their dedication toward building confidence in our eager player. As long as our daughter continues to love the game, we will continue to work under the direction of Next Level Training.

Jenn W, NLT Parent