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Manchester Soccer Association

Academy FAQ

***U10 Academy is taking a break due high numbers in Travel U10 & 11 teams this season
See you next year!***


Q.  Is this a Rec Program?

A.  No, the Academy is part of our travel program, but is being developed and run by our current VP of Rec, Kristi Dalton as well as Coach Drew Daniels. AND, if all goes as planned…guest coaches and High School players.  It is under the rec umbrella for logistical reasons ONLY!

Q.  What do you mean by travel training and experience the RIGHT WAY!?

A.  Those of us that have been around Manchester Soccer for the long haul have noticed that we are at a huge disadvantage to other clubs when it comes to technical skills, especially at the U12 and higher levels.  Dribbling, passing, trapping.  Spatial awareness.  Passing the ball backward as often as forward.  Using the goalie as an integral player.  Using the entire field.  Eliminating the herd mentality.  If, for example, a MSA player reaches the U15 level and still can’t properly perform a throw-in, it is probably NOT that player’s fault.  It means that our training has failed that player. 

While we have had great success integrating tech training with Travis Baker into the travel program, we are sorely lacking in these fundamentals skills when our players initially reach the U10 level.  This ultimately leads to player frustration as other clubs run circles around us, and frustrated players tend to look to other clubs…which then leaves us without enough players to create viable, competitive teams at U12 and U14.  The Academy hopes to fill this hole in our training.

Q.  Who cares about being competitive and winning?  Soccer is supposed to be all about fun!!!

A.  What we are also finding is that those players who join the travel program primarily for the social experience tend to become major distractions for our coaches and other teammates.  This, once again, leads to those players who actually want to learn and excel becoming frustrated, leaving our club…and then not reappearing until high school.  Drawing from such a small pool, we cannot afford to lose those players who exhibit the respect, hustle, motivation and coachability that MSA seeks to retain.

You will notice I did NOT mention skill level.  Skill comes naturally when players are respectful, motivated and coachable. The Academy will help us identify and move forward those players who exhibit these qualities, which will lead to more learning, and THAT will lead to more fun…which after all is the only reason to play anything (in my opinion). 

Q.  I’ve never heard of this before, and I’m terrified of change!!!

A.  Many other clubs have switched to the academy approach with great success.  Here is an article describing their experience:  CLICK HERE

Q.  Does this mean there will never be a U10 team?

A.  No, each season we will evaluate our players and make a determination as to the suitability of a team.  This includes the Spring, 2018 season.

Q.  What are the age limits?

A.  The Academy will be for those players age 8, 9, 10 and 11 who are too old for our rec program, have not yet played travel, or those recommended by our coaches.

Q.  What is the fee for the Academy?

A.  The current fee has been set at $65.  

Q.  When are the games?

A.  Saturday mornings, 9:00am location TBA


Hope this answers most of your questions.  We’re really excited about this program, and can’t wait to see the results amplified as your player moves through the Manchester Travel program.  Have more questions?  Please contact us at [email protected]


Play Big Manchester!

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