Academy (7v7 & 9v9) - Barry Davey -
The FC Europa Academy is comprised of U8 - U12 players - "U" meaning "under" this age as of January 1st. U8, U9 and U10 players will play 7 v 7 while U11 and U12 play 9 v 9. Players and parents in this phase are frequently new to the competitive soccer landscape and, as a result, can have a higher volume of needs than the Junior and Showcase Divisions, necessitating separate directors for each gender.
The FC Europa Academy lays the foundation for our youngest players to develop their technical skills, gain confidence in game time principles and tactics, and nurture a lifelong love of the game. With smaller roster sizes and game formats, players in these age groups are provided with lots of touches on the ball and opportunities to experiment and learn from mistakes. Our coaches in this age group are committed to long term player development rather than a "win at any cost" philosophy.
We believe that regular professional training over an extended period of time offers the best opportunity for player development. Therefore, Academy teams at all levels are provided with a year-round program, which generally includes the following:
- Summer: Training 1x week; August team camp (90-120 minute training sessions for 3-4 consecutive days); 1-2 tournaments (2006 players generally only participate in one August weekend tournament)
- Fall: Training 2x week; League play on Saturdays and/or Sundays; 1-2 weekend tournaments.
- Winter: Training 1x week (with some shutdown during December); Indoor league; Indoor State Cup
- Spring: Training 2x week; League play; Outdoor State Cup; 1-2 tournaments
To the extent possible, league and tournament selections will be made to minimize long-distance travel for Academy players. However, we do not control which clubs will be placed in our division for league play (although typically away games are no more than an hour's drive), and sometimes finding an appropriate level of competition for tournaments requires travel outside the Philadelphia region.
For teams in the Academy Division, the goal is for each player to play a minimum of 50% of the total game time over the year, not including any indoor winter leagues. Coaches will aim to provide a fair amount of playing time for all players, based on what they have earned, taking into account player attitude, skills, commitment, compatibility and fitness.
We encourage players in the Academy Division to play other sports and be involved with other activities. When scheduling conflicts arise, players often alternate one sport over another (i.e., miss soccer practice in week 1 to attend another sport practice, and switch in week 2). Nonetheless, players are expected to attend important soccer events, such as state cup games and tournaments. As is the case with all activities, the more one puts into it, the more he or she gets out of it. Communication with the coach and teams managers are key to avoid misunderstandings.