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Academy FAQ

Q: What is the U8/U9 Player Development Academy?

A: The PDA is a skilled based competitive program designed to provide 8 and 9 year olds with the strong skill base needed to become good soccer players. Coaches focus more on individual foot skills and less on game play.

Q: What are the age requirements for the academy?

A: Any player born between January 1, 2013 and December 31, 2015 are eligible to participate during the 2021/2022 season.

Q: How many days per week are player expected to commit to?

A: The PDA is the first level of our Competitive program. The teams train twice per week, and usually play two games on the weekend. Teams may also play in one or two local tournaments during the year.

Q: I have been coaching my player since U4. May I continue to coach my player?

A: The PDA coaches are hired by the club, but we do take on volunteer assistants each season. This allows us to groom future Competitive coaches to take over the teams when they move to U10.

Q: What is the difference between Competitive and Recreational Soccer?

A: Competitive teams participate in the Connecticut Junior Soccer Association Central/North Central District Soccer League. The teams receive a more advanced level of coaching, and the expectations are higher. Teams are comprised of more skilled, more motivated players, and as such games are much more intense.

Q: Do players have to tryout for the program?

A: No. The PDA is open to all members of the club. Tryouts begin when players move to the U10 age group.

Q: My player has other activities other than soccer. Will he/she be expected to give up what they are doing to focus on soccer?

A: No. We understand that kids have other interests, and fully expect to have to help families balance out schedules. However, practices are usually scheduled to meet a coach’s calendar, not the players.

Q: How do I register for the Academy, and when do practices start?

A: Registration will open on the ESC website in July and close in early August.  Practices will start in early August.
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