We are coming to the end of the third year of the Germantown Legends and we have a lot to be thankful for. 2013- 2014 has been a good year and we have seen a lot of good things happen as our club continues to grow. When I look back at where we started, I am amazed at how far we have come in such a short time. The Germantown Legends is now the second biggest club in the Greater Memphis Area. Not bad for only being three years old. As the club director, I want to thank you all for making the Germantown Legends a success. It takes great kids and great parents as well as the staff working together to provide the best for our kids. Your participation has made a difference.
As a comprehensive soccer program we have programs for just about everybody. Our HappyFeet program for kids two and a half to five had over three hundred future little soccer players having a great time and learning how to dribble and score some fantastic goals. If you haven’t stopped to watch, you really should, it’s a ball. We go from 9:00 AM to 12:00 PM with a new group every hour, and you will see it all but the biggest thing you will see is the future of this club. HappyFeet also offers a school program that currently teaches another one hundred and fifty kids a week at fifteen local schools and day cares with that number soon to increase in the fall as Director Brett Borm has done a fantastic job of increasing HappyFeet’s visibility around Shelby County.
Our recreation program which covers young players from U-6 to U-19 provided over 800 kids a chance to play on the best fields around. There is no other club that offers age specific fields for U-6, U-8, and U-10. The atmosphere at Cloyes Fields is electric on Saturday mornings with all our U-6 and U-8 Future Legends putting everything they have into the games.
Our newer programs for the recreation players have proved popular and successful. Friday nights is Skills Club for those players who are looking to get more touches and raise their standards. We have been very pleased with the number of kids who have attended. This spring we introduced our first Advanced Recreation teams (Academy) for our U-8 players who got licensed coaches for training and played in the U-10 recreation league. It was exciting to see how fast some of these young players developed and it will be even more exciting to see them as they continue to improve and move on to the next level.
Our competitive teams all in all had a good year. Over the course of the two seasons we saw a lot of improvement and better results. Our coaching staff is second to none in the Memphis area. The majority of our coaches have achieved their USSF National D Coaching License and put into practice what they have learned. Our philosophy has not changed; our emphasis is on the development of the individual player within the context of team play. There are times when the results have not been good but our coaches and players have not looked to take the short cut to get results. No matter the circumstances we still ask our players to be aggressive with the ball, make soccer decisions to get out of problems. Just booting the ball is never a good solution. Because of that sometimes we suffer but in the long run our players will benefit.
More good news in that the Legends have signed a long term contract with Nike which is going to provide our players and coaches with top flight uniforms and equipment. Memphis Orthopedic Group signed on as first corporate sponsor and provides excellent service for all sports and work related injuries. We hope in the coming months to greatly increase our corporate sponsorships so that we can continue to grow. Fees for the club are rising slightly for the coming year due to the increase in fees to participate in Memphis Shelby Soccer Federation (MSSF) at Mike Rose.
Our TOPSoccerprogram meets every Wednesday night at Cloyes field and it has been outstanding as we bring soccer to everybody regardless of their circumstances. Our staff and high school players who volunteer their time will tell you it is one of the best things the Legends do. We have started slow but our numbers are growing.
There are some big and exciting changes coming to the Legends starting May 19th when tryouts begin for the 2014- 2015 playing seasons. Carey Talley will be joining our staff as the Director of Coaching for the Legends competitive teams. If you have seen our website you will see that Carey brings an impressive set of credentials to the Legends. As the former captain of the US U-17 and 20 National Teams as well a long career in Major League Soccer, Carey knows what it takes for our young players to have an impact on the game. Carey will be in charge of player and coaching development. Carey recently received the United States Soccer Federation “A” license and will be sharing that experience and knowledge with our coaches.
Our recreation program will also be going through some good changes as our Future Legends will now have licensed coaching instructors who will be working with the volunteer coaches to provide the best learning environment and experience for our U-6 to U-10 players. The Legends are the only club that is devoting full time instructors to a purely recreation league. There will be a slight increase in fees to cover the cost of staff coaching instructors, referee fee increases and registration with the state.
I would encourage all our families to get registered now for the fall league. In the past we have kept the registration open past the deadline in order to not deny any child the chance to play but the result has caused problems in roster formation and scheduling. In order to provide the best environment for your child we will be stopping registration August 1. After that date players will be placed on a waiting list to fill out open slots on rosters. Register early and enjoy the summer without worrying about deadlines.
For our competitive players tryouts start for the U-8 to U-12 on May 19th. Please register online so that we can anticipate tryout needs. There are a number of clubs in Memphis, but I believe you will not find a better Director of Coaching, experienced coaching staff, best facilities or commitment to the development of your child. Some say the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence, and I say our grass is always getting greener.
Take a look at how far we have come in three years and I can tell you it is only going to get better. Thanks for being a part of the Germantown Legends family, and lets all work together to make 2014- 2015 a great year.
Yours in Soccer,
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