By Staff Report
Gloucester Daily Times
---- — The Manchester Soccer Club has been long been one of the most popular youth sports programs in the area, with more than 450 kids between the ages of 5-18 participating in the sport. The club has made investments over the past few years to make major upgrades in its program, and this upcoming fall season it will take things to a whole new level.
For starters, the name of the club is changing to Manchester-Essex Youth Soccer (MEYS). This simply reflects the reality of how the program has developed over the past decade, as the Essex community has long represented a significant element of the club.
“It is clear to me that Manchester and Essex are one community in terms of the educational systems and athletic programs” said Greg Blagden, former Manchester Soccer Club President. “We are celebrating this reality, and recognizing the tremendous contributions of the kids, parents, coaches, and our board members from Essex that have helped make our program the success that it is.”
The transition to the new name Manchester-Essex Youth Soccer will take effect in the spring.
M-E Youth soccer has made a huge push over the past few years to upgrade the developmental aspects of its program. Its relationship with Mass Premier Soccer (MPS) continues to expand, which fully integrates one of the country’s best professional soccer coaching organizations into all of its efforts.
Manchester Essex Youth Soccer also brought in some tremendous outside professional resources, including fitness/conditioning experts like Nan Gorton and Kevin Bovell to supplement their technical training with a broader curriculum of fitness and injury prevention that benefits all of the kids, regardless of their soccer abilities.
Lastly, it is bringing back some world renowned soccer professionals like Mustapha Achab (twice voted top professional goalkeeper in Africa), and Brazilian soccer professionals and master skills coaches Fabio Oliveira and Geraldo DeBastos to run a number of clinics throughout the season.
But if you talk to the folks running the club, or the parents that love the program, perhaps the best thing they’ve done is to firmly identify some core principles, which the parents and kids feel really great about, and stand out in today’s super-competitive sports marketplace.
“I know everyone has these great warm and fuzzy mission statements and philosophies,” says Phil Carter, current President of the Club. “But we’ve really worked hard to concretely define these principles, and they are directly reflected in every element of our programs.”
“It all starts with fun – we want each and every kid who wants to play to be able to play, in a fun and safe environment. There is no room in our program for politics. Each and every child is given every opportunity to develop to the best of their individual abilities, which is true for the best of our club soccer players through the most developing recreational kids. And MEYS will fully accommodate outside interests – after all, it’s all about the kids, and our flexible practice schedules and supportive attitude reflect this philosophy.”
“We’ve worked very hard to build the best developmental training platform of any recreational program in the area. It starts with the fun-based weekly Academy that Mass Premier runs for our 5-9 age groups in both the Fall and Spring, and progresses through the vigorous practice sessions and conditioning initiatives that have driven our incredible success at the U12-U16 levels. Our top teams for the first time are successfully competing with all of the biggest towns in our region, and we’ve even got some squads that are competitive at the statewide championship level. It all starts with coaching though, and our coaches are held to the highest standards of ethical behavior.”
For more information, or to register your child, please go to www.manchestersoccerclub.net , for information about our academy program please go to www.manchestersocceracademy.com