Rangers FC

Academy

Academy Program

The Academy Program serves as a bridge between the Recreational and Competitive programs of the Club.  The Academy is designed to support and assist the dedicated soccer player in increasing their technical soccer skills and abilities. Our goal is to provide the proper age appropriate developmental, technical, and tactical skills to young players (ages 6-8) in order for them to be successful as competitive players by the time they enter the U9 Competitive Academy age group. In order to perform at the highest level from the first time they train, the players will be organized for training and matches by their playing ability.The Rangers Academy Program will train two times weekly for 1.5 hours. Matches will occur once a week either on Friday evenings or Saturday mornings. Matches are planned to be functional and are either played among between the players or against area clubs with academy programs.

Who are the Mentor Coaches and what is the Mentor Program?

The Mentor Program consists of older players (U17 and older). These are players that are working as volunteers for the Academy. These Mentor coaches will come from our club, Steinbrenner High School and local area high Schools. The purpose of the Mentor Program is two-fold. First, the Mentor will be able to learn how to become a coach. Second, we will be able to foster a role model relationship for between our young players and Mentors. This will give our Academy players a model to aspire to. DOC Mike Connell will select the Mentor Coaches each season. IF you know of an older player that would like to Mentor in the Academy Program, please contact Mike Connell mike@fctamparangers.com.

Frequently Asked Questions:

What do you look for in an Academy player?

Academy players are selected based on their current technical and physical ability. However, what we really look for above all else, is the young player that has a real passion and motivation to play soccer.

How is the Academy is different from recreational or competitive soccer?

The Academy is meant to be the bridge from recreational soccer to competitive soccer. We provide professional training to young, motivated players. Many parents and players find that they want more from the training and matches than other recreational players and parents. So if your son/daughter is focused while others are not the Academy is the right setting for them.

Why not “play up” in competitive soccer?

Here are the advantages to the Academy rather than “playing up”. In this program, competitive training and coaching will be provided to your son/daughter. All Academy matches will be played at Rangers Park. There is no traveling involved, unless you participate in a tournament with a selected Academy Team. U8 Academy players will be given the opportunity (if they are ready), to guest play with our U9 teams. Finally, the Academy is more cost effective than “playing up”. Registration is lower and there are few, if any, travel costs and tournament costs for parents to worry about. If the staff recognizes that a player is ready to move up and play in U9, then we will work to promote the player to U9 (if the parents consents to it).

What is the time commitment involved with the Academy?

The Academy Staff is sensitive to the fact that these are young children. The training is 1.5 hours a week either on a Monday or Wednesday evening (usually 6-7:30 pm). Matches will be played on Friday evenings or Saturday mornings.

Will there be any travel for the Academy players?

All training and matches are played at Rangers Park or local area clubs. Travel is kept at a minimum. If we have an exceptional group of players, and the parents agree to it, we may enter a tournament that could require travel.

Will there be an Academy for boys and girls?

Yes, The boys and the girls will have separate training and matches.

How many players will be selected for the Academy Program?

The maximum number of players will be 24 boys and 24 girls. This keeps the coach to player ratio very low.

What is the length of the season for the Rangers U8 Academy?

Our Academy will begin training the first week in September, after Labor Day weekend. The season ends the weekend of the U9 USA Festival (usually the first weekend in March). After six weeks of training and evaluating the players, games will begin the 2nd weekend in October.

Will there be set teams in the Academy?

Each week, the Academy Director selects squads. The players will not have a set team to play on. Think of it as a pool of players that are assigned to squads weekly. This enables a competitive environment to foster. We can match the best players vs. the best players. The Academy Program is about player development. Teams, scores, statistics, etc. are all unimportant during this stage of a player’s development. The only time there will be a “team” is when one is selected from the Academy Program to represent the club in Festivals.

Who are the Mentor Coaches and what is the Mentor Program?

The Mentor Program consists of older players (U17 and older). These are players that are working as volunteers for the Academy. These Mentor coaches will come from our club, and area High Schools. The purpose of the Mentor Program is two-fold. First, the Mentor will be able to learn how to become a coach. Second, we will be able to foster a role model relationship for between our young players and Mentors. This will give our Academy players a model to aspire to. Coach Kristman will select the Mentor Coaches each season. IF you know of an older player that would like to Mentor in the Academy Program, please contact Coach Kristman.

What is the cost for the Academy Program?

The registration fee is $250 per player. This is slightly higher than recreational soccer due to the following reasons: The referee fees are higher than the recreational program, the players receive a training T-shirt, and uniform kit consisting of: two shirts, one short and one pair of socks. There are additional training sessions, matches, and tournaments that the Academy players have that the recreational players do not get. There are no additional training fees.

How do I get my son signed up for the Rangers Academy?

Contact Mike Connell at mike@fctamparangers.com. If you have already been accepted into the Academy, you can register. Contact the Academy Director if the registration fee is the only reason you would not consider this program. We don’t want to lose a player for this reason.

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