Mar 21, 2012

Chesterfield United Announce new Player Development Structure, club Academy Model

Richmond, VA – (Tuesday, March 20, 2012) – Chesterfield United is proud to announce the new player development structure and club Academy model. After significant amount of time studying the value of the European Academy club model and structure, Chesterfield United staff has worked hard to improve the club structure to enhance the player development opportunities to all of its players.

“Player development happens at training, not necessarily during games. Players touch the ball more often and are put through more repetitions during training then during a game. So, very simply, more training means more time on the ball, more repetitions, and therefore more development," commented Technical Director, Heather Pedersen.

Each program provided by Chesterfield United now will offer extra player development opportunities and incentives with greater emphasis on training, following U.S. Soccer guidelines continuing the clubs goal to provide the best training environment and cost for players in the city of Richmond and surrounding areas. Directors Matt Lacey and Pat McStay will be flying to England in April to work with Norwich City Football Club (EPL Team) to see this structure in action before it begins in August.

"I am very proud of the fact that we are able to restructure our travel program for the benefit of players without raising costs in a tough economic environment. It speaks volumes about the dedication our directors and coaches have for our club and the willingness of our directors to put in the work and time on the field to ensure that our players are getting better. We are the lowest cost club in the area that provides, without a doubt, the most value. We will continue to work for our members as we grow to ensure that the quality of the staff, teams, and players remains the same in the future." - Pat McStay, Director of Operations

Puma (Elite) teams will now be known as ASL (Atlantic Soccer League) Academy and ASL Jr Academy teams and will now begin to train 3 times a week on a new 9/10 month training schedule.

“The new structure for our ASL Jr Academy teams U10-U13 will allow our already very successful program to grow even further” commented Matt Lacey, Director of Player Development. “With these teams training 3 times a week, we will take this club to another level and create the perfect environment for our teams to play exciting soccer. This model sets us up to prepare these age groups to become successful once they reach the ASL at U14. It’s an exciting challenge I am sure the coach’s will be up for."

ASL Academy U15-U18 teams will still be able to play for their local high school teams unlike other clubs that are being mandated throughout the country.

“The ASL gives us the ability to play great competition at national recognized top events and this is what our players and teams are looking for and deserve. Not only are they receiving college exposure but our players can continue to play high school soccer with their respective schools. We recognize that to play proudly for your High School is an important aspect in a young players life and as a club we will happily support our players and our local community”  - Joe Farrell, ASL Director of Coaching

New Structure Below -

U14-U18 ASL Academy (ELITE BOYS/GIRLS) – ASL Academy teams will compete in the Atlantic Soccer League which provides highly competitive games and allows for maximum amount of training in between events. ASL Academy teams will enhance their development starting in the fall by practicing three times a week on a new 9/10 month season (High School teams U15-U18 will be able to play high school and train August – March). ASL Academy teams will train 2 times a week during the winter starting in January going through February at the state of art complex Sportsquest. Teams will now compete in 4 ASL events and the Ultimate Cup. In the 2011/2012 season of the ASL, Chesterfield United will be sending over 60% of its U18 Boys players to play in college.

U10-U13 ASL Jr Academy (ELITE BOYS/GIRLS) – ASL Jr Academy teams will enhance their development starting in the fall by practicing three times a week on a new 9/10 month season. The concept behind the ASL Jr Academy is that players and teams will be preparing themselves for the challenges of the Atlantic Soccer League which they will begin play at the age of U14s. The ASL Jr Academy teams will also play a fall and spring season in ADSL or VSL D1 league games. ASL Jr Academy teams will train 2 times a week during the winter starting in January going through February at the state of art complex Sportsquest. Selected teams will compete in nationally recognized events such as Norcross (GA), Jefferson Cup (VA), Ultimate Cup (VA), CASL (NC) as well as supporting local tournaments.

U10 – U18 United Teams (CLASSIC BOYS/GIRLS)- United teams will also enhance player and team development by training twice a week, and have an extra training session with the ASL Jr Academy/ ASL Academy teams periodically throughout the year. This will ensure that Directors and Coaches continue to monitor the development of every player in each age group. Specific dates for these extra training sessions will be released before the beginning of each season. Optional Winter training sessions will also still be a part of our United teams travel program and that schedule will be released half way through the Fall 2012 season. United teams will compete in ADSL or VSL league fixtures and play in 4 tournaments throughout the year.

U9 CDP Travel (Competitive Development Program)- The U9 CDP travel program is a ground breaking program for Chesterfield United as it will see the club modeling the US Soccer Development Guidelines. U9 teams will train together as a pool and then play 5v5 games on the weekend against other local clubs supporting these guidelines. They will also play in 1 tournament per season (1 fall/1 Spring) and compete in several development festival. U9 teams will train 2 times a week at Ironbridge and Sportsquest with a third free session on Friday evenings at UT2 Training. During the winter break U9 players will meet once a week as part of their fees during January and February.

U6/U8 UDP (United Development Program)-The U6/U8 UDP Program is an introductory program for Chesterfield United that is a step above recreational soccer. The teams will train two times a week and play small sided games (3v3 and 5v5). Coaches are licensed and it’s a great program to get your player into from the beginning!

Rec Soccer (U5-U19s) – Is the clubs introductory low cost soccer program. Coaches are provided with coaching education to help provide a fun and exciting experience for children of all levels.

"At the end of the day, we are a service based organization. Our job is to listen to our members and try to provide them with the utmost quality. I think we did listen. This model will give players the opportunity to train in a quality environment and play meaningful games without having to give up their lives outside of soccer. We have options for everyone and do not limit families to what they can and cannot do. We welcome cross training with other sports and embrace representing your school. It’s taken a lot of work, but the club is excited to move forward!" - Pat McStay, Director of Operations

Tryouts for U15s-U18s will be released on Friday, March 23. U9-U14 Tryouts will be released  March 30th.

If you have any questions please contact:

Heather Pedersen-Girls Director and Technical Director
Joe Farrell-ASL and Boys Director
Matt Lacey-Director of Player Developement
For more information on the Atlantic Soccer League, go to