VAFC MIDSEASON REPORT - October 7, 2019
As the club prepares for its first tournament, the Columbus Day event in Virginia Beach, players and teams have shown great improvements this fall and look to compete at a high level this weekend.
I'd like to thank the parents who have showed great patience and support as the club has worked through challenges with communications, practice facilities and times, playing away games in season 1 along with managing the competitive balance with teams playing at different levels. With that said, we are working to get all of our members on the VAFC Team App to streamline communications in a timely manner and are planning ahead with practice and game facilities as well as positioning our teams for league and tournament play for future seasons.
A special thanks goes out to Genelda Burke that has taken on our head manager position to provide oversight and direction for all our teams, has implemented our club communications system (Team App) as well as providing support for our directors and coaches. In addition, Kristen Glauner has taken the lead for our Soccer Supporters Group board of advisers to provide fundraising toward financial aid for players and facility development to enhance our current and future training and game sites. There have been many people that have helped the club get on its feet in a short period of time and we appreciate all the work by our team managers, coaches and director staff that is committed to creating the best environment for our players.
On the field each of our teams have played at least 3 matches and all have progressed along the way. Our U10/11 JR Academy team picked up its first win yesterday at Smithfield and is starting to figure it out. As our focus isn't as much about the results with our JR Academy team, it is great to see them improve individually with their technique, positioning and competitive mindset and with the experience of getting a win will definitely motivate them to continue to work hard. The U12 Pre Academy, playing in the EDP Regional League, is off to an undefeated start with 2 wins and 2 ties with games in Maryland and Delaware over the first few weeks. Although we have 3 away trips playing 2 games on each day - the level of competition has challenged this group and will accelerate their development. Our U13 Academy team is also off to an undefeated start with 2 wins and a tie in the Virginia Soccer League. Although the roster is low in numbers, the quality is high in this group and with support from club partner VB City and our U12 player pool the future is bright for the 2007 boys! With a tie against the Tidewater Sharks yesterday in Williamsburg our U15/16 College Prep team is moving in the right direction and will compete well in the 2nd half of the season. With key players out yesterday the team stepped up and fought through fatigue for the result and hopes to get all players healthy and available for the Beach FC event this weekend and the remainder of the VSL season. The U17/18 College Prep team has faced off against some of the top players and teams in the region. As a new team with a mix of 17's and 18's we have bitten off an extremely tough task matching up with top EDP teams but have shown improvement in the 3 games to date. Kudos to our players that have fought through these matches and are committed to getting better individually and collectively - as with that attitude and approach it will continue to improve. Looking forward to this weekends event for the U17/18's as the competition is much more balanced and we should compete very well.
Coming out of this weekends tournament we will continue to participate in league matches, friendlies and finish off the season in Richmond's Capital Fall Classic on November 23-24th weekend.
VAFC has also started a girls initiative called Foundations+ for females 12 and under. The goal of this program is train and to increase the number of participants in preparation to play indoor together this winter, in the IPL futsal league, and move in to the VSL outdoor league in the spring. Very excited about this group as the talent is high and we are committed to building a girls program. Thanks to our club partners VB City FC that has offered guest playing spots to our Foundations+ players to experience league play this fall.
The first round of player evaluations will begin to go out on 10/15. Coaches are working on one for each of our players to update you on their progress and to give you some areas of strength and some areas to improve.
Looking ahead to winter all teams will train once a week, starting in January, and have the option of playing in the IPL futsal league at PSC Yorktown. In addition, VAFC players will be invited to play in the FutsalETA Development Academy at a discounted club price to help develop our players for the spring club and high school seasons.
Although not without bumps in the road, we are excited about the start of VAFC and the future for our players, teams and club overall. Keep in mind that player development is a marathon and not a sprint as it is a long term process of struggle, adversity, failure, success and achievement and players will get out of it what they put in to it. Thank you for all of your efforts, keep working hard, trust the process and things will go well over time.
Yours in Soccer,