On Thursday evening, May 17, members of the Women’s Premier Soccer League (WPSL) Elite League’s Philadelphia Fever team found out first-hand the impact they have on the community. The girls made an appearance at Monroe Township Youth Soccer (MTYS) club’s tryouts and gave away tickets and posters, and hung out with the youth players for a few minutes.
“Hanging out with the kids was really cool,” said Fever player Megan Minnix. “It’s always cool to have fans and the kids were really excited that we were there handing out tickets and posters. I haven’t really experienced that since my time with the Charlotte 49ers, but it was a great experience.”
The groups of kids were trying out for MTYS U-9 and U-11 travel teams. They were excited to meet the Fever and they all had smiles on their faces as they went back to their tryouts. Each age group includes a boy’s team as well as a girl’s team.
“This is exactly why I wanted to bring a WPSL Elite League team to the area,” said Fever owner, Matt Driver. “The impact these players will have on the kids supersedes any impact they may make on the soccer world.”
Driver and his soccer training company, Atlantic Soccer Factory (ASF), exercise a vertically-integrated player development program. In this program, kids can play on their local club teams while training with ASF. As the kids grow older and their skills increase, they are given opportunities to advance their soccer careers without ever having to leave their local club teams.
Fever Head Coach Stuart Gore knows the importance of developing local players. Gore and First Assistant Coach Jamie Scott have worked with South Jersey and Pennsylvania youth clubs for several years now.
“It’s wonderful to have an impact on the local youth players,” said Scott. “We believe the Fever will provide the community with role models that youth players can watch and emulate.”
The Fever kick-off their inaugural campaign in the WPSL Elite League this Sunday, May 20, against the New England Mutiny at 7:30 p.m. The game will be played at Washington Twp High School’s Turf Stadium in Sewell, NJ.
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