This past Sunday, we kicked off the 2019 fall season of the SKC Academy Regional Player Pool. Eight Academy Affiliate clubs were represented by the eighteen Academy Affiliate players that were recommended to participate in the program. These players traveled to Kansas City for the first weekend of training with the current U12 SKC Academy team.
Fall of 2018, Sporting Kansas City Youth Soccer and SKC Academy announced the launch of Regional Player Pool. This program is a new player development and identification resource further linking the Academy Affiliate programs to the SKC Academy. Through this program, each club has the opportunity to recommend their top U12 boys to be classified as Regional Pool Players.
Periodically throughout the fall season these players travel from their affiliate markets to Kansas City to participate in a training experience led by our full time SKC Academy coaches. These hand-picked U12 boys are selected to be intermixed with the U12 SKC Academy boys for 3 sessions throughout the fall and/or spring. The sessions consist of a 90 minute training, working on the current curriculum the SKC Academy is working on that week, following with 7v7 small-sided game play.
Integrating top local Academy Affiliate players with the SKC Academy teams serves as mutually beneficial to both groups of boys. It gives affiliate players access to SKC Academy curriculum and the SKC Academy coaches along with the chance to play and challenge themselves with the current SKC Academy U12 boys who regularly receive this experience. On the other side, the SKC Academy boys receive new competition to challenge themselves along with being able to showcase leadership in guiding/helping the affiliates adjust to the new environment.
The 18 Academy Affiliate players that have been selected to participate in the Regional Player Pool this season include:
Johnny Pena (Sporting Wichita)
Jackson Miller (Sporting Springfield)
Trevor Heman (Sporting Springfield)
Luke Butler (Sporting Springfield)
Graham Swisshelm (Sporting Springfield)
Mason McKnight (Sporting Iowa)
Eric Foust (Sporting Iowa)
Alex Gemeinhardt (Sporting Missouri Valley)
Jack Francka (Sporting Missouri Valley)
Talyn Gates (Sporting Missouri Valley)
Mason Becker (Sporting Kaw Valley)
Sam Lickert (Sporting Kaw Valley)
Bennett Naustvik (Sporting Arkansas)
Adriene Robles (Sporting Omaha FC)
Timothy Dowd (Sporting Omaha FC)
Jordan Igwenman (Sporting Omaha FC)
Baron Williams (Sporting Blue Valley)
Colson Odgers (Sporting Blue Valley)
As we continue to grow the Regional Player Pool and aim to support Academy Affiliates with higher level experiences, we hope more opportunities for players will follow as well. Looking forward, we hope to improve on this Regional Player Pool concept by implementing new developmental opportunities while eventually expanding the pool throughout the U12-U14 age groups.
For more information on SKC Academy, please visit sportingkcacademy.com. For more information on Academy Affiliates or Sporting KC Youth Soccer please visit sportingkcyouth.com and follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.