Next Generation Series News Release
Thursday, May 30, 2013
TAMPA, Fla. - United Soccer Leagues is pleased to announce the acceptance of Jacksonville Fury SC into the Next Generation Series. For more than 30 years the Fury have focused on producing elite talent in Florida. Now, combining with NGS and its affiliated clubs, Jacksonville is dedicated to developing the player of tomorrow.
Like many other clubs, Jacksonville seeks to develop players for top-level competition at an early age through age-appropriate training. The Fury have found that NGS is a perfect way to add a bit more to the usual routine.
“As a club we are very excited to build a more focused development program for our U11 – U14 players,” Executive Director John Auldridge II said. “With the additional training our players will receive through IMG and an increased focused on training and development within our club, we believe this will push our development in these key age groups up one to two notches from where it is today.”
More than just another youth soccer league NGS features a forward-looking, innovative, comprehensive, and unique development program built on the repeated and consistent message received from top youth soccer clubs and coaches that they were seeking a fresh development initiative specifically geared toward younger teams and players. NGS was launched to fill the void by providing a comprehensive platform for clubs to best prepare their young players for the challenges which await them at the next level.
“A focus on a key development age group is critical in our opinion,” Auldridge said of NGS’ focus on youth-level soccer. “This will help encourage players to develop at an accelerated rate. This will allow our players to compete at a higher level as they grow up and allow them to more successfully compete with their peers for future playing opportunities.”
The 2013 Next Gen format will consist of U12 and U14 boys and girls teams participating in an eight-month season beginning in August and culminating in April that will feature two evaluation/competition events at the world class IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla. Top players will be identified through the NGS Player Tracking Program and invited to attend the NGS ID Training Camp at IMG.
"For 36 years the Jacksonville Fury have been developing talented players in northeast Florida," Next Gen Director Abe Thompson said. "I think the Next Generation Series will really help take their development process to another level and that’s something that excites us. We know what kind of talent is in the region and we’re focused on exposing this."
Jacksonville is focused only on one thing for the inaugural NGS season.
“Development, development, development,” Auldridge said. “This program will expose players to concepts and training methods that they will see as they grow up. By combining the training environment of IMG and the potential of playing higher quality opponents with our own advanced training program, we believe this will allow players to develop to their highest potential at a younger age, and that is key to their future success and being able to play at their highest level possible.”
The world’s largest and most advanced multi-sport training and education complex, IMG Academy hosted myriad soccer team training camps in 2012, including clubs such as the Seattle Sounders, D.C. United, Columbus Crew, Sweden’s Malmö FF, as well as the U.S. Women’s National Team preparing for the London Olympic Games and the Antigua & Barbuda Men’s National Team preparing for World Cup qualifying.