ASHLAND A recent partnership between the Ashland Area YMCA and the Eastern Elite Soccer Academy is expected to translate into growth for young soccer players and the sport in the area.
Eastern Elite is a select level soccer club that has a reach throughout Eastern Kentucky. With the collaboration, recreational soccer players at the YMCA will now have the opportunity to undergo advanced coaching.
“Our intention is we want to provide this training that will allow these kids, you know, to enhance their development, enhance their competence of the game in hopes of when they’re ready to make the jump to select soccer they’ll be more prepared,” said Kyle Sniatecki, Eastern Elite Soccer Academy director of coaching.
YMCA Sports and Fitness Director Kevin Busick said the partnership will also increase the players’ technical skills and understanding of field play. He explained local youth soccer players now have the option of either playing for the YMCA as they always have or they can participate in the partnership where they will receive 10 training sessions with Eastern Elite staff along with the ability to play six YMCA games. Fall registration for both programs ends Sunday.
Eastern Elite will also offer YMCA coaches one free coaching clinic, said Busick. Sniatecki noted this is another important part of the partnership, saying he wants Eastern Elite to be a resource for parents and volunteers.
“I want to be able to form a relationship with these people and provide them resources, provide them information, so that they can be more confident when they coach,” he said.
Busick said Eastern Elite training will begin on Aug. 18 with fall soccer games beginning Sept. 1. The training will take place at the YMCA’s new soccer fields located on the stretch of land near the intersection of 25th Street and Central Avenue.
In May Lynn Prichard and his business partners with BRCP Inc. agreed to allow the YMCA to use a portion of the land free of charge. The land is around 12 acres and Prichard said the YMCA would be able to utilize about three and a half blocks of it.
Busick said he is currently in the process of trying to find the funding for a 6-foot fence to place on the property, along with a storage building for equipment and a concession stand.
“Those are the needs that I’d like to see happen just for the fact that we want to provide a safe, friendly location for the kids,” he said.
Busick said Our Lady of Bellefonte Hospital has already donated $500 and hopes other businesses or individuals will contribute as well to aid the expansion of the soccer program. Those interested can contact Busick at (606) 324-6181 Ext. 225 or at email@example.com.
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