Valley Viewpoints: Step up for youth soccer

To the Editor:

Fulton Youth Soccer has started its 36 consecutive year of play.

We had some sour weather early on, but we pushed through and are off to a great start. This year we had a situation arise that we have never encountered before and I want to explain the reason for that.

Starting last year we put a cap on the number of players each team can have.  We set that number at twice the number of players on the field, plus a goalie.

Once all the teams in a division are filled we close that division and do not take any more registrations for the current season.

This year all of our divisions filled up and we completely closed registration a couple of days before the first game, but we will take additional players for the fall; we will start taking fall registrations in June.

We know that some kids will not get to play in our league this spring and we are very sad to have to turn away these players; but in doing so we maintain the integrity of the teams and secure adequate playing time for all the players who did sign up on time.

We do not want kids to have to sit through two rotations of play before they get a chance to get on the field again.  We discussed this as a board many times before implementing these standards because we do not ever like to turn away a child who wants to play.

Going forward we hope to avoid this situation next year by being able to offer more teams. We were down 2-U8 teams and 2-U10 from last year.

If we had four more coaches, we could have opened up spaces for up to 60 more players. Our hope is that next year when you get asked to step up and coach or assistant coach a team you will say YES.

We know not everyone has a solid background in soccer, but we need people willing to get up and help and learn how to play and coach. We have a clinic in the spring and people who can assist one on one to get you started.

We don’t want any coach to feel they are on their own, because they are not.

This fall we will also be losing five board members and will need to fill those seats. Again we need folks to step up and be part of the solution.

If you sit on the sidelines every week and tell your friends how you could run this league better, then this is your chance to do so. We need people with fresh ideas and the willingness to work as a team to be part of something great.

We have candidate forms in our snack bar, and we will be holding elections this fall season. Anyone interested can ask a board member about what we do and how much time is involved.

My kids started playing 11 years ago and I was misty on opening day watching them both ref and move on to the next level. I have enjoyed watching, coaching, coordinating and leading this group in those years and will add leaving to list this fall.

I know I will leave this group in good hands; we have far too many great people in this community to let it fall apart.

Chris Hansen
Fulton Youth Soccer President

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