Our daughter had played 1 year of club soccer at the age of 7 (U8 team.) In Southern California, it’s pretty pricey to play club ball. She wasn’t aggressive enough and was “benched” most of the time. Since she couldn’t get better with little field time during real games, we weren’t paying for practices only, so we left. It was ridiculous, only 7 years old…shouldn’t be benched, but encouraged to gain confidence and improve. She got nervous on the bigger field, and more aggressive players.
We returned back to AYSO for U9 and my husband coached Fall and Spring. Our Spring team was amazing and our daughter had developed quite nicely. It should have been no issue getting on the U9 Extra team. (Fall ball was not challenging enough- she needed more) However, in our region, the politics is insane! Rules apply to everyone, except some families. There was a lot of shady things that happened. First of all, our region will only allow 1 extra team for each age division. Meanwhile, other regions have multiple teams.
Our daughter had a lot of skills and should have been a top contender. She had the most ball control of all the girls except maybe 1, new person to our area.
Then, two girls from our team (sisters) were able to play on our Spring team because they were close in age and both Under 9. (Ages 7 and 8) Extra was U9 only. However, because the dad said he’d be the commissioner for the boys U9 teams, they allowed the 7 year old to try out… meanwhile, we had another two girls (sisters) from our same team that both went to try out, and the 7 year old was told no, she was too young.
We pointed out that we had another younger sibling trying out… the head guy of our region said it was okay for one, but not the other.
Both those girls made the extra team. It was ridiculous. And then the dad that ended up being the coach, picked his favorites. So no matter how much we volunteered in the past, and when that Commissioner called upon my husband to take on a second team, that he really didn’t want to…but helped out anyway… they pulled this BS maneuver… well, if you want to be on
the AYSO board and take that position this year… I wonder if our daughter would have made the team. Or maybe my husband would have been the Extra team coach and then our daughter would have made it because she deserved it minus the politics.
So the other family that was told their 7 year old couldn’t try out, their eldest daughter played for the same club we did prior. Her current coach was putting together a U10 team for his daughter and desperately needed players. He took both those younger sisters, and wanted my daughter. That team would have a mix of ages, and probably would lose frequently, but they would receive great training and lots of play time.
That coach played professionally both indoor and outdoor soccer. We immediately liked his jovial personality, and he’s a loud, Irish guy from New York. One of several boys. He told us he didn’t care our daughter was petit, he’d train her, and she’d be good. Thus, we returned back to the same club, but with a different coach. Our fear of her playing up a year, was calmed because we were still building the team, and our daughter was seeing full playing time.
So far, we were happy.
This new series of posts is to chronical our club soccer journey. This is the first post.