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By Admin, 04/28/11, 9:00AM EDT


Introduce New Developmental Curriculum and Format

Richmond, VA – (Thursday, April 28, 2011) – The Richmond Kickers Technical Staff are pleased to announce a new and improved U9 developmental program beginning in the Fall 2011.  The U9 program has been created to provide additional emphasis on the technical and tactical instruction under the guidance of many of the Kickers top coaches.  The program also offers a seamless transition from the highly successful Advanced Development Program (ADP) for U7 and U8 players to the Kickers U10 Elite and Advanced Development Soccer League (ADSL) teams.  Register today for tryouts at

“Our Technical Staff devoted considerable time designing an ADP and U9 program that compliments our younger players,” commented Leigh Cowlishaw, Richmond Kickers Director of Soccer.  “Numerous studies have shown the benefits of small-sided games, and we all feel that the increased opportunities for participation, combined with the new U.S. Soccer Federation curriculum, will lead to greater development for our younger players.”

The Richmond Kickers U9 program will consist of geographically based teams, training at their designated location, with games played on Saturday mornings at the Kickers state-of-the-art sports complex, Ukrop Park.  The U9 players will train 2-3 times per week, as well as play small-sided, 5v5 games with referees in the fall. 

“Another benefit for both club and player is the Technical Staff’s ability to observe all U9 players on the weekend games at Ukrop Park,” continued Cowlishaw.  “Our young players will compete week in, week out, at our state-of-the-art complex, while being observed and encouraged by our experienced staff.”

The small-sided games will continue in the spring; however, focus will shift towards the traditional 7v7 and 8v8 game format as players become more proficient in the technical and tactical aspects of the game.  The small-sided games will provide increased opportunities to players to control the ball, pass/receive, shoot, attack, defend and experience game-time decisions.

A recent study by Manchester United FC, of the English Premier League, shows the following benefits while playing small-sided soccer rather than 8v8 at younger ages:

Number of passes – increase of 135% 
Number of 1v1 encounters – increase of 225% 
Scoring attempts – increase of 260% 
Number of dribbling skills (tricks) – increase of 280% 
Number of goals scored – increase of 500%

The cost of the Kickers U9 program is $995, which covers the traditional fall and spring seasons, winter training, 2-3 practices per week, games on the weekends at Ukrop Park, 7v7 tournaments and festivals (spring season), a Youth Pro Pass to all of the Kickers professional home games, and Team Spirit Viewing Parties, such as English Premiership, La Liga, Major League Soccer and Kickers pro games.

As an added bonus, 2011 U9 players from all geographic areas will be offered a complimentary six-week summer program at Ukrop Park. The summer program will be overseen by the club’s U9-U12 Technical Director Michael Burke, will be guided by USSF A Licensed and Kickers pro team head coach, Leigh Cowlishaw, Kickers coach Kevin Durkin and will include guest appearances from several high profile coaches and Richmond Kickers Pro players.

Kickers U9 Geographic areas include:

CENTRAL - Bryan Park                  City of Richmond / Henrico County
SOUTH – Hensley Park                 Chesterfield County
SOUTH - Ukrop Park                     Chesterfield County
NORTH - Poor Farm Park              Ashland and Hanover County
COLLEGIATE – Robins Campus    Goochland / Western Henrico County

Tryouts are taking place this May. 

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