Jr. Irish Soccer Club 38 YEARS STRONG. Committed to family, dedicated to player development. Jr. Irish Soccer Club Annual Report 2014/15

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1 Jr. Irish Soccer Club 38 YEARS STRONG Jr. Irish Soccer Club Annual Report 2014/15 Committed to family, dedicated to player development

2 1 Letter from the President Monika Scott, President To our players and their families, Thank you for being part of the Jr. Irish Family! When my oldest child began travel soccer at the tender age of 8, I really had no idea what travel soccer was all about here. As a first generation American, my parents having immigrated from Germany in the late 1950 s, I grew up as soccer being the immigrants sport. I remember going to a Chicago Sting game and watching the Germany national team play at Soldier field with my dad. But soccer was not the backyard sport here like it was at my grandmother s house. But how things have changed! Even when we began with Jr. Irish 9 years ago, I had no idea what NISL, ISL, MRL, ODP and all those acronyms meant. I felt very lost as more seasoned parents talked about leagues, rules and what was best for the kids. From the beginning, I felt it important that all parents should understand how the club works, what it meant for their child and how the club was working to the common goal of developing my child into the best player they could be. I have found that communication is key and I continue to stand by this. Jr. Irish took a big leap 2 years ago and instead of having a part-time Director of Coaching, we hired our first full-time DOC., Ken Nuber. We did this to have one person that is dedicated to implementing our initiatives and furthering our mission of developing excellence. The landscape of travel soccer is changing. Clubs all over the state and country are working together and merging. Having a bigger player pool for training and teams allows clubs to develop kids with similar skills together and provide more opportunities. Professional clubs are also getting involved in this as evidenced by Chicago Fire s strong presence in Indiana. This has not gone unnoticed and we are continuing to work to develop partnerships with other local clubs so that your child has the best training and opportunities possible. We are also excited to announce our partnership with the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) a national non-profit that is also the largest soccer coaches organization in the world, that will give you access to so many benefits for your child. I couldn t end this message without mentioning our MDI tournament. We are so excited to host this and raise money to provide over $25,000 in scholarships to our players. Mike Lacognato and Ken Nuber and their tireless efforts lead our MDI team. But we could not do this without each one of you! The few hours you give at this weekend makes it possible for 65 kids to play last year. That is an amazing fact and the impact you have on each one of those kids is immeasurable! Again, thank you for being part of the Jr. Irish family and we look forward to another exciting soccer year! Monika Scott President, Jr. Irish Soccer Club.

3 2 Year in review Fall 2014 Spring 2015 Ken Nuber, Director of Coaching Jr Irish is in it s 38th year and continues to have success on and off the field We continue to provide the best opportunities for boys and girls placing more players on college programs than any other club. We also run the city s only college combine open to all players from all clubs. The last combine was attended by over 45 college coaches with 92 players on display from 6 clubs. In June we became a member club of the NSCAA. The NSCAA is the leader in coaching education and this will allow us to continue to provide our club with the best coaches and offer them additional professional development opportunities. We will be able to provide our coaches with curriculum and other resources that will enhance their ability to develop our players. We will also provide these services to MSA and the MSA Academy programs to continue to strengthen the entire soccer community. This was also a special year off the field. Michael Lacognato was named the Indiana Youth Soccer Volunteer of the Year. Michael has been actively involved with the Jr Irish Soccer Club for many years and has taken on many different roles for the Club. As the current Director of the Annual Memorial Day Invitational Tournament (MDI), Michael has elevated the status of the MDI and made it into one of the premier youth soccer events in the Midwest. Ryan Hague received the Olympic Development Program s (ODP) Spirit Award. Ryan is a current member of the 2000 Indiana State Team and the Jr. Irish 2000 Premier Team coached by Zach Ganzberg. Ryan has been praised for his work ethic, dedication to the Olympic Development Program, and his incredible attitude. Vince Ganzberg 2015 Indiana Soccer Hall of Fame Inductee. Vince is a huge and vital part of Jr. Irish history. Vince first came to the South Bend area as a very talented player at Bethel College. Since his All-American days at Bethel, Vince has given back to the game as a coach and educator. Vince was the Director of Coaching at Jr. Irish for many years, and volunteered for the Club and coached teams throughout his time in the area. Vince currently works as both a United States Soccer Federation national instructor as well as an NSCAA national instructor. Vince is the father of current Jr. Irish coach Zach Ganzberg. Ken Nuber Director of Coaching, Jr. Irish Soccer Club.

4 3 Year in review MDI Spring 2015 Michael Lacognato, MDI Director The Jr. Irish Soccer Club has been hosting its annual Memorial Day Invitational (MDI) Tournament for the last 38 years. Over this time, the MDI has gained local, regional and national recognition by attracting teams from all over the country and in Canada. This USSF approved tournament has become extremely competitive with some of the strongest club teams vying for Championship recognition. A number of characteristics have made this tournament among the most popular and competitive in our area. Along with bringing together a competitive soccer environment, the MDI also serves as the primary fund-raising event for the Jr. Irish Soccer Club. As a non-for profit, entity, Jr. Irish strives to provide technical training and development to soccer players ages Jr. Irish recognizes that not every child can afford to play Club soccer, so the MDI serves as a vehicle to fund our annual scholarship program. Based on the success of the MDI, our teams, sponsors and the generosity of our community, Jr. Irish is proud to be able to provide financial assistance - both partial and full-scholarships - to many of our Club families who are in need. This allows families who previously could not afford to participate in the Club an opportunity to continue to do so. The MDI weekend is also a major contributor to the local economy. The MDI is proud to be partnering with Visit South Bend/Mishawaka. This group has been a great resource for Jr. Irish and the MDI and by working together, has established the MDI weekend as one of the largest weekends for local commerce, with an estimated economic impact of over $2 million dollars - which is second next to a Notre Dame Home Football game in weekend revenue generated. Our teams, families, referees, coaches and other MDI spectators come to the South Bend/Mishawaka area and experience the lodging, dining, shopping, and all of the attractions our area has to offer over this wonderful Holiday Weekend. Jr. Irish is proud to have been a part of this community for almost 40 years and proud to be able to organize and provide a competitive and fun soccer event that has become a seasonal mainstay of the South Bend/Mishawaka calendar. Michael Lacognato MDI Director

5 4 Changes in Youth soccer for 2016/17 Ken Nuber, Director of Coaching The United States Soccer Federation announced on August 24th that there will be two major changes to youth soccer coming at the start of the playing seasons. #1. Small sided games that are played at U8 U13 or the Modified playing rules, will change. #2. The bigger change will be the age group cutoff dates will be changing to the players calendar year of birth. Below, please review a few quick facts on the changes to help you better understand. 1. Currently, every state association can decided what small-sided games and modified rules to play by. Example: Indiana has U8-U10 playing 5 aside with a keeper and Illinois plays 6 aside with offside and some states played even bigger. US Soccer decided to mandate all soccer for consistency sake. 2. When reading the official US Soccer statement, it reads that August 2017 will be the mandated time frame BUT Indiana Soccer will adopt this starting in August of There are a few different organizations under the US Soccer Federation and all have been able to have separate rules. An example would be US Club Soccer - which runs Super Y and ECNL. This is different from US Youth Soccer, which Indiana Soccer falls under. The federation is mandating these changes nation-wide so all will have the same rules now. 4. The age group calendar is the biggest and most drastic change the federation released. The current age group calendar runs from August 1st July 31st, and this change means it will simply go by birth year. An example would be the U14 age group. Currently, they are August 1, 2002 July 31, 2003 but the new calendar alignment would be January 1, 2002 December 31, I have been talking with other DOC s from Indiana, Michigan, and Ohio to get a handle on how clubs are going to handle the transition. This is not something a Club can opt out of so this will affect all Clubs. 6. I am completing a Jr Irish strategic plan for implementation of the US Soccer Federation changes. I will be presenting this plan in three phases so please be patient. I will present my plan to the JI board of Directors and once approved, I will present to our coaching staff. The third phase is a club wide presentation to notify the parents and players. The goal is to have all of this done by November even though this legislation does not come into affect until August 1, More information is on the US Soccer Website at changes_coming_to_youth_soccer_in_2016/ Ken Nuber Director of Coaching, Jr. Irish Soccer Club. Update: 1. Changes do not go into effect until June November Parent meetings will be rescheduled, the club wants to provide lots of opportunity for discussion and questions.

6 5 Year in review Academy Mark Bland, Vice President Academy Mark Bland took over from Michael Lacognato as the Vice President for the Academy in Spring Michael was one of the main reasons our family joined Junior Irish 2 seasons ago. We are lucky that Michael is still actively involved with the club and board as Tournament Director for the MDI tournament. The academy ages of 7 to 10 are a wonderful time where kids grow both mentally and physically. There is something wonderful about seeing a child transition from individual play to team play in soccer and it all happens in the academy. This year we saw 4 teams, 2 boys and 2 girls teams, graduate from academy. All the players have improved their technique, movement and soccer IQ. We could not do any of this without the support of our parents. Thank you for encouraging your children and for making our club stronger. It takes great strength to have the patience when your children are first learning the technical skills and play against older teams. Regardless of the outcome the best way to support your child is to tell them I love watching you play Mark Bland Vice President Academy, Jr. Irish Soccer Club.

7 6 Year in review Finance Anita Knudtson, Treasurer The 2014/15 season saw the club make a modest profit. The MDI tournament provided funds to continue the scholarship program for the 2015/16 season. Income: 61% of income comes from annual player fees, 32% from MDI and 7% other sources. The annual player fees cover the following (MDI expenses are excluded) Annual Expenses, (excluding MDI tournament) 2014/2015 Tournament Fees & Travel Costs 15% Misc Expenses 4% Facility Maintenance, Indoor and Outdoor 30% Referees, League & State Registration Fee & Administration 28% Coaching 23%

8 Jr. Irish Soccer Club

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