Since assuming the role as KFJ Technical Director/Head Coach in January 2012 I have had a chance to witness a tremendous amount of change/growth in our club.
The quality of our player pool has improved as a result of the training emphasis we have here at KFJ. This is evident with the players we previously had here at the club and with the players that joined us last summer at tryouts.
Areas that were targeted were fitness, technical excellence and better tactical decision-making.
Currently our U9-U18 players have displayed a higher level of game fitness as a result of team training and what they are working on outside of their team setting.
Athleticism is a key component of being successful as a soccer player and we continue to show growth in this area.
Technically we have improved our passing accuracy and ability to keep the ball under pressure. More emphasis has been placed on the individual’s ability to keep the ball under pressure while dribbling. This is a technique that we continue to work on aggressively and will continue with this spring.
Our tactical decision-making includes the following:
- Small group, individual and team defending
- How to transition as a team on offense and defense
- Switching point of attack to set up more 1v1 situations
- Decision making in final third of the field
- Application of pattern play in real game situation
KFJ has the highest accredited coaching staff in the State. In the past year many of the staff have upgraded their coaching licenses at United States Soccer Federation courses hosted here in Kentucky and outside the State. The licenses include USSF ‘A’, ‘B’, ‘C’, ‘D’ and ‘E’. All of the licenses are recognized here in the United States and by FIFA, which is the governing body for soccer internationally. The ownership of KFJ has been fully supportive of the coaches pursuing their education. This training they receive has a direct benefit in the quality of the coaching the players are receiving.
In addition to taking courses the staff continue to attend symposiums, international games, staff meetings and training provided by staff from the Chicago Fire of MLS.
The coaching staff continues to challenge themselves by working in both the State and Regional Olympic Development programs in Kentucky and Region 2.
The Major League Soccer Club continues to be fully supportive of our efforts to become one of the best clubs in Region 2. Last year they hosted the girls Chicago Fire Identification camp and sent select teams to participate in the Disney tournament in Florida.
A few of our KFJ boys were selected to go to Chicago to train with the Fire Development Academy teams (U16 & U18). We continue to monitor our boys progress during the season and will have them train with the Fire Academy in Chicago if they meet the standard.
We are looking forward towards participating in the MLS platform league that begins in the fall of 2013. This will be a unique opportunity for players that are chosen for this new league
KFJ teams attended Chicago Fire games and players were recognized at the game.
We continue to get great support from family members of the players. Parents are involved in support/advisory committees to discover ways to continue to improve the club.
The fitness/skill base for the players has improved due to the fact that families are taking their players to more training and supplemental fitness/skill training throughout the year.
Sideline behavior is very good in most of our age groups. Spectators are encouraged to allow the players be the voices on the field and the coach the voice/teacher off the field.
We look forward to a productive Spring season. Thank you for all of your support!
Head Coach/Technical Director
Kentucky Fire Juniors