The Travel Program goal is to develop players and form teams to compete at the highest level in the CT Junior Soccer Association. The program will require a significant commitment from players for practices, tournaments and CT Cup competitions, all of which will be mandatory. Players unwilling to make this high level of commitment to the team are encouraged to enroll in the New Canaan FC’s Academy Program. In general, any team the New Canaan FC enters into the Travel league will go into every game with the express purpose to win the game, within certain guidelines outlined below. Coaches hired by the New Canaan FC will be advised of this philosophy and be expected to adhere to it.
Individual player development must take into account the complete spectrum of practice and game experiences available to a player. On average, during the course of a week, players will have approximately 3 hours of practice time (including an optional one-hour skills session) and approximately 1 1/2 hours of game time. At the most basic level, there are 5 1/2 hours of organized development time per week for a player – 75% in practice and 25% in the game. Therefore, practice is the primary player development tool available for players to improve and for coaches to assess each player’s unique strengths and weaknesses in managing the team.
In practice: Coaches should give all players the opportunity to experience different playing positions (offense, defense & goalie) to allow players the chance to develop the knowledge and confidence in various positions and to allow the coach to assess a player’s natural instincts and competence in these positions. There should be a conscious effort to provide ample playing time in all positions for all players, particularly in the U9-U11 age groups. As players move into the U12-U14 age groups, the New Canaan FC would expect coaches to begin to have players’ positions become more specialized in practice. A player’s skill level, effort and attitude in practice will directly affect the level of playing time in games.
In games: The coach’s objective is to play players in the positions that will give the team the highest probability of winning, in the context that every player will play in every game. Players are not guaranteed equal playing time in either individual games or over the course of the season. The amount of time a player will play will be dependent on the coach’s judgment and the game situation.
Coaches will be given wide latitude on game days to manage the games as they see fit in the context of the New Canaan FC guidelines.
Travel teams will be placed within the highest Southwest District division that the New Canaan FC believes will result in attaining a minimum .500 season for the team. As per SWD policy, teams that win their division will automatically move up to the next highest division. Any team that either wins the highest SWD division or is highly competitive therein will be considered to move into the Premier league.
Age Group Eligibility Definitions – Soccer Year 2015-2016