We are pleased to launch Concord-Carlisle Football Academy (CCFA) this Fall with 4 teams:
- Boys and girls current 4th grade (2007/2008), roster size of approximately 13 with approximately 5 practice players per team.
- Boys and girls from birth years (2005/2006), roster size of approximately 15 with approximately 5 practice players per team.
While our long-term objective is to field grade-based teams, we feel that spanning grades for the older teams will position us for success in year one. We plan to expand and evolve the teams in future years.
The mission of CCFA is to provide a training environment that focuses on the development of each player through access to professional coaching. With a foundation of sportsmanship, community, and personal leadership, CCFA emphasizes a deep commitment to respect, understanding, teamwork, determination, and love of the game.
What is CCFA?
CCFA is a soccer academy that houses the CCYS club program and premier skills clinics. CCFA provides Concord Carlisle soccer players with continued individual player development through professional coaching and high level team play. CCFA is a supplement to, not replacement for, CCYS Travel Soccer. CCFA teams play in the NSL (Northeast Soccer League) and are made up of CCYS Travel players. Roster placement on teams are available to only a limited number of committed soccer players. Tryouts will be held in June. Register here for tryouts.
CCFA teams will play fall and spring with two practices and one game per week on Sunday. Players will be required to attend their Travel practices and Saturday Travel games. This will entail a total of 4-5 days of commitment per week.
CCYS is adding CCFA to its programs to provide more training and competition for those players who want more directed development opportunities. We believe we can provide a program with similar player development potential as nearby soccer clubs while requiring less travel to practices and tournaments. CCFA helps CCYS to serve the broadest community of soccer players and will keep more local players in the CCYS community. As a not-for-profit, CCFA can provide high-level training at a significantly lower cost to families than out of town clubs. In addition to the club teams, CCFA will continue the newly launched professionally coached premiere clinics open to all In-Town and Travel players. The goal of CCFA is to enhance the CCYS experience for all players.
- Provide access to professional coaching for all through club teams, practice player opportunities, and premier skills clinics
- Strengthen CCYS by retaining more players in CCYS offerings
- Continue CCYS focus on individual player development
- Provide opportunity for kids, who may have started together in pre-K, to play together longer
- Provide local practices, enabling players to participate in other local sports/activities
- Provide club benefits without the high cost and long commute
- Provide financial aid to those that require it
- Focus on the value of nutrition and fitness
CCFA Development Pathway
The coaching methodology behind CCFA is to develop and fuel a technically capable and proficient player to achieve the greatest opportunity of success at current and future levels of the game. We believe problem solving in game situations stems from being able to proficiently use skill & creativity to allow the player to generate the highest likelihood of team and individual success. The more technically proficient that we can prepare each player to be, and to expect of themselves, the more likely we can set them up to play at whatever level they choose to progress their game.
Depending on the level and age group of the player, new and progressive technical/tactical components of the game are introduced, coached, and tested. The game of soccer allows the freedom of each player to be creative, have fun, and find their own way to express their skill and individual strategies to best support themselves and their team.
The basic premise of CCFA culture is to create technically-challenging training environments that allow the player to grow, be challenged, and break through new barriers of the game. The practice is the test and the game is where players can express themselves.
Finally, our philosophy involves a possession-based, technical approach that we believe gives each player the best opportunity for long-term growth, development, and enjoyment of the game. Having the confidence, skill, and creativity to keep the ball under more difficult circumstances allows the player/team to find new creative ways to penetrate, score, and be successful in the scope of the game.
It is as simple as ‘if you have the ball, keep it. If you don’t, run and get it back’ - Pep Guardiola
Coach Thomas played professional soccer for Wimbledon F.C. (EPL) for five years. He went on to coach with both Wimbledon F.C. and Crystal Palace F.C. academies in the U.K., as well as at the American School of London (ASL). Mark was also the Assistant Manager for the Molesey F.C. (a semi-pro team in England) for two years and Head Coach for Merton F.C. (amateur soccer club of men's, women's and youth teams) for seven years. Coach Thomas has coached across the U.S. with Coerver Coaching in California, Indiana, Kentucky, Missouri, Ohio and Oklahoma. Since moving to the U.S., Mark has also coached for Lexington P.D.A. and for the Boston Breakers women's professional soccer team. He currently holds a UEFA B coaching license.
In addition to Mark's experience as a player and coach, he has worked for many years in the business side of sports with companies such as Octagon Sports Marketing (Sales Director Asia, VP Business Development Europe), Team 2012 (U.K. Olympic Team sponsorship), Norwich City (English Premier League, Head of Business Development) and most recently, President of Business Operations with the Boston Breakers. Mr. Thomas is a graduate of King College Wimbledon.
Coach Thomas lives in Concord with his wife and three children.
Jason Miller has served on the CCYS coaching staff since 2004. Jason currently serves as director and head coach of Pink Ladies Futsal Club, boys varsity soccer coach at Boston Latin School, girls director for U.S. Youth Futsal and director of the Massachusetts Futsal Association.
He has previously served on coaching staffs at the Boston Breakers, Gann Academy, Lexington High School, Lexington Youth Soccer, Mass Youth Soccer, Nashoba Regional, Sachems FC, Winchester High School and has additionally guided the U.S. Youth Futsal U16 Girls National Teams in Canada and Colombia.
Jason holds a USSF National C coaching license, a USYF National Level 3 coaching diploma, an NSCAA Level 1 goalkeeping diploma and a Masters in Elementary Education. He is a former fifth-grade, sixth-grade, and special education teacher and has a B.A. in Journalism from Ithaca College and a M.Ed. from Lesley University.