Archive for November 2013

Player Recruitment   Leave a comment

With all but a handful of players on our watch list finished for the 2013 college season, player recruitment takes on nearly all of our attention over the next two-three weeks.  A Tweet posted by the boss about some of the snags in the process evoked a response from one of the college coaches that follows his account, asking for further clarification.  Since there is no way to succinctly answer the question in 140 characters, we’ll lay out our philosophy here.

Our recruitment efforts begin in August with online research of area players on NCAA and NAIA rosters.  From there, we define our watch list for the purposes of in-person and online scouting.  In some years, it will be just Milwaukee County, in others it might include players in neighboring communities like Brookfield, Menomonee Falls, and New Berlin, specific players that have a connection of some sort to the club, and/or under-served and isolated soccer communities in the metro area outside of Milwaukee County.  We determine who is being scouted for possible inclusion on our summer teams, and we do that based on our own initial criteria of residency, school attended, high school play, and college play.  We also are quite clear about that criteria both on the website and in conversations we have with interested players.  Therefore, having outside soccer interests promote players to us who clearly are outside of our demographic focus (and thus not on our watch list) is something we do not look kindly upon.

Once college seasons wind down in early November, we attempt to make contact with as many players as possible from our watch list via social media or through players on their college teams who have played for us in the past.  Technology has improved so much in the last several years that we are able to go straight to the player with our invitations rather than attempt to make that contact through an intermediary (e.g., their college coach).  This direct approach also eliminates us dealing with gatekeeping from these intermediaries.  Our view is that these players are adults and can research our website for more information on who we are/what we believe and discuss their questions or concerns with us one-on-one.  We provide as much information to them as we have available given that there are always uncertainties with crafting a league schedule and securing training/match facilities several months ahead of the season and we attempt to maintain an open means of dialogue with prospects.

Being that our profile is unique in this area (female-only, competitive, high school and college/post-college players), it is possible that some may not have heard of us when their frame of reference is the well-known, U6-U99 clubs that compete prominently in the Wisconsin State League for men and in youth soccer.  We can forgive that, but we aren’t so nice when it comes to outsiders passing judgement on our methods or structure or attempting to intervene in how we pursue our goals and objectives.  We may fail at times, we may struggle on occasion to advance our mission as quickly or completely as we would hope, but we will not rest until women’s club soccer in Wisconsin is given the same respect that men’s soccer has enjoyed.

Posted November 17, 2013 by Scott in Club Philosophy

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