L-R: ER Parks & Rec Director Stump Martin, ERFC Board Member Heath Parham, CFCA Director of Coaching Matt Yelton, and CFCA Board Member Jack Skelton appear before East Ridge City Council on Thursday. WRCBtv.com photo
EAST RIDGE, TN (WRCB) -
A major youth soccer merger was agreed upon for Chattanooga on Thursday.
The East Ridge Football Club select soccer program will merge with the Chattanooga FC Academy select soccer club to join the area's two largest youth select soccer clubs under one name: Chattanooga FC Academy. The Chattanooga FC Academy Board has selected Matt Yelton to serve as CFCA Director of Coaches. Yelton will continue in his role as women's coach for Lee University.
The City of East Ridge also voted 4-1 to approve signing an agreement with Chattanooga FC Academy for the lease of five Camp Jordan facility soccer fields for the upcoming season. CFCA will pay the City of East Ridge $40,000 annually for use of the Camp Jordan fields and $15,000 for maintenance. East Ridge will no longer have select soccer under the East Ridge FC name but will still continue its recreation soccer at East Ridge.
In March, CFCA agreed to merge its Chattanooga FC Academy operations with the Redoubt and North River Soccer associations.
"The move was logical," said CFCA board member Sean McDaniel.
Under the new arrangement, representatives from Chattanooga FC Academy, East Ridge FC, Redoubt, and North River have formed a new board to manage the program. The bylaws will encapsulate the mission and philosophy of Chattanooga FC Academy, as follows: "to develop youth as players and as people first and foremost, with a focus on growth over winning for winning's sake, with a dedication to continuous improvement of both players and coaches with feedback and training offered at every opportunity."
All four groups are members of the Tennessee State Soccer Association which is an affiliate of the U.S. Youth Soccer Association.
Tryouts for the newly expanded Chattanooga FC Academy will be the last week of May or first week of June at Finley Stadium, Redoubt, Camp Jordan, and North River soccer complexes.