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Neuse River Futbol Alliance

Which Program?

Which program is right for my child?

If you’re the parent of a young soccer player, but you never played soccer yourself, you may be confused by all the different types of youth soccer programs, including Recreational, Academy, Classic

You don’t want your child to be unhappy or uncomfortable by signing them up for the wrong program. So how do you choose the one that’s best suited for your child’s abilities and goals? To make your decision, it’s important to have an understanding of the differences among Recreational, Academy and Select soccer. We’ll also explain how high school teams come into play.

Recreational Soccer
Recreational soccer places fun as a priority. Most children start playing recreational soccer to learn the rules and foster a love of the game. Recreational soccer is usually offered for all ages, but it is much more popular among younger players as they are introduced to the sport.

In recreational soccer, the coaches are usually volunteers — oftentimes parents of one of the players. Recreational leagues emphasize equal playing time for all the players, so no one feels left out and everyone gets a chance to participate. Also, there are no tryouts required for recreational soccer.

If a player in recreational soccer decides they want a more competitive environment, they can move up to Academy soccer or Classic soccer, depending on their age.

Academy Soccer
Academy soccer is often used as a bridge from recreational to select soccer. It’s generally for players ages 6 to 10 who are physically or mentally a bit more advanced who want a higher level of training and to compete against similar level players. Not all players are ready for Academy soccer so we have yearly assessments to help determine if your child is ready for the next level. Academy soccer is more competitive than recreational soccer and the training is run by licensed professional staff coaches who provide a more structured training environment that maximizes players technical development with the ball and prepares players for Classic soccer.

The Neuse River Academy trains players prepare for a more competitive environment although at this level our primary focus is still focused on player development not wins and losses so our coaches try to balance play time as best they can but play time is not guaranteed it is earned. (again, main focus of the Academy is player development)

Academy players train twice a weekend and typically get 1(1 fall 1 spring) 8 games and two tournaments per season. The season typically starts the first week of August and runs to the end of October then starts back up late February and ends at the end of April/first week of May depending on the schedule. 

Classic Soccer
Classic or Select Soccer, is for players ages 11-18. This program is for passionate players who want to compete at a higher level. Players must try out for a team and are not guaranteed a spot year after year. Play time is not guaranteed on a Classic team. All coaches are licensed professional staff coaches.

Classic players train three times per week and play matches on weekends locally and regionally depending on the division. Classic Players typically attend 2 to 4 tournaments per season. 

If you have any questions about which program to sign your child up for, any Neuse River coach would be happy to help. Not sure if your child is ready for Academy or Classic Soccer but want to see what a higher level of training and competition is? Sign up for one of our camps, clinics, or futsal programs to train and play with the players already in the Neuse River FA program.


Contact Us

NRFA Director of Soccer
Andy Stokes
[email protected]

NRFA Academy Director    
Keith Jenkins- [email protected]

NRFA Club Administrator    
Lynn Parker- [email protected]

Neuse River Futbol Alliance

14009 Buffalo Rd., Suite 200 
Clayton, North Carolina 27527
Phone : 919-351-0650
Email : [email protected]
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