LIJSL Academy Expands While Making It Easier For Players to Attend Practices
New York Soccer News: As it truly is a Long Island, LIJSL Academy has now been divided into East and West to make it easier for players to train.
The Long Island Junior Soccer League (LIJSL), the largest league in the Eastern New York Youth Soccer Association (ENYYSA), has announced the expansion of the LIJSL Academy program. As it truly is a Long Island, 120 miles from the LIJSL’s most western field in central Queens to Montauk Point, LIJSL Academy has now been divided into East and West to make it easier for players to train.
“Introducing the Academy East to players in eastern Suffolk County will be great exposure and present some great opportunities for players in the area,” said Ronan Wiseman, LIJSL Technical and Academy Director. “Some players don’t necessarily have access to elite-level training for various reasons, so we, at the league, want to try to provide developmental opportunities and pathways for players all across Long Island. We think this program will provide that.”
The LIJSL has partnered with Manorville Soccer Club under the common goal of providing the highest level of training for players residing in eastern Long Island.
“The Manorville Soccer Club is excited to partner with LIJSL in launching Academy East,” said Christina Starr, Manorville Soccer Club President. “Looking at the numbers, it is evident that the soccer population in eastern Long Island has surged over the years, especially following the past year under Covid. We are looking forward to growing and fostering the love of the game here on the East End.”
Local soccer icon Bob Montgomery, an East End resident, has been named Director of Academy East. The former Adelphi University men’s head coach led the Panthers to seven NCAA Division 1 tournaments across a longstanding 29-year career. At the youth development level, Montgomery was the founding Academy Director for the New York Red Bulls.
Meanwhile, in Nassau and Queens, Academy West will be collaborating with the Garden City Centennial Soccer Club, which will be providing the facilities for ID sessions and practices. Players in western Suffolk have the choice of playing for Academy East or Academy West. Tryouts are necessary to play on any of these teams.
“The Garden City Centennial Soccer Club is honored and excited to be a part of this unique program offered through LIJSL. The Academy West program will provide players with a platform to learn, develop and compete at higher levels at an early age,” offered club president Robert Malhame.
LIJSL graduate Carlo Acquista has been named Director of Academy West. The Queens native played on the St. John’s University national championship team 25 years ago in 1996. Following successful coaching stints at St. Francis College and Adelphi University, Carlo recently led the Fordham men to the Atlantic-10 championship.
“As a former youth player in the LIJSL, I was always searching for more opportunities in soccer,” he explained. “This program will provide players a platform to learn, develop and compete at higher levels and at an early age.”
Eastern New York Youth Soccer Association: With 100,000 youth soccer players–both boys and girls–and more than 25,000 volunteers, the non-profit Eastern New York Youth Soccer Association (ENYYSA) reaches from Montauk Point, Long Island to the Canadian border.