OC Surf Expands and the Surf Brand Keeps Growing Stronger
Formerly the Strikers Mission Viejo youth soccer club is joining the Surf Affiliate Network.
Youth Soccer News: Roger Castle Sr., has been coaching youth soccer in Southern California for over 30 years. As a long-time Director of Coaching in Orange County, Castle is a strong believer in the importance of grassroots soccer and player development. Now, along with his 19 youth soccer teams and coaching staff, Castle has become part of the Surf SC family as OC Surf Mission Viejo.
“Surf is an organization that’s taken care of everything and they’re delivering on what they say,” said Castle, Sr., OC Surf Mission Viejo’s president.
“The Surf program is second to none,” said Castle
“Roger Castle is a well-known coach and we look forward to this new and exciting synergy,” said Mike Higgins, General Manager, OC Surf. “OC Surf Mission Viejo joins the Surf SC family with a long and outstanding reputation in Southern California. They share our vision to make a strong impact in Orange County youth soccer and have deep roots in our community with six high school head coaches on their staff.”
With nearly 20,000 youth soccer players proudly wearing the Surf shield on their soccer jerseys, and a long history of excellence in player development, the Surf brand is recognized internationally.
As a forward-thinking and innovative force in the youth soccer landscape Surf Cup Sports represents the highest level of professionalism in youth sports.
“Branding is super, super important, and the Surf brand name is highly respected and deserves to be — People in this area love name brands. That’s why so many people drive a Lexus over a Toyota,” said Castle.
“Surf SC is a Rolls Royce. It’s on a different level,” said Castle.
“Plus, Surf SC has done an amazing job with ‘back-end’ business support. Surf’s got all the components of a successful football organization, plus the Surf Cup Sports’ tournaments — and, they’re not trying to manage our grassroots operation. They say, ‘let good people do their job.”
“The Surf SC brand brings stability, new resources, and the opportunity for educational growth to all Surf coaches — along with great support,” said Higgins. “Surf creates a learning and development environment that allows all our Surf youth players to develop their skills in the best conditions possible.”
Castle has helped soccer grow in the Orange County area for nearly 4 decades and has seen a lot of youth programs lose their focus.
“The product is teaching kids how to play football,” said Castle.
“Teaching players to love the game should be the focus of a youth soccer club,” said Castle. “I’ve known the guys at OC Surf for many, many years. We’ve been on the same path, we’ve just been on opposite side of the street battling away, and now we are together.”
One of the only English soccer people in the Southern California area who doesn’t profess to have played in the Premier League, Castle, Sr. is a dedicated coach who believes in helping his players reach for their dreams and become their best. Castle also believes in supporting his coaches. Understanding the importance of coaching education, his club sponsors coaches who are taking U.S. Soccer’s coaching courses to achieve higher licenses. As Castle says, “We actually pay for the guys to go and get their license.”
“It’s always exciting when one of our Surf SC partner clubs grows,” said Chris Adams, Business Development Director, Surf Cup Sports which has 17 affiliates across the USA from California to New York. Adams is the Director for the Surf Affiliate Program.
“We’re looking forward to the Mission Viejo club joining our Surf family and working closely with Orange County Surf and the affiliates in the area, San Clemente Surf and Anaheim Surf. When you have a common mission, there are a lot of opportunities to grow the game and improve player development. It will be exciting to see what the future holds in Orange County,” said Adams.
“I am extremely excited to partner up with OC Surf,” said Roger Castle Jr, OC Surf Mission Viejo, Director of Coaching. “We share the same values and passion for the game.”
“The future is extremely bright and the amount of new opportunities now available to our players is endless.”
Castle and his coaches take a team every year in Manchester, England where the players play friendlies against Premier League academies. Working with Harry Hackett, who coached Ryan Giggs, the famed Manchester United player who is now the Welsh National football coach, Castle has created an annual youth soccer trip every August and brings U14 and U15 boys over to experience the English soccer culture. “It is a great learning experience. Our boys have played Wigan Academy, Man City’s, and many other academy teams,” said Castle.
So many people in this sport realize how small the soccer world really is. In fact, Castle’s first meeting with Surf was decades ago.
“My first experience with the Surf was with Mike Connerley,” said Castle. “I used to run a youth soccer tournament the week before the Surf Cup and Mike would let me know he had out of state teams coming and they would compete to my tournament as a pre-runner for Surf Cup. This helped our tournament in Mission Viejo grow to over 400 teams and I will always appreciate Mike’s efforts to provide opportunities to talented youth players.”