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re: Soccer team for 12-year old daughter
My 12-year-old daughter plays with the Mersey Soccer Club, http://merseysoccer.com . They hold practices at King Middle School Field on Hopkins in Berkeley. It's very convenient to always practice in the same place (she used to be in another club and every season they had to switch practice fields). Mersey's focus is on teaching good soccer skills to kids of all ages. There are teams for boys and girls from under-6 to under-14. The club hires soccer coaches instead of relying on parent volunteers. Typically the coaches are young and enthusiastic, and most have many years of experience playing on league, high school and college teams.
Practices start on Monday the 17th, with the first spring season games the weekend of March 29th, so this is a good time to register. You can do it directly from the website above. I know there are still spots open on many Mersey teams for the spring. You do not have to have any experience to join. A new girl just joined my daughter's team, and she has never played soccer before.
Soccer is a great game, especially for middle school girls! :) Mersey soccer mom
Mersey Soccer Club is looking for a couple of reasonably good players for the fall under-16 boys team. The BHS freshman soccer coach recommends that if your child is serious about playing high school soccer in the winter, he should play club soccer in the fall. Mersey has been a wonderful experience for our son, who has played with them since he was 8. The coaching is excellent, the teams have great camaraderie, and a lot of them move on to Berkeley High. For info on the fall team, call 232-4625. Thanks, Laurie
Re: soccer for little kids
Soccer League - try Mersey Soccer League. Bill O'Donnell is the head coach. It is a wonderful, professionally run organization. My 8 year old son has played with them since he turned 5. They offer a nice Saturday morning low key session for 4 and 5 year olds at the King St. field, behind King Junior High in North Berkeley. It is just up the road on Hopkins street from Monterey Market. The phone number is 232-6425. georgz
My daughter has participated in the Mersey Soccer Club for two seasons (last spring and this fall). She was recruited by a parent at our school, so I don't know how the city leagues (Berkeley-Albany or El Cerrito-Richmond) work.
She plays in the "under 10" league. It is _not_ competitive, though some of the parents get a little worked up at the games. Because we pay for her to belong to the Mersey Soccer Club, the club provides (pays for) a coach. In our case, the coach is a lovely young Cal student. She has been a great role model for the girls.
My daughter goes to two practices a week after school (1 1/2 each) and the games are on Saturday, though the fall season has just ended. I don't think there were any disadvantages except for the time commitment, though she didn't go to all practices or all games. The advantages are the exercise, the camaraderie with the other girls on the team, learning to play cooperatively, and learning to lose. As far as the time commitment goes, we carpooled with one or two other families so that I didn't have to drive her to all of the practices.
Four of the girls on the team also attend my daughter's school, but the other seven are from other schools.
In our case, one mother volunteered to be the team parent so she organized the water and snacks for each game. One parent brings water for half time to each game plus snack (fruit + carbohydrate) to each after the game. At the end of the season we had a team party, which was nice both for the girls and the parents.
My daughter started last year just before she turned nine. I think there is an under 8 league. And I think the leagues go all the way up to under 16. From what I hear, the older boys are definitely more competitive and rougher (more shoving and tripping) when they play. Janet
Soccer? Try Mersey soccer club. Call Soccer Basics on Solano in Albany 546-4625. It's a great club with the best field around - King field on Hopkins. Lots of UC families. Paid coaches so it costs money, but the children learn to play well. Very good summer camps week long, June 15 - August 29. $145 full day/$70 half day. They swim and have fun. Wendy
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