NEFC (New England Futbol Club)
New England FC (“NEFC”) is one of the largest and strongest clubs in New England, having a professional coaching staff and state of the art soccer facilities. There are more than 2,000 players in the club.
NEFC is really a newcomer to the Massachusetts Premier League (MAPLE) scene; it’s first official season was Spring 2009. In May 2009 the New England Eagles FC and FC PUMA merged clubs and became NEFC while at the same time expanded into the greater metro-west area and the South Shore of Massachusetts.
[The New England Eagles FC was founded in 1992 as Tri-Valley United, “TVU”. In 2002 they merged with the Eagles and changed their name to The Tri-Valley Eagles, “TVE”. TVE merged again in 2006 with Spirit of Massachusetts and were renamed the New England Eagles FC. FC Puma was founded in 1998 and grew to 17 boys and girls MAPLE teams competing in the age group U10-U18. In May of 2012 NEFC merged with Grasshopper FC (GFC) operating under the name NEFC.]
Players in NEFC can develop from an early age right through high school and stay within the club. With more than 100 soccer clubs in Massachusetts, players often shift between clubs and lose a great deal of continuity – under the NEFC umbrella players can develop as they advance and learn to play at a higher level. NEFC is a very competitive and intense club. In May of 2014 NEFC and Black Watch Premier Soccer Club merged. This latest merger makes them one of the largest youth soccer clubs in New England with over 2000 players. NEFC teams play in the Massachusetts Premier League (MAPLE), Region 1, and New England Premiership (NEP).
With the club being so large it is broken out into four geographic regions: MetroWest & North; Central (boys); South Shore and Coast. Each of these regions is then broken out by boys/girls teams. For example the boys MetroWest & North region has nine teams and the girls have eighteen teams in this region. There are Youth Academies for each of the regions as well. The coaching staff is comprised of more than fifty professionals with such accreditations and licenses as USSF National License; NSCAA Premier Diploma; US Youth National Diploma and English FA Youth Diploma. There are individual goalkeeper coaches as well.
Club fees are ~ $2,500 and increasing; uniforms are on a three year cycle; tournament fees are high and certainly expect to pay handsomely for travel expenses; some of the elite / premier teams travel to Florida, New Jersey, New York, Virginia, etc.
NEFC is a big business; critics say they bring in kids with the intent on developing them only to replace them a few years later with more talent; not unusual as they need to support the premier teams both financially and with a greater talent pool; many believe the lower teams do not get the same treatment as higher-up teams; unless your kid is an Elite or Premier player you may get lost in the shuffle, have 2nd rate coach(es) and have games and practices moved around to accommodate the Elite/Premier teams.
Most parents identified coaching as a very critical part of the NEFC experience. Some parents find the coaches to be open and candid and who modeled the behaviors they valued were generally pleased with the experience regardless of their child’s role on the team. On the other hand, some find the coaches to be deceptive, unavailable, unwilling to talk, or immature in their management of players and had a lot to say about their disappointment with the competitive soccer experience.
Take the time to speak with the coach either before or during tryouts. Some NEFC coaches are more accessible than others. The coach may be willing to speak with parents at anytime. The coach may establish specific times to talk or specific times when they are not available, such as before games and practices.
Find out how accessible your child’s coach will be to you throughout the year.
Understand their views on playing time, discipline, positions. Understand their expectations around practices, tournaments, and off season activities. Academic demands can create conflicts with soccer practices on school nights. Special school events and projects can create conflicts on weekends.
Watch how the coach runs practice sessions. Are you satisfied with the level of organization, do the players seem to be having fun, are they active and moving and not standing in line waiting a turn, when the coach gives instructions are they clear and specific? Ask other parents about the coach.
What used to be called the Youth Academy is now the Regional Development Center. This program is a priority for the club as it is part of a long term development plan, providing players the opportunity to maximize their potential. There are 3 different age groups:
- Grasshoppers (U5-U6)
- Pumas (U7-U8)
- Eagles (U9-U10)
There are no tryouts and no players will be cut.
Players train in small groups based on play level and age; this is designed to be fun, but challenging, allowing young players to advance their skills and playing ability. There are four different Region Centers for NEFC:
- Central (central Mass and metro west)
- Metro North (Bedford, Concord, Belmont, Lexington, Waltham, Medford, Somerville and Cambridge)
- South Shore (…dozens of towns)
- South Coast (Dartmouth, New Bedford, and Fall River)
These are not cheap and range from $250 for a one day seasonal to $1,050 for full year.
Soccer Speed and Agility Clinics
NEFC offers multiple soccer-specific speed and agility clinics as of January 2014. These programs provide a great balance of teaching proper technique to help prevent injuries (e.g. running form, how to turn and explode with your first step, and ladder footwork) and improving individual performance in preparation for the spring season. Cost is ~ $125.
Futsal – there is no formal structured program; depends on the coach / team you’re on. Not a big deal to some as you can always join one of the many futsal leagues that exist.
NEFC hosts the The Massachusetts Fall Classic held in October (Columbus Day Weekend); unusual concept as just for town and intramural/recreational teams only; at Progin Park in Lancaster. The club also has a preseason tournament in March of each year. NEFC hosts an annual NEFC Preseason Tournament; separate ones for boys and girls.
This tournament is one of the top rated tournaments in the area. Games are played on turf and takes place at the youth soccer complex in Lancaster and other locations in the area – you may have a bit of way to travel as this is really spread out!
NEFC is planning on building their very own fields sometime in 2015 – a first for the club; sponsored by Boston-based Vertex Pharmaceutical. All other facilities used by NEFC are owned and operated by separate entities.
NEFC is affiliated with Fore Kicks Sports Complexes located in Marlboro, Norfolk and Taunton. These state-of-the-art facilities are comprised of synthetic indoor turf fields and futsal fields.
Additional facilities available to NEFC at Fore Kicks include fully outfitted weight rooms and aerobic facility, training classrooms, team meeting rooms and shower facilities. Ceiling mounted cameras over each field area allow for Coaches to record practices or games for use as an additional training tool.
The Marlboro Fore Kicks location has two synthetic turf game fields fully lighted. Additional outdoor training/game fields for NEFC are:
- Carter Brooks Elementary School – New Bedford (212 Nemasket St., New Bedford, MA)
- Berlin Memorial School – Berlin (34 South St., Berlin, MA)
- TEAMWORKS Somerset – Somerset (732 Lees River Ave., Somerset, MA 02725)
- Bishop Connolly High School – Fall River (373 Elsbree St., Fall River, MA 02720)
- The Omniplex – Fall River (Front St. Fall River, MA)
- Friends Academy – Dartmouth (1088 Tucker Rd., North Dartmouth, MA 02747)
- Dartmouth Regional Park and Trails – Dartmouth (443 Old Fall River Rd., Dartmouth, MA 02747)
- Marshall Street Fields – Holliston (150 Marshall St., Holliston, MA 01746)
- The Fields at Progin Park – Lancaster (512 Old Union Turnpike, Lancaster, MA 01523)
- Fore Kicks Sports Complex – Marlborough ( 219 Forest St., Marlborough, MA 01752)
- Oak Grove Fields – Millis (410 Exchange St, Millis, MA, 02054)
- Fore Kicks Sports Complex – Norfolk (10 Pine St., Norfolk, MA 02056)
- Fore Kicks Sports Complex – Taunton (223 Fremont St., Taunton, MA 02780)
- Freeman Centennial School – Norfolk (70 Boardman St., Norfolk, MA 02056)
- Pond Street – Norfolk (33 Pond St., Norfolk, MA 02056)
- NEFC’s website is clean and crisp and very easy on the eye – basic blue and red team colors.
- Good information on the history of the club and how it was formed.
- No “search” feature allowing users to look for information quickly.
- No fee structure for the club.
- Used to have some great news – not anymore.