How are Nether's travel teams arranged?
U9 and U10
To support the youngest travel players' development. For our U9 and U10 teams we will train and compete as an age group. This means always training as a group on the same field, time and coaches developing each player but also allowing the entire age group to be developed together. This allows all players to grow and develop. This means at the U9 and U10 ages we don't have "A" and "B" teams. The division by talent at this age is meaningless to player development as knowing the top players at this age can change quickly and the evaluation of such things is not reliable. To combat this, Nether switched to the age group approach in 2012 and has been developing larger, more technically developed and socially bonded teams than any other club in the area.
The teams at this level are mixed ability allowing the stronger players to show leadership and model good skills and the weaker players to learn and develop. Team names are named after our club's colors: Orange, Black, Grey and White but do not designate playing ability.
At times if there is a wide disparity in talent we will slightly adjust teams to ensure development and compatibility for games but training will always be mixed ability and as an age group.
U11 and U12
As the players develop through their first 2-3 years of travel it becomes more apparent on level of play and ability. As well U11 and U12 are in a prime learning time in their soccer development. For these 2 age groups we will create more ability based teams but will maintain the age group training. This training environment will have all teams in the age group on the same field/time/coaches, but will have the more advanced group training together for a portion of the session and the lesser developed group training together for a portion of the session.
For competitions we will have 1-2 top teams and 1-2 lower level teams (depending on age group numbers). Rosters are not set in stone as the combined training environment and same coaches allow free player movement up and down depending on how development is progressing. Nether is the only club in the area with this environment and with the quality of coaching at the club is a key reason why we have so many teams in all our u11 and 12 programs.
Top teams in the U11 and U12 age group are labeled Orange and Black and the lower level will be called Grey and/or White.