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Long begins launch of Boonsboro Football Club

July 11, 2010|By DAN KAUFFMAN

BOONSBORO -- Michael Long is putting his 20 years of experience in soccer to use with the creation of the professional Boonsboro Football Club.

Long, who recently became the Boonsboro High School varsity boys head coach, said the club -- which will feature a professional men's team and boys and girls teams from ages 6 to 19, as well as a Pee-Wee Academy for ages 4-6 -- will put an emphasis on top-level coaching.

"The professionalism comes about by having people involved who coach for a living," said Long, who spent seven years as a coach in the FC Frederick club and five as the varsity boys coach at St. Maria Goretti. "FC Frederick has one of -- if not the best -- staff of coaches in the nation, because they pay their coaches very well. The most experienced coaches want to go somewhere where they can make an impact and also feed their families."

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Long, the BFC president and chief operating officer, is in the process of recruiting coaches to the club. Coaches will be encouraged to continue their education through the United States Soccer Federation licensing programs.

"When you find coaches who are willing to further their education to be better coaches, that's what makes it enjoyable," said Long, who has the USSF National Youth and National 'D' licences. "Most of the travel leagues require certain minimums in licenses to coach. We will reimburse all coaches who want to take continuing education.

"Soccer people can have played the game at a professional level, but until they take the time and spend it learning how to coach and teach young players, they're doing themselves and the players they're teaching a disservice. It takes time to learn how to coach."

Sponsorships and membership fees will help pay the salaries of the coaches. Long said he hopes to keep membership fees for players reasonable.

Most of the youth teams will begin play in various area leagues this fall, with the high school-age teams starting in the winter and spring. The men's open pro team will compete in the U.S. Amateur Cup and the U.S. Open Cup -- the latter which features Major League Soccer teams -- and Long hopes it will compete in USSL's Division II league within five to seven years.

"It could happen sooner if we can change the culture here enough," Long said. "We want to have a franchise running out of the South County area."

Late registrations for players will be accepted through Friday, and the club still is seeking coaches.

For more information or to send a coaching resum, send an e-mail to longmdl@gmail.com or visit the Web site http://www.bfcmd.us.

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