Little Rock, AR – When the Little Rock Rangers launched in 2015, part of the club’s mission statement included improving soccer in the greater central Arkansas area. The club is making a large step towards meeting that goal with the launch of the Little Rock Rangers Elite Performance Academy (EPA). The Rangers EPA will start later this fall with a focus on a more year-round training experience for players who are committed to accelerating their development. The Rangers EPA will be led by former professional and international soccer player and coach, Ante Jazic.
Jazic, who was recently named the Director of Soccer Operations and Youth Academy for the Rangers, saw a need for a longer playing season for youth in the region.
Jazic mentions, “If a youth player wants to truly become elite, then they need to be prepared to train year round with calculated breaks.”
Jazic also sees a chance to start developing players at a young age. He adds,
“The 8-12 year old age group are the golden ages of player development. It’s critical at these ages players learn the proper technical components of the game. This program is designed to give players a strong technical foundation in their soccer development.”
The Rangers EPA will run from the end of November into the middle of January with a focus on the timeframe in which players are generally not playing for their primary club team.
Rangers’ President, Jonathan Wardlaw, wanted to emphasize that the launch of the Rangers EPA is about bringing quality players in the state together instead of competing with the local clubs already established in the area.
“I want to be very clear that this is not a program that we are creating to ‘compete’ with the other youth clubs in the area,” Wardlaw said. “This is supplemental to our youth’s primary club and will give the players, who are more dedicated and serious about their development, an outlet for more competitive experiences while they are between seasons.”
He adds, “To have someone in the state with the playing and coaching background as Ante is a huge privilege for our players. He’s seen it all, played in Europe, CONCACAF, MLS… basically everywhere, and shared the field with world class players and coaches. He’s such an asset for us and we should take advantage of his experience.”
The Rangers join a list of other NPSL clubs to field a youth academy and look to be on the forefront of youth development in the area. If you would like information about sponsorship opportunities within the Rangers EPA or learn how to sponsor an underprivileged player please email info@littlerockRangers.com.
Details on the LR Rangers EPA:
20 Technical Skills Oriented Sessions
Not for Beginners
Open to Birth Years 05-08
Tues and Thurs evenings; Sat mornings
Nov 28th – Jan 20th
War Memorial Stadium
**Limited Spots Available**
**Registration will close 10/31!!!**
HERE to register!!!