At a typical AFC Union tryout session, players will be put through a few brief exercises to get them warmed up and allow the evaluators to familiarize themselves with the group and assess basic technical proficiency levels in a short period of time. We do not spend lengthy periods of time, however, on drills or recorded tests. The players will then move through a series of progressive games that will increase in size (i.e. 4v4 > 7v7 > 11v11) throughout the duration of the sessions. We want players to be in game-like environments for as long as possible.
At tryouts we typically have multiple evaluators observing each age group; the assigned evaluators are coaches that are both familiar and unfamiliar with the player pool. This way, the head coach forming the team has a variety of perspectives and feedback from the evaluation staff.
This is a commonly asked question before, during, and after tryout time. Because of this common misconception, we are slightly rebranding “tryouts” as Player Placement Assessments to better illustrate how the process works.
The majority of players participating in tryouts are current players who are returning to our club, meaning they have been playing at AFC Union under the eyes of our coaching staff for the past year. As a result, we are very familiar with the players and have a good idea of where they are at with their development. So while it is very fair to say we have a good idea of where players are at prior to tryouts, there are no spots promised prior to the conclusion of tryouts.
Naturally, the year-long process of monitoring player development leading up to tryouts is a crucial component to player placement. As we move forward, think of tryouts as the culmination of a year-long Player Development Assessment, which involves feedback given to the players in both (formal and informal) written and verbal form. It can be a stage where players can be evaluated with peers in the same age group that they may not have been on the same team with the previous year. Additionally, we always have new players wanting to join AFC Union so the tryout is our only opportunity to evaluate where potential new players fit in with our returning pool of players.
AFC Union will post player placements by player evaluation numbers as well as email players their offers at noon on the Friday following the final tryout session for that age group. The personal emails that are sent out will state which team the player has made, and the parent will be able to either decline the offer or accept the offer. When accepting the offer, the parent will be taken directly to the WYSA registration system to register their player with AFC Union. This is the player's acceptance and commitment to AFC Union for the 2018-2019 soccer year. There are pros, cons, and flaws with each tryout notification method, but we believe the email notification and tryout number posting method is the most efficient way to release the results.
A player seeking to “tryout” at an age group older than their true U-Level will need to first request and then obtain written permission from the AFC Union Director of Coaching. Permission may not be granted in every case.
Any potential player placement decisions, including the possibility of “playing up”, will be at the sole discretion of the Director of Coaching in conjunction with the coaching staff. During our annual Player Placement Assessments in June 2018, all players for the coming year will first be evaluated in their true U-Level/birth year; if the coaching staff deems it in the best developmental interest of a player to play up an age group, a discussion will be held at that time with the player, parents, and Director of Coaching.
Players will still register for Player Evaluations (tryouts) in their true age divisions