8/8/2013 3:00:00 PM Soccer players get first hand instruction from professionals at local clinic
Members of the girls and boys soccer teams for Switzerland County High School spent last week receiving personalized instruction from professional soccer players based in and around Cincinnati.
The clinic was led by Brad Gough, the head coach of the 'Lady Saints' soccer team, a semi-professional team based in Cincinnati. Her brought along members of his team each night for the clinic.
"A lot of them travel quite a bit of distance, and many are playing college soccer at the same time," Jeff Mullins, assistant girls varsity soccer coach said. "They are adult-age women, and their talent level is phenomenal. I believe that next year they are looking at moving up and playing teams that are straight-pro level."
The clinic was coordinated by Jeff Mullins, whose daughter, Jade, played for Brad Gough on a summer club league team.
"It's something that we'd like to do every year," Jeff Mullins said. "For giving the players such short notice, we had a really good turnout, and they've gotten excellent instruction."
The Lady Saints players don't get directly paid to play, but all of their expenses, including uniforms and travel, are covered by sponsors. The team plays all over the Tri-State area, and the age of the team members range from 20-32.
The team is formed though college contacts of the coaching staff; as well as current and former players using their contacts from where they have played previously. Tryouts are also held once a year.
"The Cincinnati Lady Saints is the highest level of soccer being played in Cincinnati," Coach Brad Gough said. "We have really talented athletes. We go and compete against teams from Chicago, Kansas, Michigan, as well as cities in the Midwest like Dayton."
Brad Gough said that currently the team plays in the WLS, but the team is looking to move up and compete in a higher-level league next year. The team's travel involves league play against fellow WLS members Chicago, Fort Wayne, South Bend, and Dayton; and the squad also plays in tournaments around the country, including the "Tournament of Champions" in Elizabethtown, Kentucky, which saw them compete against high-level teams from Michigan and elsewhere.
"We also went and played in the National Amateur Championships in Overland Park, Kansas," Brad Gough said. "We played a team from San Francisco while we were out there, so that was kind of neat."
The team plays outdoor soccer in the summer, with the season running from May to the end of July; and the squad then begins training for its indoor soccer season in September, and that will run through the winter.
Brad Gough is a full-time soccer coach, and came to know Jeff Mullins while Jade was playing on his club team at TFA.
"Jeff expressed a really big interest in wanting to learn and know more as a coach, so he came out and sort of was my assistant coach in club," Brad Gough said. "We bounced ideas off of each other, so when he mentioned that he was going to be helping out with Switzerland County High School, I talked with him about having a camp, and he thought it would be a good idea."
The camp lasted for two hours every day of last week, and was packed with drills and various types of instruction for the players.
Both the boys and girls high school soccer teams compete in the fall sports season.