Mobile, Alabama – May 13, 2020 – AFC Mobile, Mobile’s minor league soccer team, will form a youth soccer academy, beginning Fall 2020. The AFC Mobile Academy will develop soccer players of all ages in Mobile and the surrounding areas through a unified system of coaches, teams, and training philosophies. Working with the community of Mobile and utilizing relationships throughout the country, the AFC Mobile Academy will strive to create opportunities for young players, while building a community of passionate and knowledgeable soccer players and people.
“This is a step we’ve been talking about for a few years, but we wanted to make sure we could execute our vision and do things the right way,” said AFC Mobile board member Sean Landry. “The AFC Mobile Academy will enable us to dedicate ourselves to producing the next generation of AFC Mobile players and supporters. We’re committed to producing players who are passionate and knowledgeable about the game and their community. Our academy will be transparent and cohesive, part of one club with one philosophy from our youngest players to our oldest. Today’s announcement is the first step on a long path that we hope will lead to the continued growth of the game in and around Mobile.”
The AFC Mobile Academy intends to field teams in the Fall of 2020 and will be open to both boys and girls. The Academy’s first group of teams will be built with the players and coaches of the former Mobile Texans youth club, a satellite club of the Pensacola-based Gulf Coast Texans.
AFC Mobile head coach Steve Wieczorek will head the project as the academy’s Technical Director. Former Texans director of coaching and Indiana University forward Craig Ginsberg will assist Wieczorek as the academy director in 2020-21.
“I’m certainly excited and eager to expand my role at AFC Mobile as Technical Director of the youth academy,” Wieczorek said, “With the AFC Mobile Academy, the senior club is creating a clear pathway for young players to reach their highest potential and develop a life-long love for the game.”
Wieczorek has served as the head coach of the AFC Mobile senior team since 2019. In his first season, he led the team to its first-ever GCPL playoff berth and secured the most points in the GCPL eastern conference. In addition to his duties with AFC Mobile, he has been the Spring Hill College men’s soccer coach since 2015. In 2017, his team secured the best finish in program history by finishing 12-3 and 2nd in the Gulf South Conference. In 2018, he bettered that mark by becoming the only team in Gulf South Conference history to go undefeated in conference play, winning both the Regular Season and Gulf South Conference tournament championships. He has won more matches than any head coach in the program’s history.
Prior to moving to Mobile, Wieczorek served as an assistant coach at Siena College, the University of Bridgeport, Duquesne University and Oregon State, during which time he coached and recruited multiple future professional players, including Pac-12 player of the year and MLS No. 2 overall draft pick Khiry Shelton. He holds an NSCAA Premier Diploma and a “C” License from the Football Association of Wales, with plans to complete the UEFA B License in 2021. He is a candidate for a PhD in Sports Management, with a projected completion date of August 2020.
“From the first day as coach of our senior team, Steve has been unbelievably passionate about our club and its growth. I’ve rarely encountered anyone with the technical and coaching knowledge he has. With that passion, his experience coaching all over the country, his track record of coaching players who have seen success in the highest professional and collegiate ranks in America, our young players will be in good hands,” Landry said. “Throughout the planning process for this launch, he’s shown himself to be absolutely dedicated to the personal development of every player in our academy, on and off the field. He brings a clear vision of how he wants AFC Mobile teams to play, and how to develop players from our junior academy to our oldest teams. We’re thrilled to work with him in this expanded capacity, and I know our academy coaches will be as well.”
More information and a player interest form can be found http://www.afcmobile.net/academy. Be sure to keep up with the latest developments by following the AFC Mobile Academy on Facebook and on Twitter @AFCMobAcademy.
AFC Mobile is Mobile’s minor league soccer team, competing in the National Premier Soccer League. The 2020 NPSL Season has been canceled due to the ongoing COVD-19 pandemic. Follow AFC Mobile on all your favorite social media platforms to keep up with the latest news and information about the club.