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Oxford Soccer Club's Play On The Pitch At Mike Rose

Hans Soto, a member of the Oxford Soccer Club, looks for a teammate during a recent match played at the Mike Rose Soccer Complex in Memphis, Tennessee. Photo by John Davis

Spring break was the first chance for several members of the Oxford Soccer Club to sit down and take a breath. For six teams associated with the club, weekly training has included trips to Memphis, Tennessee to take part in the prestigious Mike Rose Soccer League. 
Shaun Edgar, the Director of Training for the OSC, was the one who got the teams involved at Mike Rose, which features nightly games against some of the most competitive teams in the area. 
“First, it’s an honor for our club to be invited to participate in a league of this caliber,” Edgar said. “The league is designed for player development. Playing regularly scheduled league matches allows us the opportunity to evaluate our progress on a weekly basis and focus in on specific team and player development strengths and needs. We want to follow the latest and most effective trends in youth player development and competing once a week allows us to follow a training and playing ratio of 3:1 (4:1 is most optimal) per week. In following this model, we will see players grow in the game and be more team and self-aware.”
The level of play in Memphis is more consistent from a competition standpoint, which ultimately is better for those taking part in the club. 
“The focus is players becoming better by playing proper soccer and dealing with game situations that provoke players to think,” Edgar said. “It requires our younger players to be exposed to faster more technical and physical game. For our older players, the speed of play and overall tactics present a new challenge each game.”
Future development is a big point of emphasis for the OSC and these weekly contests will allow the trainers to modify things for the participants.
“We are using this experience to compete and as an extension of our training. It allows us work on things we create in training except it is in a ‘live’ game environment against an opponent that is trying to counter what we do,” Edgar said. “This will allow our players to grow in ways they have not had in the past. We can then reference situations in training allowing our players the ability to remember and execute desired outcomes from our matches.”
One of the big reasons OSC was able to participate in Mike Rose for the first time is the level of commitment made to teach the game properly. Player development is at the forefront of everything OSC does, and that will continue through this season in Mike Rose, and beyond. 
The teams that are traveling to Mike Rose include the 2001 boys and girls, which play in the high school division, the 2003-04 boys, the 2005 boys, the 2006 boys and the 2005-06 girls. 
For more information on the OSC, visit Facebook.com/The Oxford Soccer Club.

By John Davis Oxford Park Commission
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