NASHVILLE, TN - Nashville SC announced the start of the Nashville SC Academy Monday morning, as well a the appointment of Jamie Smith as Academy Director. From the club's press release, Smith will be "tasked with building an elite fully funded youth soccer program based at Currey Ingram Academy and serving the entire Nashville region and the state of Tennessee."
The Nashville SC Academy will compete against other Major League Soccer clubs at the highest nationwide level of youth soccer in the United States. The Academy will start with it's U12 side, which will compete in the Generation Adidas Cup U12 tournament this Thanksgiving weekend (November 28-30 in Atlanta). The Academy will launch U13, U14 and U15 sides in the 2020/21 season.
“The launch of The Nashville SC Academy further solidifies the club’s commitment of being in Nashville, with Nashville and for Nashville,” said Nashville SC CEO Ian Ayre. “We are the first professional soccer club with a truly elite soccer academy in the state. Our goal is to inspire young athletes to want to play for our first team and create a pathway for them to do so at no cost. Our Academy will provide players with a unique experience and a learning environment that will be unmatched in the United States.”
Academy Director Jamie Smith joins from FC DELCO in Philadelphia. Smith played professionally for 14 years, coming through the youth system of FC Celtic in Scotland. He spent five seasons with Celtic, as well as extended spells with Aberdeen FC and Colorado Rapids of MLS, where he was part of Gary Smith's MLS Cup winning side in 2010. After retiring from his playing career in 2014, Smith joined the Rapids academy.
“I am thrilled to have the opportunity to launch the Nashville SC Academy and look forward to working with the youth of the region, along with the established clubs and their directors to create a clear path to the professional ranks right in our home state,” said Smith. “The philosophy of our academy is to prepare players for the professional level – making sure the individual player can adapt to the different situations in the game of soccer. We want to create an environment where the players are getting the education on and off the pitch that is required to succeed as a top professional soccer player.”
“We are excited to have a director of Jamie’s caliber leading our academy effort,” added Nashville SC CEO Ian Ayre on Smith’s appointment. “He brings a wealth of experience from the professional and youth development levels which will immediately contribute to the success of this key strategic initiative.”
The final piece of the announcement is the official naming of Currey Ingram Academy as the home of the Nashville SC Academy. Nashville SC owner John Ingram has a long history with the school, helping it relocate and build it's campus in 2002, when the Academy adopted its current name.
U12 Tryout information can be found here: https://www.nashvillesc.com/academy