Black Watch Premier (BWP)
To be the destination for all aspiring footballers and coaches to develop and advance in Upstate New York.
Player Development Philosophy:
We believe all players have the ability to learn, develop and achieve, and it is our responsibility at the Club that we invest, teach, model, cultivate, and create pathways for players and coaches to advance to reach their potential through the sport of soccer and beyond.
Club Background & History:
Blackwatch Soccer Club Inc. was founded in 1996 by Steve Freeman. As the Club enters its 25th year of operation, it is most proud of its commitment to each player’s personal growth and achievements. Recently, the three of the Club’s alumnus launched the BWP Alumni and Parent Association to support its players, alumnus and parents through job placement, internships and networking opportunities. The Club continues to offer its BWP Leadership Academy which is entering its 10th year of operation. Nearly 600 players have graduated the Club’s programming with more than 550 players playing collegiately. This past year, the Club was afforded acceptance into the MLS Next Academy at U13 and U14, and the Club has expanded its contact time and added programmatic elements focusing on the holistic development of its players in its transition to becoming the BWP Football Academy presented by adidas.
Notable Team Results & Achievements:
- Club has advanced to three (3) US Club Soccer National competitions
- Club has won five (5) ENYYSA State Championships - 5 appearances at USYS Regionals
- Club has won one (1) Super Y League National Championship
- Club has advanced to six (6) the Super Y League Nationals
- Surf Cup Finalists - Super Group
- Surf Cup Semifinalists - Super Group on three (3) occasions
- 93% of the Club’s graduates have gone on to play collegiately - nearly 40% have competed at the NCAA Division 1 level
- Dave MacVane Jr.: U17 US Residency Program
- David Clemens: former semi-professional player
- Denzel Ogunyase: former Elon College alumni
- Evan Mendez: former Harvard University alumni
- Nico Rabiu: current Red Bulls Academy player
- Noah Rhynhart: former Syracuse University alumni
- Paul Gerstenberger: U18 USYNT member and drafted by Columbus Crew
- Robbie Millock: former captain at Harvard University
- Trey Jasenski: former UNLV/Binghamton & USL player
- Warren Gross: U-20 USYNT member at Pan American Games
Number of Teams:
BWP Albany has 18 teams and runs programming in several different catchments.
- Lil’ Lions: U3/4 & U5/6
- Grassroots: U7, U8 & U9
- Pre-Academy: U10, U11 & U12
- MLS NEXT: U13 & U14
- Academy: U15, U16, U17, U18 & U19, Senior U21 & Men’s
Elite Talent Identification:
Learn more about Elite Talent Identification Tryouts.
Website & Social Media:
For More Information on the Club, Please Contact:
“We believe in aligning our Club and its programming with the epicenter of development - the professional Club and its Academy, and it is a privilege to become an affiliate of the New York Red Bulls Academy. Creating transparency, access and inspiration for our players and coaches to aspire to excel and achieve are hallmarks of this relationship.
Some of the benefits that we are most excited for our players and coaches to experience is the direct access to New York Red Bulls Academy and its staff and programming. Also, high-potential players within BWP Albany will have the opportunity to train and prove their merit within Red Bulls Academy’s weekly training. Access to Red Bulls Academy, its staff and leadership, the mechanics and opportunities to collaborate are authentic coaching development opportunities for our staff, so we can better prepare our current players and future generations to come. Creating clarity for our players and coaches as well as our community as a whole should enable us to continue to move closer to becoming the destination for high-performing and high-potential players in Upstate New York.
Our chief objective at BWP Albany has always been to enhance the personal performance trajectory and character development of each of our players through the sport of soccer, and as we transition into BWP Football Academy, we are thrilled to create additional opportunities for our players to grow and develop through added contact time and our partnership with Red Bulls Academy, MLS Academy Affiliate Program and MLS Next.
New York Red Bulls and Red Bulls Academy strive for excellence and partnering with one of North America’s elite player development academies was nothing short of a gift and privilege. We will work daily to support their work and we will work daily to develop and inspire our players, so we may see our most-talented players wear red for Red Bulls Academy...and someday the New York Red Bulls First Team!”
– Steve Freeman, CEO/Academy Director, Black Watch Premier (BWP)