Academy Affiliate Monthly Update (March 2021): Black Watch Premier

BWP March 2021

BWP Albany Boys U15s through U19s head down to NYC to compete…

The last weekend of February saw the club’s U15s, U16s, U17s and U18/19s play competitively outside of the Club for the very first time since the beginning of March 2020. BWP Albany – soon to be announcing officially the rebrand to the BWP Football Academy presented by adidas – traveled down to NYC to participate in the Manhattan Kick-off Classic.

The weekend saw 11 matches played and only one match cancelled due to covid health and safety protocols. The Club which typically has demonstrated difficulty handling early season opposition saw its four age groups post an overall Club record of 6-3-2 across the 11 matches. 

“Overall, I am pleased to see our players playing against outside competition. Since early Fall, we have increased our contact time to 4 training sessions a week, added a 5th session - Sports Performance since the beginning of January, and have been training on hardcourts - futsal-like, although not 5-aside regulation with the heavier ball,” stated BWP Albany Academy Director Steve Freeman. “I believe the increased frequency and added programming has truly helped our players. I feel these added components and frequency of time together has benefitted each and every player taking part.”

The U15s, U16s, U17s and U18/19s will begin their traditional Spring seasons competing in EDP at the end of the month.

BWP Albany MLS Next Spring Campaign about to get underway...

“We are excited for this Spring’s slate of matches to see how much progress we have made with both groups,” stated BWP Albany MLS Next Academy Director Steve Freeman. “Our groups were put in many challenging situations that not only tested them physically and technically, but also mentally and emotionally. Our boys have stepped up and dedicated themselves to increasing our contact time as well as adding Sports Performance to their weekly schedule. We could not be prouder of their work and commitment to becoming better footballers and young people in general.”

The BWP Albany U13s and U14s launch their Spring 2021 MLS Next Season this past weekend at NYSC in Purchase, New York.

The Annual BWP Leadership Academy opens Friday night…

For the past 10 years, players ages 13-19 years old have volunteered their time to study and attend the annual BWP Leadership Academy. Typically, the program has experienced about 100-120 student-athletes within the Club who opt-in to this additional program away from the traditional training ground - roughly about 70% of the eligible players. The program runs for 6 evenings scattered throughout the late Winter and Spring and each session is roughly 2.5 hours.

There is a leadership lesson, mentor-mentee partner activities, guest speakers and panels, literature connection and service project initiated by the participants. The focus continues to be on building personal agency and personal accountability through the lens of its four pillars - home, school, community and Club.

“This year, we are excited to have Russell Payne, the Club’s Director of Leadership and Liaison to US Soccer, and Dr. Cristina Fink, the Club’s Director of Mental Performance join the Club’s programming and take it to another level,” stated BWP Albany MLS Next Academy Director Steve Freeman.

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Academy Affiliate Monthly Update (March 2021): Black Watch Premier  -