Youth soccer getting ready for season

Published 12:01 am Friday, May 27, 2011

NATCHEZ — The ball has started rolling and preparations are underway for the beginning of another Natchez Youth Soccer Organization season.

League Director Donovan Silva said he has started the process of getting uniforms, supplies and working on the fields at Morgantown Elementary in preparation for the season that starts in August.

Registration for the league begins the first of July and runs through the beginning of August, Silva said. Players can register at Sports Center.

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Silva started directing the league last year and has implemented a new soccer education session this season that will take place before the season begins.

“We have some quality kids and we need to focus on training them properly,” Silva said. “We have a coaching education session we will be doing this year.”

The goal is to teach coaches, parents and players the basics of soccer and also teach the coaches how to run a practice session, Silva said.

Silva said he sees ability to be successful soccer players in the local athletes.

“Skill wise (the league) is pretty competitive, but (the players) decision making lacks a lot,” Silva said. “We have good athletes.”

The league is for boys and girls ages 4 to 19. Leagues will be split up according to age groups. There will be an under-6 league, under-8 league, under-12 league and under-19 league, Silva said.

Silva said the teams will play each other and he hopes that each team will play the other teams in the league twice. Games will be Tuesdays and Sundays.

Silva said the younger age groups will play four versus four games, and the under-19 league will play eight versus eight.

“Four-versus-four allows for smaller sized games, and it gets (the players) more experience, more touches and they learn to recognize space,” Silva said.

Silva moved to Natchez in 2009 from Slidell, La., and started working with NYSO when he arrived. He said last year, his first year as director, the league had approximately 185 players, up from approximately 170 in 2009. He hopes that the league will reach 200 players this year, he said.

Silva said he got some positive feedback from parents last season, after the league upgraded its uniforms. He thinks that getting parents to come to the educational session will help their enjoyment of the game, he said.

“People enjoy it. If we can get people to attend the information (session), people will realize what’s good and what’s bad in the game (and will enjoy it more),” Silva said.

Silva has been involved in coaching soccer for eight years, and playing for 20 he said.

“I’ve been playing since I was five. I played club soccer at Southeastern Louisiana University, but focused mainly on coaching,” Silva said. “I coached in the Slidell Youth Soccer Club.”

“I like to convey my idea of soccer to them.”

Silva said that players that are current members of the NYSO, and have submitted their e-mail addresses, they would be e-mailed the registration information.

For further registration information players can e-mail Silva at