Academy Soccer vs. Recreational Soccer

Updated 5/7/21

How to decide what is the right soccer program for your child and your family? One of the most frequently asked questions is "What is Fairhope Academy Soccer?"and how is it different than recreational soccer?


Recreational Soccer 

  • There is no selection/tryout process. 
  • Players of all levels who register are assigned to a team per age group
  • There is usually a one-time registration fee, which includes uniform
  • Players benefit from the opportunity for social interaction with other players their own age and physical fitness aspects of the game while also developing better soccer skills.
  • There are two seasons, Fall and Spring. Teams play approximately 8 games per season. 
  • All practices/games are located Fairhope Soccer Complex. 
  • All coaches are volunteers and usually parents of players.

Fairhope Academy Program

  • Player evaluations are held twice a year to identify players on the basis of ability and best interest for ages 8 and above.
  • Players selected for Academy teams are committing to their team for the full year August-May minus the brief winter break. 
  • Players selected for Academy teams are also financially committing to their team for the full year.
  • Additional costs for uniform and travel 
  • Academy teams play in local playdates and tournaments. (Away playdates and tournaments are typically within an hour drive from our home soccer complex.)
  • All coaches are licensed and paid. Academy coaches are not volunteers.

Before joining an Academy team, there are certain factors you should evaluate:

· Am I, as a parent, willing to make the financial commitment of the team fees and travel expenses for the per season/year?

· Am I, as a parent, willing to make the time commitment of getting my child to two (2) practices per week during the season? Academy teams typically practice mid-August through early December for Fall season and mid-January through mid-May for Spring season.

· Am I, as a parent, willing to make the commitment of getting my child to games on the weekend, even out of town games?

· Am I, as a parent, willing to allow my child to play some games on Sunday or even during a weeknight in the event of a reschedule?

· Does my child have time in their schedule? Can he/she balance school, homework, school sports, and/or other extra-curricular activities to commit to a competitive/travel team?

· Does my child want to play soccer competitively for 3-4 months rather than only 8-week season in our recreational program?


If you answered "yes" to the questions above, then Fairhope Academy is right for you!


Feel free to contact Coach Declan McSheffrey, Club Director @ 516-238-6773 or email and/or Sara Wade, Academy Registrar @

Contact Us

Contact Info

General Club Inquiry:

Mailing Address:
FSC PO Box 363
Montrose, AL 36559

Fairhope Soccer Complex:
18383 County Rd. 13
Fairhope, AL 36532 

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