FC Wichita has finalized plans to launch Wichita’s first under 20 men’s team. The “U20’s,” as the club refers to them, will compete as semi-professionals, allowing all players to keep their amateur status and college eligibility intact. The club will hold open tryouts at its indoor facility on December 16th to begin the selection process among Wichita’s elite 16-20 year old players. TRYOUT INFO
CEO Blake Shumaker stressed the importance of every player being from the greater Wichita area, and using as many high school age players as possible. FC Wichita is ambitious about improving college scholarship opportunities and helping the players build their resumes. A goal that the club feels is reachable based on current talent developing inside it’s youth academy.
“Over the past few years our board of advisors expressed the need for top local talent to be exposed to a higher level, and at an earlier age,” said Shumaker. “A level above competitive youth club soccer, but just below the professional ranks. Last year we tested the notion by getting 4 of our 16 yr old academy players into the senior team during a home friendly match. That trial was a success, and we knew right away these kids should be on a larger stage.”
For the 18 players selected at this tryout, that stage is now set. In 2018 those players will compete in FC Wichita’s inaugural U20’s, playing games against colleges and lower division professional teams throughout the Midwest. “This schedule allows them to play in front of college and professional scouts,” says Director of Soccer Larry Inlow. “Its a necessary investment for us to continue helping these young players reach their dreams.”
In addition to the U20 tryouts, registration for the men’s NPSL team will also be released in the coming days.