Q: What is being announced?
A: Over the past few months, the boards and technical staff of BNT and FCN have discussed different ways to work together to provide better soccer opportunities in our community. In the fall of 2017, both boards voted to enter into a memorandum of understanding with the goal of the merging of the two clubs together in June 2018.
Q: Why do you want to merge?
A: Both clubs firmly believe this is what is in the best interests of all our soccer players. By merging BNT and FCN, we will have the ability to pool our coaching and administrative resources, provide soccer pathways to the highest levels in both the boys and the girls side, and compete on both sides at a regional and national level. We also believe this merger will help reduce unhealthy levels of inter-club competition. We believe we should focus on developing players rather than worrying about beating the club down the road.
Q: What does FCN bring to BNT? What does BNT bring to FCN?
A: Both clubs have strengths and areas of needs. We believe that both clubs offer a tremendous amount of advantages to one another. We are combining the best of both and bringing the experience of lessons learned from identified target areas from the past to a new club.
Q: What are the benefits?
A: There are many. First, we can provide a place for every player, regardless of development level. Secondly, merging will allow greater flexibility for players, coaches and team creation because we’ll have a more substantial talent pool to play in appropriate platforms based on ability and age. Third, becoming a larger club will allow us to attract friendlies with out-of-state teams, which will increase revenue and hopefully reduce the cost of travel soccer for everyone. Fourth, we believe a new club with larger membership will be a more attractive club to sponsors and donors. This will help us enhance player development programs, coaching education, and offer higher value to our club’s families. Also, we will become more attractive to elite club organizations like the Developmental Academy, Regional and National Leagues.
Q: What is the name of the new club?
A: The name of the club will be Boise Timbers for the boy’s program and Boise Thorns for the girl’s program, affiliated directly with an Alliance Club with the MLS Portland Timbers and NWSL Portland Thorns. Collectively the overall organization name will be Boise Timbers-Thorns FC.
Q: What is the timeline?
A: Our respective Boards and Technical leadership are working together to align our structure, coaching assignments and operating rhythms with a goal to fully merge by June 1st, 2018.
Q: How will this affect my competitive player/team?
U9 – U12 Competitive
A: The U9-U12 age groups will continue to have opportunities to remain recreational or try more competitive soccer. Competitive teams may train where a majority of players can attend and/or where there is adequate training space.
U13 – U19 Competitive
A: Try-outs will be held in each age group. All players within an age group will tryout together. Teams will be formed based on ability. Once your child has been offered a position on a team, he/she (based on known information team travel demands, dedication level, coach, training location, etc.), will be able to accept or decline the position. If declined, the player will be offered on the next team in line.
Q: In each of the older age groups, will there be more than one “Premier” team?
A: Yes…possibly. It all depends on the talent within the age group. After tryouts, the coaching leadership will make recommendations, based on their evaluations, as to what type of schedule the team should play. These recommendations will help determine if the team plays Nationally, Regionally, Local Division 1, Division 2, or Division 3, etc.
Q: Are fees going up?
A: While it largely depends on the number of players, the financial committee is working up preliminary budgets. The reality is both clubs are planning on sustainability without creating a barrier for kids to play soccer. As mentioned, it will depend on the number of players we have in the combined club. Over time and a primary target of this decision is that family costs will hopefully go down with more opportunities to initiate play platforms based on the level of play. The primary goal is not to exceed any one highest club fee that is in place for an age group for the current 2017-2018 cycle.
Q: When will I know the coaching assignments?
A: The coaching leadership will post coaching assignments at the end of April/First of May – before tryouts in June. This process is no different than what would happen if we did not merge.
Q: Does this mean I will have to drive further to get to the practice field?
A: For youth league, NO. If your child, at U9 and above attends competitive programming tryouts/evaluations, commits to an age group/team, he/she will train where that age group/team trains.
Q: Will we try to get new practice areas, beyond what we have now?
A: Our initial transition is to use currently maintained facilities in the FC Nova Complex and The Seventh Day Adventist Church for competitive and geographic locations for the Youth League (FC Nova Complex, Simplot Sports Complex and Guerber Park). One of the positives of merging clubs is we will have a greater voice in Ada County not to mention the pooled resources and relationships our parents have here. Sponsors and donors are clearly more interested in working with a merged customer based where their message is spread over a much larger area.
Q: How will team practice locations be determined and when will they be determined?
A: Once the age groups are selected the coaching staff will begin working on the master training schedule. Much of this will depend on the training space needed based on the player populations as well as the scheduling needs of the coach.
Q: Our child is interested in “changing” clubs/rosters now from Club “X” to Club “Y”. Since the intent to merge is set for June of 2018 can we change organizations prior to June 2018?
A: NO. For the end of Fall/Winter all will remain “as is” with internal and external programming currently in place. Education and Information phased plans will be ongoing as part of the process. The plan is to start age group transition play/training in April of 2018. Coaching assignments will be released on May of 2018 along with age group transition trainings with the 2018-2019 age group staff/directors. Then total immersion will occur in June 2018 via age group formations similar to the current annual cycle.
Q: Will we have to purchase new uniform kits for the fall?
A: Yes. Both clubs are in the new 2-year competitive uniform cycle commitment ending June 2018. This is a natural new competitive program uniform cycle.
U9 and above competitive boys will be in Adidas 9 and above competitive girls will be in Nike
Q: Can I help?
For sure! Be active in the coming months regarding getting the correct information presented by the technical leadership. This will include survey feedback, attendance at all-club and age group meetings and checking in on the media outlets.