• November 23, 2022

Over the weekend, the ECNL Boys Regional League event series got underway with ECNL Regional League Virginia. The event was an opportunity for players in the Regional League U17-U18/19 age groups to experience three days of high-level competition against other Regional League teams from around the country.

“It’s good for them to see the different levels and see what different clubs have to offer,” said Darren Warham, Boys Director for Charlotte Independence. “They enjoyed playing against different clubs from different areas.”

While Charlotte faced many stern tests over the weekend from a number of teams, Warham said he and his coaches were happy with the way the weekend went and believed the competition will help them as they move forward in the year.

“The coaches were happy with the level of play and getting back into the swing of things, and it was good competition for them,” Warham said.

Not only is the competition important, but Warham noted the atmosphere from the event was also an important thing for his players to get to see and experience.

“I think seeing the marketing that was there with the banners, for those kids who haven’t experienced a national event before, it’s good for them to see that,” Warham said.

Brian Young, head coach at FC Westlake, also described the importance of getting his team out to these events. Things such as traveling as a team and staying together in hotels all make the club more professional, Young believes.

“Any national event the teams can get to is a positive,” Young said. “We’re staying together in the hotels, so it allows us to work with the teams both individually and collectively.”

Young also spoke to the level of competition and different styles of play his team saw this weekend. While they often know what they might see from certain teams playing in Texas, getting outside of the state presents a new set of challenges and playing styles that will only make FC Westlake better as the season progresses.

“I think just playing against competition that we don’t see in Texas is beneficial,” Young said. “It was nice to play against new teams from outside our state. One, to have a fresh opponent, but also to see our development as a club and how Texas is a good state to play in with the ECNL Regional League.”