Editor’s Note: Every quarter, US Club Soccer announces the most recent class of Players First-licensed clubs. In the weeks to follow, the newest clubs will be highlighted with Q&As from their directors.
Q: Why did Princeton Soccer Academy apply for Players First licensing?
Ollie Hilliker, Executive Director of Princeton Soccer Academy: We share mutual beliefs with the Players First philosophy and core pillars. PSA has a united approach to developing players holistically, with close engagement of the player and their families on and off the field. Being awarded the Players First license highlights our desire and commitment to provide the best possible environment for our players' growth.
Q: What does it mean for Princeton Soccer Academy to now be an official Players First-licensed club?
Hilliker: We are extremely proud to be an official Players First-licensed club. It is a privilege to be one of 94 clubs in the nation to have achieved this recognition. It is a clear reflection of the hard work put in by our staff every day and we can now put the Players First resources in place to further support that.
Q: What makes Players First licensing different from other initiatives or programs your club has participated in?
Hilliker: The Players First license is unique in its nature, specifically focusing on the developmental environment that we provide our players. The standards set by US Club Soccer are very high, and the process was extremely thorough. In particular, the emphasis was around a process-driven approach to achieve an optimal player development environment.
Q: What would you like the parents of Princeton Soccer Academy to know about what this means to them?
Hilliker: We believe that our parents should be proud to be a member of a Players First-licensed club. This license just emphasizes and supports the work that we are doing on a daily basis to provide their children with the best possible soccer experience. Not only developing their children as soccer players, but as great people and future leaders.
A National Association member of the U.S. Soccer Federation, US Club Soccer fosters the growth and development of soccer clubs in order to create the best possible environment for players of all ages.
Anchored by Players First and its five pillars of Club Development, Coaching Development, Player Development, Parent Engagement & Education and Player Health & Safety, US Club Soccer offers registration, league- and cup-based competition platforms, player identification and a variety of other programming, resources and services.
US Club Soccer is sponsored by Nike and supported by LaLiga through a technical partnership.