About BWP Football Academy
Black Watch Premier - Blackwatch Soccer Club's Mission Statement
To be the destination for all high-performing and high-potential youth footballers. The home for footballers who love soccer!
BWP Football Academy's Rich History
BWP Football Academy draws players from the Greater Capital Region of New York and parts of Vermont, includes numerous players who have achieved their goal of playing at the next level. The Club has supported the development of several players who have competed at the youth national team level and most members have aspirations to play at collegiate-level soccer.
The Club has graduated over 625 student-athletes, both boys and girls, and nearly 540 of them have gone on to play collegiately. Of those graduates, over 155 of them have played at the NCAA Division I level. In addition, over 50 of our proud alumni have captained their collegiate sides.
For many graduates, their BWP Football Academy experience created collegiate opportunities that their academic record would not have on its own. We are extremely proud of our alumni as well as all of our current members who are training and competing daily to improve their personal performance and trajectory within soccer.
The 2020/21 season marked the 25th year of operation of the Club. Founded in 1996 by current President & Academy Director Steve Freeman, Black Watch Soccer Club Inc. has been privileged to offer programming for thousands of youth soccer players, as well as provide some of the nation's best technical staff coaches. It also marked our acceptance to the prestigious MLS Next platform with our U13s and U14s and an affiliation with Red Bull NY Academy. Unfortunately, we were unable to field two age groups for the 2021-22 season at U13 and U14, and were unable to continue in the platform. Even in the face of a pandemic, nearly all of our graduating seniors went on to play college soccer.
This past year, we tried another possible solution to creating more competitive cohorts for our players to grow and develop by merging with NE Rush. The merger did bring about an opportunity to offer the USL Academy via the Blackwatch Rush USL League 2 franchise for our players U16-U19+. However, it became clear that there is no easy way at it...no short cuts, so as of May 1, 2022, BWP & NE Rush would sever the merge and BWP Football Academy would resume operating.
"I am very proud of our history and our choices. We have always tried to make the best choice at the time. I am most proud of the fact, we simply always try. We never get stuck, we try to find solutions, we build plans and try to execute. They don't and haven't always come off," stated Academy Director and Founder Steve Freeman. "Over the past 18 months, we have learned a lot, and it has been a privilege to be in these situations...invaluable. The number 1 take-away, there is no short cut and we simply want to focus our attention, energy and resources on our players and staff - the technical environment."
BWP Football Academy - Blackwatch Soccer Club, Inc. enters its 27th year of operation in 2022-23, and we are excited to be the home for footballers who love soccer! For young people who identify themselves as footballers! Our best is yet to come...see you on the pitch.
We believe at BWP Football Academy that the Club is the priority, and it is the Club’s priority to develop the player. Therefore, we focus our resources and energy on a player’s development, this “player-centric” philosophy coupled with a progressive methodology by our technical staff supports a player’s enhanced performance in a collective environment. The Club’s technical program tries to create a learning environment for its players by engaging our players to think and understand their decisions in regards to the 4 main moments of soccer. Soccer is a complex network of decisions needing to be made with and without the ball.
Creating an environment where winning is not the priority at the developmental phases - Initiation - Grassroots - U7s-U10s, Pre-formation - Pre-Academy - U11 & 12s, yet understanding why and how to play successful, competitive soccer depending on the game’s situations.
As players progress forward in their development at the older ages Forming - Academy - U13s-U15s & Formed - Academy - U16-U19s, learning how to win becomes more of a priority and ultimately a measured outcome. Learning takes time with intervention along the way. We embrace failure and desire it through competition because it gives authentic information in which we create realistic training environments.
Black Watch Premier's Ever Changing Programming
Over the course of the past 24 years of operation and last year in Florida, the Club has developed programming for youth of both genders, ages 5-19 years old. This programming is fluid and ever-changing, allowing the Club to meet the demands of the modern game of soccer. Through technical review by our Club’s technical leadership team, ongoing professional development and daily experience in the soccer landscape, the entirety of the technical staff is constantly evaluating and re-evaluating the Club’s best practices to enhance the overall training and playing experiences instilling a passion for our game, soccer.
This year includes expansion into Long Island, New York where 3 programs are coming together to form BWP Long Island. ProGame United, Easthampton Soccer Stars and Aspire Academy technical staffs have been combined under one umbrella. The Club has also launched into the world of prep soccer with the BWP Berkshire Prep Academy where the Club will support the school's scholastic program outside of the traditional fall season.