USL News Release
Tuesday, October 26, 2009
WAYNE, NJ – United Soccer Leagues announced expansion to Wayne, New Jersey in 2010 for the W-League with the introduction of the North Jersey Valkyries managed by TSF Academy, a member of the Super Y-League and Super-20 League.
“We are thrilled TSF is launching a W-League team,” said W-League Director Melanie Fitzgerald. “In four short years, their youth club has grown by leaps and bounds to become one of the more successful clubs in our youth leagues on a national level as well as a valuable member of their own community.”
TSF Academy, established in 2005, joined the SYL in 2006 and launched Super-20 League teams the following year. The club has quickly risen among the ranks, earning a ranking of 18 in the Overall 2008 SYL First 11 list. In the recently announced 2009 preliminary rankings, based solely on regular season performance, the club was ranked in the Boys (3rd) and Girls (15th) for the first time and climbed to fourth in the Overall table. Six teams are headed to the Super Y-League North American Finals this November.
TSF Academy is a club that is still growing. It has expanded with different programs that range for boys and girls down to initial entry at U6. Over 500 youth players are now part of TSF Academy. With 23 full-time professional coaches on staff, there is a definitive development path for young players to follow.
“We recognize the importance of developing players at the younger ages,” said Mark White, who has been with TSF for three years. “We have a tremendous full-time staff with experience at every level of coaching. We also use our older players to help out the younger players, creating a mentorship role within the club’s general family atmosphere.”
White, who will act as General Manager and Head Coach for the North Jersey Valkyries says TSF Academy has a very clear direction that it is looking to promote.
“For the W-League team we want to bring in local talent. We have a couple of foreign players on our staff that may also play, but we want to see players recognize the opportunities to play at the highest level. These opportunities are available right on their door-step.”
Gaining a fan-base from the local community is an area which White believes will help develop good soccer players and promote the W-League.
“We want our own Academy players to emulate the success of the North Jersey Valkyries players. We want to attract young soccer fans to watch our players and the other talented players participating in W-League games,” White stated. “If we can increase the awareness of women’s soccer, produce talented individuals through the clear development path of TSF Academy, then we will have been successful.”
What is a Valkryie?
Although the name has come into the limelight of late courtesy of Tom Cruise’s film about the plot to eliminate Adolf Hitler, the term is originally from Norse mythology, a part of the myths of North Germanic pre-Christian religion with most surviving stories relating to or centering on the exploits of the well-known Thor, god of Thunder. Valkyrie is a female figure in the myths, who decides who will die in battle – the ‘chooser of the slain.’ The valkyries would bring their chosen to the afterlife hall off the slain, Valhalla. They were often described as daughters of royalty. Most depictions of valkyries show women dressed as warriors upon flying horses.