Somerset Hills SC named SOG partner

The New York Red Bulls announced that Somerset Hills Soccer Club has become a "Student of the Game" partner for the 2008 season.

"We are proud to announce that Somerset Hills Soccer Club has become a Student of the Game partner for 2008," said Red Bulls Director of Sales and Fan Services Rich Searls. "For the past several years, the Student of the Game program has been one of our most successful initiatives. We look forward to continuing our strong relationship with the Somerset Hills Soccer Club and providing them top notch resources to supplement their club's programs."

"This is our first organized club experience with the Red Bulls, said Somerset Hills SC Vice President Nick Arrigan. "In the past, individual teams have attended games and have always raved about the excitement in the stadium. Providing a structured relationship with the Red Bulls now offers us the opportunity to build greater community awareness of the full range of Somerset Hills Soccer Club's programs from our Junior Kicker program through our travel team offerings."

The Student of the Game program, which is limited to just the first 25 clubs to be accepted, is designed to provide players, coaches and parents of youth soccer clubs in the tri-state area with a variety of resources that will help them learn, play, and teach the game. This program is dedicated to the development of the youth club on every level - from recreation to travel.

"There are several parts of the SOG program we are looking forward to," Arrigan said. "As a club, we believe that this is a tremendous way to offer our parent volunteers the opportunity to learn more about the game while at the same time building our volunteer network through the offering of social opportunities like this."

The recruitment and retention of volunteers remains a challenge for most youth soccer organizations, and the Student of the Game program provides clubs with various tools aimed at assisting in this area. 'Club Nights' at a Red Bulls match are one aspect of the program that gives youth players from each club the opportunity to watch a game live and learn from the professionals, while also providing parents an opportunity to meet each other in a social setting.

These 'Club Nights' also provide chances to interact with Red Bulls players and coaches in person through exclusive on-field opportunities and a pre-game and halftime locker room 'Chalk Talk'.

Through this partnership, a member of the Red Bulls coaching staff will travel to the team's training field to lead the club's coaches through a clinic and give them tips on game strategy and team tactics. The Red Bulls will assist the club with their fundraising efforts throughout the season and organize sportsmanship clinics designed by specialists to help create players who are successful both on and off the field.

Additionally, players, coaches and parents from Somerset Hills SC will be able to develop personal relationships with Red Bulls players through player appearances at their respective home fields.

For more information on the Student of the Game program, please contact the New York Red Bulls at 1-877-RBSOCCER.

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