Fire Youth Academy's season begins

The Chicago Fire Youth Development Department will continue the fourth year of its Fire Youth Academy this weekend when it opens up the Winter 2005 phase of its year-round training program. Training for some of the area's best boys and girls players in the U-10 through U-16 age groups will begin at three sites across Chicagoland, beginning with the "North" camp in Des Plaines this Sunday, Jan. 23.

As it has since its inception, the Fire Youth Academy will host its training sessions at three area facilities - a "North," "West," and "City" location. The Winter 2005 training phase will take place at the following sites: "North" at Prairie Lakes Community Center, located at 515 E. Thacker St. in Des Plaines; "West" at Sports Plex, located at 1400 Foundry St. in St. Charles; and "City" at Mercy Home, located at 1101 W. Adams St. in Chicago.

"The Academy supplemental training program is a great avenue for players looking to develop their game in a professional environment," said Fire Director of Youth Development Roland Hahn. "We have put together an excellent staff that really challenges the players to understand and play the game at a higher level. Hopefully, the training will result in improved play when they step on the field with their own club."

While the majority of spots for each site in the Winter 2005 phase have been filled, players interested in trying out for the Fire Youth Academy program may do so by attending one of the upcoming practice sessions. Consideration for the program can be gained through a talent evaluation at one of the Winter training sessions or by participating in the Chicago Fire Academy Soccer Camps this summer.

Since the Fall of 2001, the Fire Academy has worked in conjunction with Chicagoland's top youth soccer clubs to supplement the training that the area's best players receive throughout the year at their respective club. As an integral part of the Fire's groundbreaking Youth Development Program, the Fire Youth Academy was developed to identify players of exceptional ability and offer them a place in a professionally directed and managed year-round Academy program designed to assist in the development of soccer excellence. The Fire Academy develops players based on the values and principles of the Chicago Fire through the fostering of good citizenship, interaction with players and coaches and the setting of high standards of behavior.

Dates and times for all four age groups at each of the three Fire Academy sites are listed below. For more information on the Fire Youth Academy - including up-to-date training schedules, program fees and practice cancellation updates - or the Fire Youth Development Program, please visit the Youth Development section of or contact Roland Hahn at 312-705-7212 or

Fire Youth Academy Winter 2005 Schedule (Subject to change)
"North" Training Site - Prairie Lakes Community Center in Des Plaines, IL (515. E. Thacker St.)

U-10 & U-11/12: Sundays from 6:00-7:30 p.m. - January 23 & 30; February 6, 13 & 27; March 6, 13 & 20
U-13/14 & U-15/16: Sundays from 7:30-9:00 p.m. - January 23 & 30; February 6, 13 & 27; March 6, 13 & 20

"West" Training Site - Sports Plex in St. Charles, IL (1400 Foundry St.)
U-10 & U-11/12: Tuesdays from 7:00-8:30 p.m. - February 8, 15 & 22; March 1
U-13/14 & U-15/16: Wednesdays from 8:30-10:00 p.m. - January 26; February 2, 9, 16 & 23; March 2, 9 & 16

"City" Training Site - Mercy Home in Chicago, IL (1101 W. Adams St.)
U-10: Mondays from 7:00-8:30 p.m. - January 24 & 31; February 7, 14 & 28; March 7, 14 & 21
U-11/12: Fridays from 7:00-8:30 p.m. - January 28; February 4, 11 & 25; March 4, 11, 18 & 25
U-13/14: Fridays from 8:30-10:00 p.m. - January 28; February 4, 11 & 25; March 4, 11, 18 & 25
U-15/16: Mondays from 8:30-10:00 p.m. - January 24 & 31; February 7, 14 & 28; March 7, 14 & 21

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