Last night at the Irish Cultural Center, the SF Glens Evolution Board of Directors introduced the over 100 people in attendance to a new city soccer club--SF Glens Evolution. The club is the result of a merger between SF Junior Glens and Evolution FC, and establishes the biggest youth soccer club in San Francisco, representing over 100 teams and nearly 1,000 players.
Yet, as evidenced by the presentation last evening, the new club isn't about size. San Francisco Glens Evolution is determined to put San Francisco soccer on the map and compete with the very best soccer clubs in California and beyond. "It's been a long journey" said Pat Maguire, Board Member and Director of the Micro Academy. "But years from now I think we'll look back and realize that tonight was the beginning of something special in San Francisco."
Pat went on to share his personal story--one of heartbreaking loss, commitment, and hope-- as well as his close connection to both clubs. He was then followed by Dave Anderson, founder of Evolution FC who echoed Pat's sentiments that the time was now for taking San Francisco soccer to another level. Dave referenced how Evolution FC went from just a handful of teams to a club that boasts nearly every top local team across every age of the boys program. Sean Shannon, a Glens legend, also took a few minutes to honor the past and make all in attendance aware of the great soccer tradition the word Glens carries in San Francisco.
Executive Director of Coaching, Mike McNeil then outlined the clubs ambitions for 2016, which focussed on providing a complete player pathway from micro to top-level, academy play; hiring and supporting top coaches, launching a number of player development programs across all age groups, and strengthening the club's girls' program.
Chris Flanagan, also a San Francisco Glens Evolution Board Member, coach, and U10-U12 Age Group Director, also spoke about why SF Glens Evolution would succeed. "Like many group endeavors it's about people, vision, and culture," said Flanagan. "This club has one of the finest collection of people you could imagine, people committed to success. And the vision checks all the boxes on what a great club should be. Now, it's up to all of us to develop the kind of culture we've spoken about this evening and make it part of our every day work for the club."
Soon after, the club's new logo and look were unveiled. Several young players took to the stage to display the new home (black and green stripe) and away (white with center stripe) kit as supplied by SF Glens Evolution equipment partner Admiral. Shining in the background was the club's new logo with the new three-word motto--Tradition, Excellence, Community--that will serve as the cornerstone of the kind of club that San Francisco Glens Evolution will be. In some ways the kids were the hit of the evening, many in attendance stood, clapped, and took picture of the youngsters as they showed off their new uniforms.
Finally, after a question and answer session, the meeting adjourned and many stayed to mingle, make new friends of old foes, or share a few drinks at the Irish Cultural Center bar. Nearly all seemed excited about the ambitious plan, the team in charge, and what lies in store for San Francisco youth soccer.
Afterward, Leo Cassidy, SF Glens Evolution Board Member, put it this way: "This is a great group we have here. There is a very bright future ahead."