Club soccer has a reputation of being a very expensive sport, although comparisons with most competitive youth athletic activities proves the cost of playing club soccer is similar to other sports. As the ETFC Director of Coaching, I understand that soccer fees, uniform costs, and travel expenses can be a stress for our families. But it is also important to recognize how our club’s staff and board members have worked hard to keep club soccer affordable and at the same time, continue improving the quality of the soccer programs we offer.
In the Beginning
When we started this soccer club in 2006, the board of directors set the fees at $1095 for U11-14 and $995 for the U15-18 program. These fees have remained the same for the last eight years as we developed the club. During this period we added tremendous value to our training programs with speed and agility sessions, online isoccer access, regular goalkeeper training, and the OMG Partnership. We also formed a long term partnership with Lane Community College, which consolidates almost all of our training and games at one of the best soccer facilities in the area.
In addition, we have improved our coaching staff both in numbers and in quality, and added a new technical director position to support the growing youth program, a U10 academy director, and a Little Timbers director for the 4-10 age group. These positions provide targeted attention and supervision of trainings and coaching in all age groups and allow me as the director of coaching to work with a highly qualified group of experienced senior level coaches.
ETFC has also developed realistic strategies for members to manage the financial side of joining club soccer:
- Our club has several flexible payment plan options that allow families to either pay the entire fee after tryouts or make monthly payments without interest.
- The ETFC scholarship program helps players who qualify for school free/reduced lunch plans. In the past five years, our club has awarded about $42,000 in scholarships each year. We do not give out full scholarships for our fees, but our financial support is substantial. This past year scholarship awards for U11-18 players averaged between $500-$700. In addition, we offer matching funds for scholarship players who work in the Fee Reduction program. We also give about 10 free uniforms annually to help families who can not afford the uniform expense.
- We offer a very successful Fee Reduction program in which families work at University of Oregon events (football, basketball, concerts, etc.) in the concessions, and the credits earned are used to reduce their fees. This program not only allows families to reduce their fees, it also brings club members from different teams together in a non-soccer event.
How can you support the ETFC mission to offer quality soccer programs to players of all incomes?
- Participate in ETFC events that raise money for the scholarship program (Spring Break and Winter Camp, 3v3 Challenge Cup, adidas Premier Cup, ETFC Auction, other special fundraisers).
- Donate directly to the ETFC scholarship fund by writing a check or click the DONATE button on our website.
- If you own or work for a business that is interested in becoming an ETFC sponsor, contact me directly. We have a number of programs in our club that offer business sponsorships.
- Work in the Fee Reduction program and donate your credits to the ETFC scholarship fund.
- Support players on your own team by offering rides or sharing hotel rooms.
As the club grows and becomes more visible in the community, Eugene Timbers FC remains committed to making competitive soccer accessible to all players and families. I am grateful for the efforts of many members who have helped accomplish this goal by writing a check for a donation, inviting a player to their car pool, helping to pay for a uniform, volunteering to help with fund raising events, sponsoring club programs, and many other ways. Together, we all contribute to ETFC’s commitment to being affordable and accessible, while at the same time, continuing to improve and develop quality soccer programs for our community.