Tinian Premier Football Club had a head start for the fall season, kicking off its training sessions last week.
The club’s girls U14 team, boys U15, and co-ed U8 have returned to practice last Friday in preparation for the 2017 NMIFA Fall Youth League, which will begin Sept. 16. Tinian Premier players trains every Tuesday and Thursday from 4pm to 5:30pm at the Tinian Elementary School Field and will continue with their schedule even after the fall league has opened. In the Northern Mariana Islands Football Association’s organized league for this season, Tinian Premier hopes to bring their teams to Saipan to play against the other NMIFA member clubs. Last spring season, the visiting squad came to Saipan every other weekend to play in the league.
“We are still waiting for NMIFA to split the games between islands so that Tinian doesn’t play all games on Saipan. This would hopefully cut in half the high cost our club faces when we travel,” Tinian Premier FC general secretary Arley Long said.
Last spring season, the fledging Southern United FC went to Tinian and played against the host team, while in 2016, Kanoa Football Club also visited the island and challenged Tinian Premier FC players.
For this fall season, Long said they are still open for registration with the club accepting players in the 8 to 15 age group. Currently, the club has 12 players in the girls U14 division, 10 in the boys U15, and eight in the co-ed U8.
“All teams are still receiving registrations from new and previous soccer players. We look forward to having new kids join to continue our growth. Tinian Premier Club offers our youth a positive and fun place to be around players who enjoy soccer. We provide them a sport that will keep them active, healthy, and energetic to maintain or reach their academic goals,” Long said.
“Our soccer kids enjoy free tickets to Saipan to play against other youth soccer clubs. They have also received free cleats, towels, socks, uniforms, sport backpacks, etc. We continue to receive community support but will need more for the sustainability of Tinian Premier FC,” added Long, who along with technical director/coach Philip Mendiola-Long and club officials Rosalyn Accolador, Augusta King, and Terry Lazaro, are working hard to keep the program on Tinian.
Meanwhile, Tinian Premier FC would like to thank Saipan Soccer School and NMIFA president Jerry Tan for giving the club’s two players the chance to undergo a training camp in Hong Kong last summer. Jared King joined the first batch of players who attended the summer camp from June 22 to July 5, while Charlene Danganan was in the second and last group that had its sessions from July 10 to 23.
“They enjoyed two weeks of soccer training and other fun activities in Hong Kong, including the awesome visit to Disneyland,” Long said.