PITTSVILLE – Matrix Soccer Academy is calling the Mid-Atlantic Youth Sportsplex (MAYS) its new home.
Bryan Watson, president of Matrix Soccer Academy USA, said its move to the new sports complex will allow players access to centralized, high-end facilities with opportunities for the organization to expand its programs.
“It’s a premiere facility,” he said.
Since establishing its North American headquarters in Salisbury two years ago, the England-based academy has run its programs on fields at the Henry S. Parker Athletic Complex on Naylor Mill Road. Yet, Watson explained the organization was in search of another facility.
“We were in the market for a new home,” he said.
Watson said plans to move Matrix to the MAYS began last year, after initiating discussions with the facility’s developers. He explained the manicured fields and distance to both Ocean City and Salisbury was attractive to Matrix.
“We wanted a top-notch facility because Matrix is internationally recognized,” he said. “We are drawing from a large radius, so this was attractive to us.”
Jay Phillips, one of three business partners involved in the development of MAYS, applauded the new partnership.
“We feel we are building one of the area’s finest facilities and having a partnership with an international organization as highly regarded as Matrix is a great fit for the project,” he said.
Matrix founder Charlie Jackson, current head development center coach at Manchester City and head England elite performance coach with the Scottish Football Association, said the new facility complements the organization’s goal.
“Our goal with Matrix Soccer Academy is to develop premier footballers and to do that we need premier facilities,” he said. “The MAYS more than meets those criteria.”
Watson said the facility’s amenities will allow the academy to expand its programs in the years to come.
He explained that cabins located on the property will allow Matrix to offer residential programs.
“The complex not only gives us professional-grade pitches, it provides club house facilities for video analysis sessions and coach training,” he said. “In addition, it offers lodging onsite so that we can expand our camp offering to include residential programming. A residential program for academy players from England and Scotland is currently in the works.”
Watson said Matrix is currently hosting its fourth annual summer camp, the first at the MAYS, and explained that the organization will continue to use the facility year round for its camps, training and development programs, travel soccer club and the like.
He added the new facility will better promote the academy’s goals and mission.
“The idea is to develop this culture of football that doesn’t exist in this country,” he said.
Watson applauded the new partnership between Matrix and the MAYS facility.
“We are extremely excited to finalize this relationship with the MAYS and to be able to call such a state-of-the-art facility our U.S. home,” he said.