Playing Dragon Soccer

by Alison With the World Cup last year it was a great time to start soccer. We registered my daughter with the Gloucester Dragons Recreational Soccer program, and I volunteered to coach (more on that later). There are house leagues for children aged 5 (by December 31st) to 18. The teams are co-ed for the first three years.

We liked the idea of soccer as it was a one night a week commitment for our age group, U5. The team practices before the game, and they are always at the same field. It gets more complicated for the U9 and older age groups, as they have a separate practice night.

The league provides the full soccer outfit (the kit)- shirt, shorts, socks and a ball. All you need to purchase are shin pads and soccer cleats. Last season, each team represented one of the World Cup countries. We were Spain! The uniforms were a big hit and many of the players wore them to school.

At the U5 level, the game is scaled down. They play 4-a-side on half a field, with mini nets and no goalies. Game scores were not recorded and there were no standings. For most of the players this was their first experience with a team sport. Team work, participation and having fun are the main objectives. The after game treat is also a big deal.

The season ended with Soccer Day at the Hornets Nest field. This tournament consisted of 2 games against teams from the other U5 Divisions, and all were awarded medals at the end.

As I mentioned, I volunteered to coach. This was my first time coaching soccer and I really enjoyed it. The league is always looking for volunteers and offers coaching clinics, as well as providing online resources on the rules of soccer and guides for practice planning. For the younger players, the coaches are also responsible for setting up the field, refereeing the game and directing the play. These means running alongside the players during the game. It’s a very active coaching position.

We’ve registered again this year and hope to see you on the pitch!

Details: Registration for the 2011 Season is underway, with early registration ending April 10. Online registration and other information is available at To register online you need to set up a login and then register. Games begin the week of May 16th.   Alison is a mom of two energetic children, ages 5 and 1. She just started a blog, Ali's Adventures.