Welcome to the Pembroke Youth Soccer Fall Home Town League.
The PYS Home Town League is a semi-competitive, recreational league for players aged 8-14. The league is grouped into Boys and Girls Divisions at U10 (Grade 3 & 4), U12 (Grade 5 & 6) and U14 (Grade 7 & 8). League play begins in early September and continues for 10 weeks through early November. Scores are reported to the PYS Statistician as a measure of team strength. All players and teams are from Pembroke only. Teams practice and play games at McCauley Fields at Hobomock School. Practices range from 60-90 minutes per week dependent on age group and matches are 60-70 minutes in length.
The Home Town League plays a round-robin schedule of small-sided games. Small-sided games are recommended by MYSA to provide players with significantly more touches on the ball during each match. Smaller fields encourage players to use short passing and close ball control. These are key skills for improving a player's game later on. Small goals are used and require players to work the ball in closer on goal and to improve their shooting accuracy.
All players are randomly drafted to balanced, "level-picked" teams at a pre-season coaches meeting taking into consideration age, skill level and athleticism. All players are encouraged to play all positions as they continue to develop and understand the tactics of the game.
First Year U10 players make the move from the 5v5 Mites Division fields to the larger 7v7 fields. New U10s spend much of their first fall Home Town season adapting to the large field space and the need to develop their passing and trapping skills to be effective players. As sophomore U10s the focus turns to positioning, movement off the ball, and tackling skills. Long balls such as crosses and clearances become part of play at this level and the skill of heading becomes a more important part of the game. Goalkeeping remains a shared responsibility for the most part but some players do begin to show interest at this age group to pursue goalkeeping.
U12 is the final year players will play small-sided in both the fall and spring seasons. The Home Town League 7v7 game begins to encompass game tactics, including the principles of attack and defense, roles of positions; backs, midfield and forwards; and taking advantage of set pieces (corner kicks and free kicks). The 7v7 game is great preparation for U12s because it presents them with all the challenges of the 11 v 11 game on a more manageable scale for this age group. For the U12 age group, the Home Town League is truly a primer for the spring travel season and an introduction to the tactical aspects of the game.
In the U14 Home Town league, middle school players spend about 6 weeks developing their “small” game. The small field creates more tight spaces, a faster paced game, and provides for a great many touches on the ball for each player in each game. Shooting accuracy is refined, and quick, smart movement off the ball becomes essential. Developing an understanding for supporting the ball carrier is an important developmental area as players learn to use the basic triangle for possession, how to change the field with speed, and how to strike quickly on the counter attack. Beginning in October, U14 players will engage in 11v11 games as part of either the Cranberry Travel League or Home Town Challenge Cup in preparation for sping competition.