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Pre-Academy Program Information

SSA's 5U - 7U Pre-Academy is a soccer development program which aims to accelerate the technical and tactical development of players looking to eventually participate in the 8U-12U Academy and 13U+ Select programs. It is a seasonal academy-style program designed for the passionate, motivated, and advanced player who fosters the desire to be challenged in every aspect of his/her game. This program gives these players the opportunity to train in a professional environment with professional staff coaches and alongside like-minded players. In an effort to maximize player development, players are maintained in training groups and play non-results-oriented games. Players may also have the chance to represent their club when playing neighboring clubs.

SSA Pre-Academy allows players to participate on a season-to-season basis, permitting players to register for one season without committing to a full year. This provides a chance for those players who turn 8 a chance to move up and join the Academy program should this be in the best interests of the player.


To bridge the gap between Recreational soccer and 8U-12U Academy soccer. A more developmental-focused environment is created for players who love the game where individual player development is paramount to master the key soccer techniques and concepts that are required at a higher level of play. This program allows players to experience an academy-style soccer environment while preparing players and parents for the next step of the soccer process. This program does not replace 6U and 8U Recreational soccer, but instead offers another developmental pathway for players as they progress through the age groups.


SSA Pre-Academy is available to all Recreational boys and girls who are in the 5U-7U age bracket. It is recommended, but not required, that players participate in a minimum of one season of Recreational soccer before considering switching to this program. Interested players that are committed to the goal of development will be considered for this program and placed with the best interests of the player in mind. This program will have limited spaces to ensure a superior soccer environment is maintained. 


Assessments to establish a player's suitability for the Pre-Academy program typically take place in mid to late July for the fall season and in January for the spring season. Please click on the 'More Information' information on this page to bring up details for specific programs.

Additional Details

  • Program Length: 10-12 weeks
  • Ball Size: 3
  • Coaches: SSA Pre-Academy Director and professionally licensed coaches
  • Practice Sessions Per Week: 2
  • Practice Days: Weekdays - varies by location
  • Practice Time: Evenings
  • Game Schedule: Saturdays
  • Game Format (in-house): Typically 5v5 (including GK), though occasional U8 games against local clubs may be 7v7 format. Given it is a developmental program though, games do not always follow the traditional format, but instead may be adapted in structure, or by placing conditions on the players, to allow for a particular coaching focus.
  • Game Duration: 4x12 minute quarters, though occasional games against local clubs may be 2 x 30 minute halves.
  • Field Size: approx. 25 x 35 yards 
  • Fees: $300 - which include GSSA registration and insurance fees, referee fees, field maintenance, league administration, professional training and coaching, and participation award for each player at the conclusion of the season. Does not include uniform, or occasional tournament fees.


Season Information

Fall Season:

Practices Begin: Mid to late August

Games Begin: 1st or 2nd weekend in September

Season Ends:  Early to mid November

Spring Season:

Practices Begin: Mid to late February

Games Begin: 1st or 2nd weekend in March

Season Ends:  Early to mid May

More Information

More Information (including assessment dates, times, and pre-registration)

Cartersville -  Click HERE
Cobb - Click HERE 
Coweta - Click HERE 
Kennesaw - Click HERE 
Paulding - Click HERE

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