Director of Coaching Sheldon Cipriani and the LCS Board decide to make a change
After a few months of observations and speaking with key constituencies, Coach Cipriani felt the time was now for change. “The Lee County Strikers club has a rich history, and many great families and players thriving, but we feel we need to do a better more thorough job building a stronger soccer-centered culture where character and player development is the focus. To do this effectively, we need to have a more comprehensive structure and clarify everyone’s roles and responsibilities,” Director Cipriani commented.
As part of the restructuring, FGCU Head Men’s Soccer Coach Jesse Cormier will join the board and leadership team as the executive director and help provide a vision, and former San Jacinto College Head Coach Ian Spooner will take over as the Director of Operation with the daily functional tasks of the club being the focus. “We’re both excited to be here working on this project with Jeff, the board, supporting Cip, and most importantly getting out into our soccer community and building a model soccer club program that emphasizes a love for the game, cutting edge training, success in competition, and accessibility for all families to be able to afford to play,” Coach Cormier added.
“We need people in our soccer community to come together for the advancement of soccer in Southwest Florida, and we will also need help from our families by volunteering, donating or sponsoring this experience so we can continue to offer excellent programming at the lowest cost and involve as many quality coaches and local families as possible,” Cormier stated.
In the process of building his team, Director Cipriani also promoted top coaches Felix Acosta and Andre Nesfield to become Technical Directors in charge of the older boys and girls programs and Liam Farrell as the Academy Director for the youth. “All of three of them have been outstanding and have created excellent team cultures and I feel have the right vision, methodology, and philosophy to impact the other coaches in the club,” Cipriani added.
Coach Cipriani finished by adding, “I feel with the people we have in the club, starting with our President Jeff Richards, the board, our leadership team, and quality coaches, we are now ready to make some important changes and create a great process for the youth in our community and have soccer be the sport choice for families in Lee County.”
The changes were implemented prior to the tryouts and many comments from parents and participants could see the difference. There will be a continued effort by the club to offer excellent training, build a passion for the game, but do it in a way we’re people feel there is transparency, clear communication, and a leadership team that effectively and actively addresses issues that always arise each season.
“The excitement at tryouts was obvious this year, I think we are changing for the better and as we all have stated, when we get the full implementation of all that we want to do, we will become a model club soccer program not just here in Southwest Florida and Lee County, but here in this country,” added President Jeff Richards.