Nashville SC launches Academy program, hires Jamie Smith as Academy Director
NASHVILLE – Nashville Soccer Club announced today the launch of the Nashville SC Academy and the appointment of its Academy Director Jamie Smith.
The fully-funded youth soccer program based at Currey Ingram Academy will serve the entire Nashville region and the state of Tennessee.
The Nashville SC Academy will participate and play against other Major League Soccer clubs at the highest nationwide level of youth soccer in the United States. The Academy will start by launching its Boys U12 (2008) age group team to compete in the Generation adidas Cup over Thanksgiving weekend (Nov. 28-30) in Atlanta, followed by the introduction of U13 (2008), U14 (2007) and U15 (2006) teams in the 2020/2021 season.
“The launch of The Nashville SC Academy further solidifies the club’s commitment of being in Nashville, with Nashville and for Nashville,” said Nashville SC CEO Ian Ayre. “We are the first professional soccer club with a truly elite soccer academy in the state. Our goal is to inspire young athletes to want to play for our first team and create a pathway for them to do so at no cost. Our Academy will provide players with a unique experience and a learning environment that will be unmatched in the United States.”
The Nashville SC Academy will provide each player with an unparalleled youth soccer experience, creating a vibrant player-centric environment that inspires creativity and cultivates talent.
The Nashville SC Academy is complementary to existing programs in the state – providing the final link to create a defined pathway from youth soccer to the professional ranks in Major League Soccer. It will provide elite players with unique opportunities to participate in MLS events and distinct international experiences, all while being on the Nashville SC pathway to the professional team.
Nashville SC Academy is also delighted to name Currey Ingram Academy as its home. The club is in the process of building a new state-of-the-art facility set within Currey Ingram Academy. The unmatched facility in Tennessee will provide our players with an unrivalled learning environment where they will be able to elevate their soccer development.
Nashville SC’s Academy Director Jamie Smith joins the club from FC DELCO in Philadelphia, where he also served as Academy Director for the program. He brings over two decades of experience as a professional player for 14 years and a coach, having served as Academy Director and launched several Academy programs throughout the United States.
“I am thrilled to have the opportunity to launch the Nashville SC Academy and look forward to working with the youth of the region, along with the established clubs and their directors to create a clear path to the professional ranks right in our home state,” said Smith. “The philosophy of our academy is to prepare players for the professional level – making sure the individual player can adapt to the different situations in the game of soccer. We want to create an environment where the players are getting the education on and off the pitch that is required to succeed as a top professional soccer player.”
Smith started his professional playing career with Celtic FC as a product of their youth system. During his tenure with the club, they won the Scottish championship in 2001/02 and 2003/04, as well as the Scottish League Cup in 2001. Celtic was also the UEFA Cup runner up in 2002/03. Smith then joined ADO Den Haag in the Netherlands before returning to Scotland to play for Aberdeen FC.
Smith retired from professional play with the Colorado Rapids of MLS after a distinguished career both in the U.S. and in Europe, having helped lead the Rapids to their 2010 MLS Cup with current Nashville SC Head Coach Gary Smith at the helm. It was with Colorado that Smith began his youth coaching career by joining the Rapids Youth Academy after his retirement.