History

The formation of CESA was announced on April 1, 2004. The club was created when the Greenville Futbol Club (GFC) and St. Giles United Soccer Club (SGUSC), South Carolina's premier youth soccer clubs, merged in the 2004, forming Carolina Elite Soccer Academy (CESA), the largest youth soccer club in South Carolina. The boards of the two clubs agreed to merge following a series of extensive exploratory meetings and based on the belief that in creating a single club that a significantly higher level of services could be offered to youth soccer players.

The merger process involved implementing operational guidelines and financial management procedures. Officials with both clubs focused on jointly developing mission statements, staff responsibilities, tournament and event management, as well as, registration information and communications. With a program that initially encompassed over 2500 players ranging in ages from 4 to 19, the staff of the club focused on developing an organizational structure that was equally beneficial to players at the recreation, academy, high school prepatory, and select levels. Player evaluation and team selection processes were formulated for all facets of the program.

According to comments made by Pearse Tormey, the previous Executive Director of Coaching and Administration for SGUSC, at the time of the merger: "Both clubs have experienced rapid growth and significant success over the past few years. We have both been involved in other mergers, campaigns to develop field complexes, and increased tournament commitments. It was natural that we would look beyond being competitors to becoming partners. The discussions we have had about merging have been very positive and the carefully planned steps we have agreed to will guarantee a smooth transition into one club."

Andrew Hyslop, the previous Director of Coaching for GFC, added at the time of the merger: "Greenville Futbol Club and St Giles United Soccer Club each provide a full range of services for youth soccer players. It makes sense for our clubs to come together in order to offer the best possible soccer opportunities for families in the Upstate and beyond. As with any merger involving thousands of club members, there are numerous matters to review. We want each member of both clubs to feel that they benefit from the merger, which is why we are pleased that we have taken a step by step approach to the merger."

SGUSC was formed in 2001 as the result of a merger between the St. Giles Soccer Club and the Upstate Girls Soccer Association. SGUSC currently provides programs for approximately 1,500 youth players and is the largest coed youth soccer club in the Upstate. It has its own soccer complex consisting of 10 soccer fields on 42 acres of property.

GFC was formed in 2000 as the result of a merger between the Downtown Soccer Association and the Golden Strip Soccer Club. GFC currently provides programs for approximately 1,200 players and is the second largest coed youth soccer club in the Upstate. It has a soccer complex consisting of 5 soccer fields on 20 acres of property.


 


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