Chattanooga FC began gearing up for the upcoming NPSL season by hosting this year’s Open Tryouts this past Saturday at Finley Stadium. More than 45 players showed up to try and impress new Head Coach Bill Elliott ahead of roster selections for the 2012 season. Players participated in both morning and afternoon sessions on a crisp, sunny day at Finley Stadium. The morning session was comprised of mainly small-sided matches, one touch exercises, and one-on-one drills. After players returned from a few hours rest, the afternoon session kicked into high gear with full field scrimmages.

Saturday’s open tryout saw the return of some Chattanooga FC favorites along with some fresh new faces, out to show their skill. The level of play was impressive, with several attendees on winter break from Division I & II teams, as well as some strong local talents showing why Chattanooga is fast becoming a soccer hotbed. New players were at an advantage with a brand new coach looking on to assess skill and general footballing ability.

Before the second scrimmage started, Elliott huddled a few players together and said, “while Assistant Coach Jimmy Weekley may know some of you guys, you are all new to me. Go out and try to play as a team. Get out there and try to showcase what your strengths are. If you are good with the ball at your feet, show it. If you are a ball winner, go in and challenge for it.”

After the day was done, the coaching staff had some good looks at a lot of promising players. They will surely have some tough decisions to make. Coach Elliott commented, “It was a great starting point for us. We can now look ahead to the upcoming season and know that we have some good players to select from after today.”

Fans should be eagerly anticipating the start of the 2012 season as Chattanooga FC look to start strong in its 4th season competing in the NPSL. It should be an exciting season with five new teams joining the Southeast Region. Competition will be at its highest, but from the early looks the club looks capable of building upon the successes of the past three seasons.