Chattanooga Football Club is pleased to announce the signing of homegrown talent and Chattanooga FC Academy product Gavin Castle to a contract through the 2023 season.
Castle, an 18-year-old native of Chattanooga, is a midfielder who had a standout career with Chattanooga School for Arts & Sciences (CSAS). He graduated this spring and will take a gap year while deciding his future plans for college. Signing this academy contract allows him to maintain NCAA eligibility should he choose to pursue that route.
“We are excited for Gavin to have this opportunity,” said Alton Byrd, CEO of Chattanooga Football Club. “As we keep growing this club and our CFC Academy, it’s critical that we keep developing young talent from right here in the Chattanooga and North Georgia areas. Gavin trusted our process and has the opportunity now to follow a true pathway to professional soccer.”
Castle led his team to two division championships, two regional championships. Personal honors include Class A All-State team and a Best of Preps honor in Chattanooga.
“I’ve wanted this since I was a little kid,” said Castle. “We’ve been coming to CFC games for as long as I can remember. Some of my favorite memories were at CFC games with my family and my parents. I’ve really always wanted this ever since I was little. This is really just a dream come true.”
“We’ve always been very open on having young players come in to train and build the pathway to the first team and to the professional level," said CFC Men’s Head Coach Rod Underwood.
“Gavin is a good person first and foremost. If he was a good player and a bad person he wouldn’t be sitting here. That’s something we were really focused on. How he fits into the culture is a priority.”
Coach Underwood began to notice Castle’s technique and ability to fit into a system.
“He is a midfielder who has skill and really good technique,” said Underwood. “Those things for us are paramount. If he can run 100 meters in 9.9 and has no touch he’s not playing for us. Those things are really important to us.”
Castle completed the pathway from CFC Academy to the first team demonstrates how this platform can work to help young athletes in the area reach their potential.
“I’m super excited to get involved as a CFC player in the community,” added Castle. “Hopefully I can be an inspiration to kids playing in the CFC Academy. To show them that it is possible to achieve whatever you want.”
Chattanooga Football Club is currently in its 15th season and its third season as a professional club. The team is undefeated in league play, in first place, and leading the league in attendance.
About Chattanooga Football Club
Chattanooga Football Club was founded in 2009. The CFC Men's team competes in the National Independent Soccer Association (NISA), which is in the third division of professional soccer. The CFC Women's team is a summer amateur team that competes in the Women's Premier Soccer League (WPSL). Chattanooga Football Club became the first soccer club to offer true ownership to the fans in 2019 with 3,200+ investors from Chattanooga, all 50 states, and 31 countries. CFC plays all home games in Finley Stadium in Chattanooga.