Last December, 1750 Amherst Road was just a shell of an indoor sports facility. All that existed was a warehouse with astro turf and a couple of soccer goals. Less than a year later, the Field House at Amherst is all grown up. It is now fully decked out with an amazing training wall, fitness and weight equipment, a gorgeous room for yoga and pilates, almost a dozen sponsor banners, FC Alliance gear, a music system, a medicine ball wall, a team room and brand new air-conditioning. This September, the Field House will host it’s inaugural Amherst Academy, beginning with U6 and U8 teams. An outdoor training area is being built with sod from Neyland Stadium provided by the University of Tennessee, so the teams can practice both indoors and outdoors.
The new Amherst Academy isn’t the only program being run out of the facility. The club’s new Elite program will train in the facility every Tuesday; other teams have booked space to enhance training thanks to the perfect surface. The surface, advanced turf, allows for faster ball movement, forcing quicker and more skillful play. This plays perfectly into Coach Paulo Neto’s Brazilian Way curriculum, a program which continues in September. Brazilian soccer is all about pace and deft touch. Amherst Soccer College, a program for players looking for individualized training from some of the club’s top coaches, also kicks off in September.
In addition to programs, many of the club’s older players will be lifting weights and working out in the facility. The environment is comfortable and often electric with the music. The summer saw a variety of athletes come into the facility for training, including high school football players from local schools. Since then, a number of outside organizations have signed up to use the facility.
The growth of The Field House at Amherst can be attributed to the generosity of a number of local businesses. A host of companies kicked in to provide discounted and free equipment and services. This includes The Rush, Broadway Carpets, Custom Flooring, The Underground and Quality Metal Works. FC Alliance is a nonprofit organization, so the club is constantly looking for ways to improve facilities and services with club funds. The Field House at Amherst is one such example.