Newton Girls Soccer is delighted to announce details for the 2017-2018 Academy Soccer Season.

The Academy Program is an invitation-only, year-round program (fall, winter & spring) for those girls seeking an additional competitive challenge and a developmental soccer experience beyond their NGS Travel Team. We have two levels of involvement, Academy teams and Development Academy teams.  Both levels are professionally coached, train as a team once a week (in addition to their Travel team practices) and play weekend Futsal games in the winter months. Our Academy teams (not Development teams) also participate in club games every Sunday (fall & spring) in the Northeast Soccer League

Northeast Soccer League

With over 850 teams from 100 clubs across New England, NSL provides a great competitive environment for our club. The league consists of levels of play from development to regional elite leagues and offers a pathway for players to excel with opportunities to play and participate at State Cup, Olympic Development Program and id2 Training camps. Shaun McBrien, our NGS DOC, sits on the NSL Advisory Board and his Grade 6 Academy team was invited and is excelling in the NSL’s Elite Division.

The NSL has recently joined US Club Soccer and this collaboration has a clear mission and follows the model, Players First, which is a holistic club soccer experience that focuses on the full potential of the individual player and is anchored by the five pillars: Club Development, Coaching Development, Player Development, Parent Engagement and Education Player Health and Safety.

NGS Academy Overview

NGS Academy combines the best aspects of professionally coached club soccer with the unique strengths of Newton Girls Soccer, including:

  • Highly-qualified, experienced coaches lead all practices and coach all games
  • Practices and home games in Newton
  • Focus on four pillars of player development: Technical, Tactical, Physical and Psychological with the aim to maximize a player’s full potential
  • Emphasis on girl-centric and positive coaching
  • Academy Teams follow the ‘Play the NGS Way’ club style of play along with specific age group curriculum to create a positive and competitive playing environment
  • Practices coordinated with NGS Travel team practice schedules to minimize conflicts
  • Supplemental specialized skills clinics enhance and challenge our players’ development
  • Comprehensive player evaluations allow coaches and players to set goals and improve player progress
  • Professional goalkeeper training offered for those interested in playing in the goalie position
  • Monthly Newsletter highlights and celebrates our Academy teams and shares pertinent program information

Academy and Development Academy Programs


Coaching Assignment for 2017-2018 Soccer Season

Shaun McBrien (Grade 3 Development Academy, Grade 4 Academy): Shaun is the Director of Coaching for NGS and is an accomplished coach holding a number of high level coaching licenses, including NSCAA Advanced National Diploma and UEFA B License. Shaun graduated from the University of Ulster in his native Northern Ireland with a BSc Sports Coaching and Development Degree after having played soccer at various levels including club, high school and college. Before moving to the USA in 2009 Shaun worked for the Irish Football Association coaching in schools, communities and at club level. Prior to joining Newton Girls Soccer, Shaun was formerly the Academy Director and South East Regional Director at PTUSA a professional soccer coaching organization on the South Shore, MA and was head coach of several girls and boys teams within this club. Shaun was awarded the MA Futsal Girls’ Coach of the Year 2015.

Theresa Fuller (Grade 3 Development & Grade 4 Academy Assistant Coach): Theresa grew up playing high level club soccer in Rhode Island from an early age. She also played soccer at Brandeis University and represented the college in Rugby. Since graduating college in 2013, I have been a camp counselor, an occasional volunteer for Needham’s YMCA soccer program, a volunteer for Girl Scouts (I am a life long member), and I have continued to play soccer through multiple teams in BSSC’s intramural leagues.

Alyssa Hansen (Grade 4 Development Academy): Alyssa is a 5th and 6th grade Spanish teacher at the Fessenden School where she coaches Varsity B soccer in the fall, cross-country skiing in the winter, and mountain biking in the spring. Alyssa went to Newton North High School, where she played soccer, ice hockey, and lacrosse. She received her BA in Environmental Studies at the University of Vermont, where she was the captain of her Club Lacrosse team and played intramural soccer. She also studied Spanish and Psychology, and she spent two years after college teaching high school Spanish in rural Arkansas through Teach For America. She is currently pursuing her MS in Environmental Science and Policy through Johns Hopkins University. In her free time, Alyssa likes to run, bike, hike, read, and play soccer.

Alex Gerson (Grade 5 Academy & Grade 5 Development Academy): Coach Alex is one of the Physical Education teachers at Oak Hill Middle School where he also coaches the Oak Hill Girls Soccer Team. In addition, he has coached with NEFC, the New York Red Bulls Academy and MLS Camps. Alex holds a USSF ‘D’ License and NSCAA Youth Level VI License. Alex has coached with NGS for the past 4 years with our Academy teams, our Winter Skills Development program and as a Pro Trainer for the Travel program. Alex graduated from Cum Laude with a degree in Business Administration from Bucknell University, 2007 and holds an Initial Massachusetts P.E. K-8 License and is graduating this Summer with a Master’s degree in Kinesiology. Alex was recently awarded MA Futsal Girls’ Coach of the Year 2017.

Floyd Butler (Grade 6 Academy & Grade 7/8 Academy): Floyd was born and raised in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He earned a B.A. in English and Masters in Education from The Pennsylvania State University, before becoming a head coach for Futbol Club Pittsburgh, and Penn United, a nonprofit community soccer organization. Floyd moved to Boston in April 2014, and began coaching with NGS in August of 2014.

Since joining the NGS family, Floyd has coached and or assisted with Academy, Developmental Academy, and Travel teams across a variety of age groups. Floyd currently plays amateur soccer for Washington Square FC, in the BSSL, Boston’s premiere adult amateur league. He has National Coaching Licenses and is currently working towards obtaining more. Floyd is also an English teacher at Oak Hill Middle School. His playing experience and educational background are clearly illustrated in his coaching philosophy and style, which focuses predominantly on development and love for the game.

Taylor Beckingham (Grade 6 Academy & Grade 7/8 Academy Assistant Coach):  ​Coach Taylor has a strong love for the game of soccer and has been involved in the sport from an early age. Taylor graduated from University of Richmond as a International Studies majored and during that time lived in both Spain and Argentina. Taylor is presently working towards gaining his US Soccer Coaching Licenses.

Ashley Perry (Grade 6 Development Academy & Grade 7/8 Development Academy): Soccer has always been Ashley’s passion. Having played on competitive/varsity teams in high school, she continued to play on competitive teams throughout college. She has played in the US, Australia and New Zealand. Coaching was a natural progression for Ashley; she has coached boys and girls, ranging from U5 to Varsity High School. In 2014, Ashley moved to MA and began working with Newton Girls Soccer. In addition to soccer, Ashley loves to sail, and was a member of the New Zealand Olympic sailing team. She also has a Master’s in Education, and in addition to coaching, is a Consulting Associate at Inside Experience in Concord.

Caleb Thomson (Head Coach, Grade 7/8 Academy): Caleb is the Varsity Soccer Coach and Director of the Soccer Camp at the Fessenden School in West Newton. He was the head coach for his older daughter’s Newton Girls Soccer U14 team which won the Massachusetts Tournament of Champions (MTOC) while coaching with Owen Pennant-Jones.

Owen Pennant-Jones (Assistant Coach, Grade 7/8 Academy): Owen is the Newton South Girls Varsity Assistant Coach (since 2000) and has been a professional trainer for years for numerous NGS teams, most recently the 1401 team for the last three seasons. Owen has had great success. His 2016 team were the BAYS champion and the MTOC (Massachusetts Tournament of Champions) runner up. He also coached with Caleb’s U14 team which won the MTOC in 2011.


Email the NGS Academy Committee, academy (at)