SALINA – The City of Salina Parks and Recreation Department has signed an affiliation agreement with the Puma Futbol Club (FC) in an effort to help grow the sport of soccer in Salina and the surrounding areas.
All Salina Parks and Recreation Department soccer programs will be branded through Puma FC and run utilizing their coaching philosophy. This effort will be spearheaded by Dave Ouderkirk, who was a key member of the group behind the development of the Magnolia Soccer Complex. Ouderkirk was also the Salina South boys soccer coach for the last five years and led the team to a 5A State Championship title in 2015.
One of the main focuses of the new affiliation will be to utilize the Salina Soccer Complex in the manner it was intended, to grow league play in Salina at all levels. This will include recreational soccer, competitive soccer, and eventually club soccer, as Puma FC looks to grow their brand in this region.
Puma FC is affiliated with the English Premier League team Southampton, and base some of their curricula on the style of this worldwide top league. “I’m excited to work with Puma FC,” Ouderkirk said. “Puma FC has a core belief in community outreach as well as trying to develop soccer at all levels from recreation up to high level premier club soccer, and their affiliations with Southampton brings a true culture of soccer to our community.”
“Puma FC is very excited to partner with Salina,” said Puma FC President Robbie Million. “We will be working very hard to bring major soccer activities to the community. We want to invite all residents to embrace this new effort and restore the tradition and strong soccer heritage for Salina and the surrounding communities.”
“Soccer is the number one sport in the world and we have an incredible facility to offer at the Salina Soccer Complex,” said Salina Parks and Recreation Department Director Chris Cotten. “This affiliation will touch soccer at all levels from youth play to adult leagues utilizing not only the Salina Soccer Complex, but the Salina Fieldhouse as well. We are very excited to have Dave on staff to help us grow soccer in an affordable and structured manner that will provide our citizens with multiple options to stay in town to participate in the world’s game.”
“We are excited to see another soccer club opportunity in Salina,” adds Salina City Manager Jason Gage. “This opportunity provides a vibrant and local league option, helps the community develop tournament activity and gives our youth more reasons to spend their time outdoors.”