A third youth sports organization is setting up shop at the Sherman Soccer Complex on Griffin Drive.

Joining the Gateway Soccer Association and the Gateway Flag Football League, the Elite Soccer Academy won formal approval from the Board of Supervisors of the Gateway Services Community Development District to use the soccer fields in Gateway to train youth soccer players.

The ESA is led by John Robinson, who has worked with the GSA for several years. The GSA is operated by Mark Allison, who also serves as the Recreational Director for the ESA. So while the ESA and GSA are separate legal entities, it does seem as though they’ll be working together in some capacity.

Professional soccer enthusiasts will be keen to know that the ESA has formed a partnership with British Premier League club West Ham United.

At last Thursdays Gateway Services District meeting, Operations Manager April White requested permission to allow the district to enter in to a formal agreement with the ESA for field usage.

Supervisor Gary Neubauer once again brought up that he was not happy that youth organizations are operating at the Sherman Complex without having to fully disclose their financials.

However, the other Supervisors shrugged off Neubauer’s concern as old news, with Chairman William Guy reminding the room that, “the board will recall that it passed a resolution several months ago making it clear that soccer was to continue here in Gateway, dispensing with any further argument.”

Gateway’s lawyer Anthony Pires Jr. noted that the ESA’s paperwork is in order, stating “one thing I’m comfortable with and happy with Elite is their insurance does meet the criteria the district has.”

The motion to allow the ESA to use the Gateway soccer fields passed 3-1 with Guy, Vice-Chairman Margaret Fineberg and Supervisor Doug Banks voting for. Neubauer voted against, and Supervisor Pam Gill was not present at the meeting.

The ESA will be hosting a free talent clinic today for boys and girls ages 8-9 at the Sherman Complex, from 6:15pm to 7:15pm. For more information about the organization please visit elitesocceracademy.club.

Editor of the Gateway Sun and owner of restaurant delivery service Florida Food Runner.

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