Website Manager

AFC Lightning Henry County

AFC Lightning Henry County


The AFC Lightning Pre-Academy program is designed to provide high-quality training and development opportunities for motivated U6-U8 soccer players born in the years 2014, 2015, & 2016. Pre-Academy is the stepping stone to the AFC Lightning Academy program (U9-U12). It is the beginning stage of elite training for U6-U8 players. The objective of this program is to provide every player with a structured, comprehensive training experience that will help develop the fundamental tools needed to play in the older Academy program. Our curriculum is age and skill-appropriate, and will provide your child with activities that promote individual growth, development, and most importantly, a passion for the beautiful game!

Pre-Academy Philosophy
Our philosophy is to develop technically skilled players who are comfortable with the ball at their feet. We promote a fun, challenging environment in which we encourage individual creativity.

We want players to be critical thinkers and make decisions on their own with little to no on-field instructions from coaches and parents.

Duane Samuels

Director of Coaching

Phone: (404) 503-8024

Email: [email protected]


When are tryouts?

Tryout dates are mandated by Georgia Soccer. Academy tryouts are usually held in late May and several dates throughout June-July.  Tryout information and online registration will be available on the AFC Lightning website prior to the published tryout dates.

Supplemental tryouts or evaluations can be scheduled throughout the year for any player who is not registered in another club’s pre-academy program.

Who is eligible?

The Pre–Academy program is open to all boys and girls born in 2014, 2015 & 2016 who are not currently registered with any recreational or academy program.

When and where are the training sessions?

Pre-Academy teams train 2 times a week on weekdays for 75 minutes per training session at Community Christian School, Stockbridge, GA.

Training days, times, and locations may vary from time to time depending on the schedules of the coaches and field availability.

When and where are the games?

Our Pre-Academy teams will play both 3v3 & 4v4 formats. All teams will play a mixture of games against recreational program teams, in-house scrimmages, and other pre-academy programs in the Metro Atlanta area.

Games are typically held on Saturdays and Sundays during the Fall season from early September through mid-November and the Spring season from early March to mid-May. Generally, teams play one game per week, although occasionally players may be asked to play twice at the same location.

In addition to regular-season games, Pre-Academy teams will participate in 1-2 local tournaments per year. 

What is the difference between Academy and Recreation Soccer?

Deciding whether or not your child should play recreational soccer or competitive (“academy/select”) soccer is often a daunting task for parents not familiar with the world of competitive sports. The primary deciding factor that parents should consider when making the academy versus recreation decision is whether or not one wishes to accelerate a child’s soccer development in a professionally guided training environment.

In Recreational soccer, the focus is most often on social interaction, “having fun” with friends, which often comes at the expense of instruction. In Academy soccer, the focus is on teaching in an enjoyable manner that is appropriate for the child’s age level. Individual skills and team tactics are taught by high-level, professional coaches in order to more fully develop the child’s level of play. When it comes to playing at an Academy level, the end result is young athletes that know how to play soccer at a much higher level than their corresponding recreational players.

What are the differences between Academy and Recreational coaches?

Academy soccer differs from recreational soccer in several ways, but the primary difference is in the level of coaching provided. Coaching is like teaching – it requires extensive knowledge of the subject and the ability to communicate that knowledge to young athletes. In Recreational soccer, the coach is typically a noble parent, sometimes with little to no competitive or high-level soccer experience.


AFC Lightning Henry County
75 Monarch Village Way 
Stockbridge, Georgia 30281

Phone: 470-222-5171
Email: [email protected]

Copyright © 2022 AFC Henry County  |  Privacy Statement |  Terms Of Use |  License Agreement |  Children's Privacy Policy  Log In