The Rotterdam Youth Soccer Club has a new indoor home thanks to the generosity of Pede Brothers Italian Specialty Foods Inc.
“They are giving us the deal of a lifetime,” said Rotterdam Youth Soccer Club President Pat Dowse. “The family let us know they had a warehouse that was vacant, we checked it out and it made perfect sense. Now we’re back in Rotterdam.”
The club has its outdoor complex on Princetown Road in Rotterdam, but is currently using space at R&J Auto on State Street in Schenectady as its indoor venue. RYSC will hold a special event at 7 p.m. Friday at the new indoor facility at 582 Duanesburg Road to help kick off a fundraising campaign for the new complex, which will be called the Pede Brothers Soccer Center. At that time, RYSC will be presented with a $2,500 grant it received from MVP Health Care to help pay for the renovation of the building.
“They had an online contest for charities, and we were lucky enough to finish in the top 10,” said Dowse, explaining the grant. “People voted for their favorite charity, and out of 90 proposals we finished in the top 10, so we felt great about that.”
Dowse expects the entire process to cost about $30,000. “We’re going to have two fields with turf serving as our practice center,” said Dowse, who said that the club is renting the facility from Pede Brothers. “The turf is the expensive part, costing around $28,000, but we’re also going to get plenty of volunteers for this project, and we’re expecting some great support from our wonderful Rotterdam businesses.”
While Pede Brothers has been in business in Rotterdam since 1967, RYSC will be celebrating its 40th season in 2015. Angelo Caschera, who coached the Schalmont girls to the state high school championship in 2011 and a runner-up performance in 2012, has been part of the club since its inception.
“It’s local, right there in Rotterdam, so the families won’t have to travel so far,” said Caschera, who retired as Schalmont coach in 2012 and is currently serving as the Mohonasen modified coach. “To have this new facility is a really good thing. It’s a much bigger place, and we will have two fields with two teams practicing every hour or hour and a half. This will really help raise the level of play for our kids.”
The club’s previous indoor facilities would typically not offer an artificial turf surface.
“This gives the kids a chance to play the real game,” said Caschera. “When you play on cement or hardwood floors, you don’t really learn how to touch the ball. It’s a completely different game on a real carpet, and since this surface is also used on the new outdoor fields, it will help make our players better.”
Caschera said that much of the success enjoyed by Mohonasen (three sectional boys titles in the past five years) and Schalmont at the high school level is due in part to the RYSC.
“All the kids from the Rotterdam area who play soccer belonged to the club,” said Caschera.
The RYSC is open to both boys and girls between the ages of 4 and 19. While most of the participants come from the town of Rotterdam, the group does draw outside the area.
“We get kids from Duanesburg, Cobleskill and Richmondville that are starting to join our ranks, and those people will be happy to hear we’ve cut off at least 20 minutes from the trip they have to make,” said Dowse, who has been involved in the group for six years. “We also have Guilderland, Scotia and Burnt Hills kids who play with us. It’s all because a group of Italian guys got together and formed the Colombo Soccer Club out at Five Corners. Our group came from that idea, and it’s a legacy we’re very proud of.”