Corktown AFC paves the way for women’s soccer in Detroit
December 6, 2020
Still in their first year as an organized women’s soccer club, Corktown AFC, based out of Detroit, Michigan, dropped into the women’s soccer scene in a big way and people are starting to notice. The summer of 2021 will be their first full season after last summer’s arrival of COVID-19 put a halt to things.
“We worked very hard to recruit a quality group of players,” said Aaron Roy, Corktown AFC head coach. “Unfortunately the circumstances of last summer were not ideal, to say the least. So we were unable to accomplish much else besides a limited number of training sessions and a few friendlies.”
The reference to “a quality group of players” is definitely accurate. Digging deeper, the club is packed with some of Metro Detroit’s best soccer talent. So far, this year’s recruits at Corktown for the 2021 season include 18 NCAA division 1 players who have all previously won national championships in USYS and ECNL. Add to that, a pair of former professionals who played in Europe, a scoring champion who won the prestigious NCAA Player of the Year, a former Croatia national team player, and EIGHT players who played AND currently play at the U.S. National Program Level. Yes, we would surely label this a quality group. Surprising, considering the club is still in its first year.
“Players want to be where they know their development, their team, is the priority,” said Coach Roy. “We are a women-only soccer club. So all of our attention, all of our resources are invested in them. Another huge part of it is that we have an extensive, experienced coaching staff, a great medical team, and a strength and flexibility program guided by professionals in their field. When it comes to player-centered development and preparation for the fall college season, no other club in Metro Detroit offers all of these things that are so important to the player. And the best part is that so many of these players get to experience this with teammates and friends from their years of growing up in the game together.”
And for Corktown AFC, there could be no better place to call home for the club. In a location packed with Detroit sports history, Corktown AFC will play at The Corner Ballpark stadium in Corktown, Detroit. The site located at Michigan Ave and Trumbull is the former site of Tiger Stadium, which was home to the Detroit Tigers for nearly 100 years. The stadium features a multipurpose turf field, brand new equipment, a newly installed state-of-the-art video scoreboard and sound system, stadium seating, concessions, and a breathtaking view of the Detroit skyline.
“For me, being there, I can’t help but flashback to a time when I was young,” said Coach Roy. “I remember the atmosphere on game days was buzzing. I remember my father taking me to the rolling peanut carts before walking into this massive stadium.. Some of my best childhood memories were right here on this corner. We didn’t have a lot of money, so a ticket to the ballgame was like a dream come true. My wish is that we are able to create some great memories in this new stadium for our players as well.”
Corktown AFC will play in the Midwest Conference of the United Women’s Soccer national league, which is a step right below the professional women’s league, NWSL. Aside from the club being the only women specific club in Detroit, Corktown also has a club development system which is made up of a first team and a second team which encourages a competitive training atmosphere. Home games are played on Sunday afternoons at The Corner Ballpark starting in late May, and those who are unable to make it down to the game can watch the action live-streamed on the MyCujoo platform and Corktown social media. You can visit the club at corktownafc.com and find them on all social media platforms as corktownafc.