The Arkansas Comets Futbol Club is the oldest youth soccer club in Arkansas. It started as a single team in 1993, and quickly became a club in 1994. Founders Samir Haj, Frank Broadstreet and Dave O’Brien combined their coaching talents and set out to build a club that would prepare players for college soccer, and give them the exposure necessary to turn their goals into reality. Today the Comets boast boys and girls teams ranging in ages from Under 8 to Under 18.
The Comets 96 Boys Premier team is the latest team to extend the Comets’ tradition of excellence. The team features boys born in 1995 and 1996. The team started as an Under 11 team in 2006. Prior to that the group of boys had been the flagship group when the Comets started their Comets Soccer Academy, a program to offer younger players better training and a more competitive atmosphere than they would get in recreational soccer.
Now at Under 18,the team enters its last year of competition in the club. With only one exception, the players are seniors now. They are 7-time State Champions and have represented the club and the state of Arkansas in competitions across 12 states. “We aren’t a high budget, jet-setter team,” says Coach Dave O’Brien. “We drive a van and a couple vehicles, pile 4 or 5 players in hotel rooms, and travel very economically. This has made our team accessible to players of varying economic backgrounds, and made our team a great cultural melting pot of soccer talent.”
The result is a team with a great track record over their years of existence. More importantly, it’s a group of boys that have made personal sacrifices to play together. They’ve experienced the typical highs and lows that come with athletic participation, and they’ve kept coming back to get better and reach bigger goals. They’ve built relationships and bonds that will last a lifetime, and now most of them are striving to achieve the ultimate and original goal of the Comets club, to play college soccer!