Racing Louisville FC is making leaps and bounds on their progress towards their 2021 league debut.
Most recently, the club announced former Sky Blue FC head coach Christy Holly to lead the helm on the sidelines. The Northern Irishman was selected after about twenty candidates speaking to the club. Racing Louisville President Brad Estes praised Holly’s background and character and believes he’ll bring a lot to the expansion side.
“James [O’Connor] did a great job of handling this process and it was pretty extensive,” Estes said. “What we wanted to do is hire someone that had a cultural value system similar to ours, which is a blue collar, lunch-pail type of attitude – hardworking, humble. Those were big for us. We had a lot of great candidates, but at the end of the day, we felt like Christy’s combination of those traits, in addition to his experience in scouting the world for the [U.S.] women’s national team, was a good fit for us.”
Along with Holly, Louisville also broke ground on a new training facility for both organization’s clubs – Louisville City FC plays in the USL Championship – and their academies on August 4. Estes believes that the facility is not only going to help attract top talent to the NWSL debutants, but is an investment in the community that the club calls home.
“What we hope it says is that we are committed to growing the game in this community,” Estes said. “We started off five years ago as a USL club trying to make that grow and take root. What we found is that our organization didn’t necessarily create a soccer culture here, it revealed one.
“Our ownership group and local government were committed to investing in this community. We feel that the investment that we’ve put into the stadium, the training ground, and into human resources will show these athletes that we are very serious about this and that you can come here and grow as a player and as a person because of our value system.”
A Racing Louisville FC Academy also furthers the club’s investment into the local community and sets a path forward for young players in Kentucky dreaming of playing in the professional game.
“We want to grow the game in our community and feel that we can be the rising tide that lifts all boats when it comes to soccer in Louisville,” Estes said. “The way we do that is our facility and our youth academy.
“From our perspective we don’t think about girls academy and boys academy, or men’s team and women’s team. They’re all athletes and treated equally. If you look at every facet of our training facility, you couldn’t distinguish between the men’s locker room and the women’s locker room or the men’s training pitch from the women’s training pitch. It’s the same from our perspective that these are athletes and they’re equal in every way.”
With a head coach, facilities, and academy in place, there’s still plenty of work to do in 2020 to get the club ready to take the pitch the following year.
“It was a big one obviously getting the captain of the ship,” Estes said. “Now, we look to building out the rest of the staff – James and Christy will do that together. What you will see over the coming weeks and months is building out the staff, putting together a plan for how we’re going to tackle the college draft, the expansion draft, and really just looking forward to getting started.
“Our training facility will be ready to be moved into in spring of next year and so we’re going to be focused on keeping that project moving and building out a world-class team to trot out onto the pitch.”