Contra Costa FC
Just a couple of months ago, UPSL announced an expansion club for the Wild West Division, so we reached out. President of Contra Costa Football Club, Mark Wine, responded to our questions and told us a little bit about the division’s newest member. “Our credo is… unite the community, inspire the future. We truly are looking to make CCFC a household name in our area through education on training, club, and performance training,” he said. The club’s positivity is expressed in his answers and they kicked off their UPSL campaign last week, hosting San Ramon Dynamo, where they showed off matchday promotional materials and season tickets—they’re taking this seriously on and off the pitch.
What's the story of Contra Costa FC? You seem really new; how did you start?
Contra Costa FC began as a pick-up league to our surrounding area. The target was adults. As the level of football increased it became a friendly adult team playing in a Sunday league and a competitive team playing in Liga NorCal. It was not pretty at start but as the name became more attractive the club began picking up more talent. In March of 2018, Functional Muscle Fitness, became the premier sponsor of CCFC while Coach Wine began training the team in the midst of the Copa Cup 2018. CCFC won the Copa Cup in 2018 and the team was really transformed.
The front office solidified two well-known coaches in the area, Derricke Brown and Jon Scoles, to help continue with the transformation. The team began having access to performance training and technical training inside the Functional Soccer Academy arena. A 7v7 league known as CONTRA 7s was then created and young talented player looking to go USL and/or looking to be challenged while in college or prior to college began to show up and tryout. Our vision is to inspire the youth in our county to play at a higher level while uniting our community through professional soccer matches and events.
It looks like you're kicking off your first season in the UPSL this Spring--what league did you come up from and what about UPSL convinced you to enter that level of competition?
We are coming from Liga Premier of NorCal. We also compete in the Copa Cup each year. Our recent success and goals of uniting the community through soccer sparked our ambition, players and coaches alike, to take Contra Costa FC to a higher level. We looked around and other leagues to play, in addition to Liga NorCal, and following conversations with NPSL and UPSL we felt that UPSL would be the best fit for us at this time. The tiers of soccer are confusing at times but at the end of the day we are looking to provide our players with an opportunity to play in front of an audience, advance to a USL level or even an international level. The UPSL offers more seasons and more teams, which will allow us to provide more to our community.
What is the long-term goal of the club? Do you look to build the club into a regional powerhouse? Or instead, do you focus on using your club to provide a funnel for area youth to access top level soccer?
The long-term goal of Contra Costa FC is to bring a professional club to our greater community. Our focus is to create a local power house that unites the community under one brand, one logo and that is Contra Costa County. Our vision for our players is to put them on a platform to inspire young players through high level play, camps and clinics. We want our players to be given an opportunity to shine locally and/or be picked up by a higher tier team nationally or internationally. We currently have one of our players in the B division of Mexico, which is a success for our vision.
In addition, we hope to create a donation-based platform through Functional Soccer Academy to help sponsor young kids who cannot afford to pay the astronomically high competitive club rates. Kids are getting shut off from playing and we hope through our teams we are able to create a platform for change.
Some clubs love to bring in teams from other leagues for friendlies; sometimes this is to provide competitive matches to the squad, sometimes it’s to draw a crowd. Do you have plans for matches with clubs outside your league?
Yes, we do. We plan on finding teams that are established or are known for high quality and competitive play. The goal is local and non-local. Same tier and a higher tier. We are looking to develop a strong-platform that becomes well known and established.
The badge is professionally done, what was the inspiration; what are the elements and how do they represent your club?
Our number one focus was to create something that stands out from the rest. We wanted it to be simple yet have tons of meaning. The elements in our crest were well thought out from our original design in 2015. If we want to take our club to a higher level we need a crest that goes with us.
The two dominant elements were the mountains and the wings. The number one element was the mountains, which represents Mount Diablo (our home). Everyone from our county gets to view these mountains year-round. Nothing screams Contra Costa County like Mount Diablo, it is a staple. The wings represent two parts for us. Part one, it represents our vision of reaching a higher level of soccer. We will never be satisfied and we will continue to improve as a club and an organization. We will continue to strive to take our club to a higher tier as well. Part two of the wings represents inspiring youth and providing them with a real-life vision, goal and player to look up to. We want them to soar.
Some clubs really enjoy the spotlight and are trying to grow a presence/interest while other clubs aren't worried about generating a buzz--focused on the soccer... what kind of club will you be?
Soccer is a platform that we will be using to help generate a “player first” not “club first” approach to club soccer in Contra Costa County. We need to provide a high-level soccer team to the area but we need to be so much more as an organization. At every level we MUST be integrated with the community and be all about the community. Our interests must be selfless for our vision to work.
For schedule and tryout updates, check them out here: http://www.contracostafc.com/
Pick up the latest Contra Costa FC swag, here: http://shop.contracostafc.com/contra_costa_fc/shop/home