Chattanooga Football Club Holds Open Tryouts

Monday, February 22, 2021 - by Joseph Dycus

Talent comes around in the most unlikely of places, and perhaps Chattanooga’s next great soccer star was unearthed on Sunday’s Chattanooga Football Club open tryouts. Last year’s February tryout unearthed starting striker Brian Bement, top goalkeeper Alec Reddington, and rocket-footed midfielder Clayton Adams.


The first half took place at Finley Stadium in the morning, while the second happened at the Highland Park Commons later that afternoon.

Coach Fuller and technical director Bill Elliott both observed the gaggle of players, some former pros and others fresh out of college, run through a series of eight a side scrimmages.


“You’ve got everything from guys who play at Highland Park, to guys who have been fringe professionals in their career. You’ve got everything,” coach Fuller said. “They’ll really just be playing today, so it’s a matter of seeing their ability under pressure situations.”


Alongside player-coaches Juan Hernandez and Richard Dixon, coach Fuller assessed dozens of trialists as they zipped around Highland Park’s smaller pitches, with many of them having met their teammates for the first time just a few minutes before. The games themselves went by at lightning speed, and several players were overheard marveling at how little time they had to make decision against other hopeful pros.


“I always look for three qualities: the quality of your first touch with and without pressure, your passing long and short with and without pressure, and the quality of your movement on and off the ball in attack and defense,” coach Fuller said.


Both coach Fuller and Hernandez stressed the importance of the trialists being prepared and fit for the tryout. Coach Fuller said that the constant scrimmages over the next two hours would separate those who came in-shape and those who did not.


"You've got to train and come ready, and give yourself an honest try,” Hernandez said. “If you don't come prepared, you will suck."


Although some of the trialists were regulars at the Highland Park fields, other drove in from all areas of the country for this opportunity. Because of the devastating effect the COVID-19 pandemic has had on smaller clubs in the last year, many talented players are without a team.


“If we were doing this as a moneymaker, we would have charged $300 a guy and we would’ve had the same amount of guys,” coach Fuller said. “In this environment with COVID, nobody is holding trials now. You’ve got an inordinate amount of pros right now who are out of a job because of how few teams there are no because of COVID.”


“We did this purposely because we want to encourage guys to be here,” coach Fuller continued. “I give the guys full credit, because you have guys who have driven in from Florida and Texas and all parts of the country to come in for this. Because of that, we want to give them a full day and an honest look.”


Chattanooga FC’s preseason starts in early March, and the Finley Stadium is hosting the NISA Spring Tournament from April 13 to 15.


You can contact the author at

AA South Baseball Standings

Dan Fleser: Big Orange Country In West Virginia

Randy Smith: Larry Ward's Big Day

AA-South Standings/Results (as of games of 8/7/22) Second Half Team North Division W L PCT GB Tennessee ... (click for more)

As Mike and I crossed the Ohio River into West Virginia last Friday, one of my first thoughts centered around escaping Buckeye Country. If you grew up in Michigan, like I did, you would understand ... (click for more)

Voice of the Lookouts Larry Ward and I share at least one similarity...we have both been radio voices of Chattanooga's minor league baseball team. My lone season was in 1976 when the team returned ... (click for more)


AA South Baseball Standings

AA-South Standings/Results (as of games of 8/7/22) Second Half Team North Division W L PCT GB Tennessee (CHC) 18 15 .545 - Rocket City (LAA)* 17 16 .515 1.0 Birmingham (CWS) ... (click for more)

Dan Fleser: Big Orange Country In West Virginia

As Mike and I crossed the Ohio River into West Virginia last Friday, one of my first thoughts centered around escaping Buckeye Country. If you grew up in Michigan, like I did, you would understand the thought process. After spending the week on an island in Lake Erie, we had been traveling a scenic route southward through the Ohio countryside. The trip took us past Ohio State ... (click for more)

Breaking News

City Council Gives Final Approval For Stadium Deal; Council Adds Provisions For "Transparency" On $80 Million Project

The City Council on Tuesday unanimously approved the $80 million Southside Stadium project. The action puts in motion the ability for a new city/county Sports Authority to convene and issue $80 million in bonds for the "community" facility on nine acres at the U.S. Pipe/Wheland Foundry site. Councilman Chip Henderson added several provisions that he said would add "transparency" ... (click for more)

CHA Planning 1,783 Housing Units At Re-Envisioned Westside

Officials of the Chattanooga Housing Authority said the plan to re-envision the Westside includes building 1,783 new housing units. Betsy McCright, CHA executive director, said the College Hill Courts and the Gateway Tower will be taken down, but she said residents in those 629 have been promised a spot in some of the new housing. She said the demolition will be in stages ... (click for more)


Rest In Peace, Larry Wallace

Athens and Tennessee lost a great friend and a long-time public servant when Larry Wallace passed away Saturday afternoon. The 1962 McMinn County High School graduate started his lifetime law enforcement career with the Athens Police Department in 1964. He joined the Tennessee Highway Patrol in 1967 and was appointed as a special agent with the Tennessee Bureau of ... (click for more)

Election Day Observations - And Response

Congratulations to all the winners in Thursday's election. And also thanks to all who ran, it takes a lot of courage to enter the arena of politics. I didn't vote for Weston in the primary but I certainly did in the general election. I think he will do a wonderful job. Sabrena, I voted for you but I would imagine your career is over after one of the dumbest political stunts I ... (click for more)