Olympic Hopefuls? Megan, Fallon Keen boot idea around in Birmingham

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, December 21, 2004

DEMOPOLIS-Two local girls, who enjoy the sport of soccer, have done something no other person from Demopolis has ever done. Megan Keen, who is 15 years old and been playing soccer for the past nine years and her younger sister Fallon Keen, who is 12 years old and has been playing for the past six years had their father Dr. Peter Keen take them to Birmingham so they could try out for spots on their respective Olympic Development Program (ODP) teams.

“They came to me with an interest in trying out for the ODP teams, so I took them to Birmingham to compete with hundreds of other girls and they earned spots on the teams,” Peter Keen said.

The basic structure of what the ODP or the Olympic Development Program is relays on the program being a multi-faceted state run program with goals to:

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1. Develop the top competitive players in the state via state and regional activities.

2. Assist the elite player in the opportunity and movement to the regional and national levels.

3. Develop the overall competitive soccer landscape through training, exposure to competitions, and education of the ODP players, their parents, and their coaches.

4. Communicate and liaison with Regional and National staff on overall youth soccer development in the state and prospective regional and national players.

The Alabama ODP will look to accomplish these goals through exposure of:

1. High level training with and against high-level players

2. High level competitions with and against high level teams

3. Regional and national ODP guidelines for elite player development in both training and in playing styles and systems.

4. Calendar of activities to compliment club soccer activities.

5. Guidance and the education of individual player development and responsibilities.

Peter Keen holds many roles when it comes to the soccer field in the City of Demopolis, including Chairman of the River City Soccer Club, which is the AYSA league, Head Coach of the Demopolis High School Lady Tigers’ soccer team, and he also coaches many other teams, but when it comes to his family he is a father first and coach second.

“As a dad, I’m super proud of the effort they showed on the field and for them to be the first two players ever from Demopolis to make the ODP teams is amazing,” Peter Keen said, “I’m very proud of Megan and Fallon.”

The ODP is the cream of the crop in terms of soccer players in the state of Alabama and now that there are two players from here there will be a lot more interest in ODP from now on.

“Playing for the ODP is the best way to get a scholarship to college because all the scouts are out watching and taking notes,” Peter Keen said, “With the success of Megan and Fallon, this is a step in the right direction for Demopolis soccer.”

The first action the girls will see will be coming up mighty quickly as they have to travel to Raleigh, North Carolina on January 23, 2005.