Academy FAQs

The New Orleans Jesters are a Minor League soccer team and top level soccer franchise headquartered in New Orleans. As part of the National Premier Soccer League (NPSL), elite players are provided the opportunity to develop in professional environments while awaiting their chance to move on to top professional teams in the USA and across the world. The New Orleans Jesters combine an extraordinary blend of high-level American soccer with international flair, featuring players from the US, Great Britain, Central and South America and a variety of other countries.  
At young ages, often times teams are successful through pure athleticism. Unfortunately, the over emphasis on winning trophies and medals can often be detrimental to individual player development. The Jesters Youth Academy is fully committed to the individual development of the soccer player, winning in the correct manner, and encouraging creativity; therefore, maximizing the full soccer potential of the player.

The Jesters Youth Academy is a nonprofit developmental program for girls and boys beginning at age 4 and moving through age 23. It is overseen by the New Orleans Jesters Coaching Staff. Players of all abilities are welcome.

The Director of Coaching for the Youth Academy is Jester’s Head Coach Kenny Farrell. Coach Kenny Farrell oversee’s the training system administered by all Academy Coaches.

Academy coaches have played soccer at a very high level and have had individual success in the sport. In addition, they all share the Jesters philosophy on player development. Each coach is licensed by entities such as USSF, USC, UEFA and more. Each Coach undergoes background checks and are on continued training programs.

Coach Farrell played soccer for the Shelbourne Football Club in the League of Ireland. He later crossed the Atlantic to star for Salem State College in Massachusetts. While there, he competed in the NCAA Final Four. After settling in New Orleans, he became Director of Coaching for Lafreniere Soccer Club, leading them to 25 State Championships and national recognition. In 2003, Farrell co-founded the New Orleans Shell Shockers and became Head Coach. In his first season, he received the PDL’s prestigious “Coach of the Year” title after winning more games than any other team in the country. He has previously served as one of the founding board members for the US Club Soccer Association, the US Soccer Region III Coach of the Olympic Development Program for the Louisiana Soccer Association, the head scout and coach for the USL Olympic Development Program for the Gulf South, and as a member of the Executive Committee for the PDL. Currently Coach Kenny Farrell is on the Board of Directors for the NPSL and the chairperson for the developing NPSL National Youth Academy League.

NOLA Soccer Academy, Inc. d/b/a the New Orleans Jesters (“Jesters”) due to the outbreak of the COVID-19 virus and subsequent lockdown (shelter-in-place and closure of business activities) ordered by Louisiana Governor, John Bell Edwards, have established the following refund policy.  

If the Governor orders another shutdown of businesses that includes specialized soccer training, the Jesters will make alternative plans to make up practice time when the order is lifted. If the shutdown is such that alternative plans cannot reasonably be made up within the annual soccer Calendar, the Jesters will issue a refund for training sessions missed minus the costs of administering the program.

The only additional costs will be in the competitive soccer program.  For that program, players must purchase uniforms (both for games and training) and must provide for additional tournament and travel costs when their age groups decide to play out of town tournaments.  The Jesters Youth Academy is working on a system to try to incorporate all expenses into one cost at the beginning of the season.
Currently, all clinics take place at the Audubon Riverview (“Fly”), camps are held in various locations throughout the city such as Big Easy Sportsplex or local schools or community centers, recreational soccer is held at the Audubon Riverview (“Fly”) or Cuccia Byrnes Playground, and competitive soccer is held at Larry Gilbert Stadium.
Players can expect to train 2-3 times per week in the competitive soccer program.

The Jesters Youth Academy and NPSL team interact in the following ways:

  1. All are under the direction of NPSL Head Coach Kenny Farrell
  2. Both groups share staff coaches
  3. It is the goal of the New Orleans Jesters that one day the NPSL team is made up of players that graduate from the Youth Academy
  4. They share the same uniform design
  5. Each child in the competitive soccer program receives one complimentary youth season ticket pass to the NPSL team’s games