1. Raising The Bar
Season 2 for the Mighty Oak begins with a new coach in a new league. The move to the National Premier Soccer League (NPSL) happened shortly after the hiring of new head coach and sporting director Eric Rudland. Rudland spent the last two years at the helm for Lansing United, winning the Midwest Region Championship his first year (2014). This Friday will be the Mighty Oak’s lone friendly, prior to entering league play against the Dayton Dynamo on May 7th at Hollway Field.
On top of bringing his experience and expertise to the club, Rudland is happy to be coaching in his backyard. Residing in the Ann Arbor area, Coach Rudland is happy to be home and leading the Mighty Oak in their quest for a Midwest Region NPSL Championship.
2. FREE Shuttle
AFC Ann Arbor has partnered with Arbor Brewing Company to provide a FREE shuttle from ABC to Hollway Field. Pre-match festivities start 2 hrs prior to every match at ABC.
3. Battle of the Oak
The Mighty OAK vs. OAKland County FC (formerly known as Oakland United FC) – These two teams met twice last year competing against each other in the Great Lakes Premier League. In the first meeting between the two, the Mighty Oak cruised with a 4-0 victory at Hollway Field. The second contest would prove to be tougher, as the battle in Oakland County came to a draw.
Start collecting the 2016 match day posters as the first 250 fans at each match will receive a free commemorative poster. Gates open one hour prior to kick off so make sure to show up early to get yours!
Download Fantelope and earn points for completing challenges. Accumulate points and redeem them for prizes such as gift cards to local favorites like Grizzly Peak, Jolly Pumpkin on the Pretzel Bell. Other prizes being offered include some from Goldfish Swim School, Big George’s and AFC Ann Arbor. Fantelope, a local Ann Arbor start-up, adds another layer of activity to the already packed match day experience at Hollway Field.
5. Kids Under 4 in FREE & Kids Zone
If your kid(s) is under the age of 4, their admission to the match is free. And for kids of all ages, they can stop into the kids zone and kick the ball around a bit before the match starts.
6. Audi Post Match Autographs
A fan favorite last year, the Audi Post Match Autographs allow a unique opportunity for fans to meet and interact with their favorites players, almost immediately after the game.
7. Mayor Christopher Taylor
When the inaugural season kicked off last summer, Mayor Christopher Taylor honored us by partaking in an honorary kick off to commemorate the beginning of something great for the Ann Arbor community. Starting the season any other way just wouldn’t feel right and Mayor Taylor will be there to honor us again.
8. Donuts & Ice Cream
Watching semi-pro soccer won’t be the only treat of the evening. You can enjoy some delicious snacks from the donut or ice cream food trucks.
9. Kit Unveiling
With the move up to the NPSL, the club wanted a new look as well for 2016. The Official Apparel of AFC Ann Arbor is Toronto-based, Inaria. This soccer specific athletic-wear brand is up and coming supplying the likes of NASL teams and collegiate programs. See these new uniforms for the first time, this Friday.
10. Best Family Value
Free parking. Kids under 4 are free. Only $8 adult and $5 youth tickets (if you purchase in advance online) for a semi-pro soccer match. One thing is certain- this is the best value in town for a family night out. Buy your tickets for Friday's home opener here.