Javanon Futbol Club Celebrates More Than 25 Years
For more than 25 years the Javanon Futbol Club has been the home for Louisville soccer excellence and has a rich history in developing both players and teams. Located in the Jeffersontown area, the club was founded by Ali Ahmadi in 1989. Ahmadi, a former manager for the Louisville Thunder, the city’s pro team that operated here from 1984 to 1987, has since watched his organization grow with every passing year—the 20 players he started with after the club’s opening—to now boasting more than 350 players and 20 coaches throughout their program.
But for Ahmadi, the work that he does with Javanon doesn’t feel like work at all. Instead, he identifies it as his calling, his unique purpose in life. And, needless to say, it’s a role that Ahmadi takes very seriously.
“Javanon is a passion and way of life for me,” Ahmadi says. “I think God created me for this. I love children, and I truly like working with them. They’re our future, and I like having some sort of positive impact on their upbringing. I wake up every morning thinking about what I need to do to make my players better, and I go to bed every night thinking about what needs to be done tomorrow so they can do better. It’s like family to me. Most of my coaches have grown in the program as players. Many have been with me since the beginning. So, we’re just like a big family.”
Javanon’s mission statement is simple: a development pathway which provides current and future soccer players with learning opportunities through soccer. To that end, the Javanon FC seeks to improve and foster the skills and talents of soccer players, especially younger students of the game.
“There is no reason why our community should not produce quality players,” Ahmadi says. “Children are all the same everywhere you go. It’s just how one trains them and what kind of demands one has of them to reach excellence. In the process, never forgetting that it’s love that makes it all work. Fostering the development and growth of its players and coaches has always been of vast importance as the club has grown in membership. We operate our club to better serve the players and parents.”
And it’s this type of dedication that Ahmadi and the rest of Javanon FC have that makes the club so successful. The club’s notoriety is soaring and with no signs of slowing down.
“We have become one of the most recognizable youth soccer clubs in the United States,” Ahmadi adds. “College teams recruit from our program. Javanon has put Louisville on the map in the world of soccer. Throughout the United States, within the soccer community, the Javanon name is well known.”
This national recognition has also helped spur international attention as well, no small feat.
“Now Javanon is even competing internationally,” Ahmadi says. “We travel long distances to compete, and we expose our players to the best competition that this game has to offer. This past week we had a team in England competing, and last year we had a group of our girls competing there. The year before that, we had a group in Spain, through our contact with the F.C Barcelona program. We even have one of their former players working full time with our club for the past four years.”
Ahmadi also touts other unique accomplishments of his program.
“Javanon FC is the only club in the history of Kentucky youth soccer that has won a national title twice,” he says. “They’ve been to the final four of the national competition multiple times.”
Ahmadi certainly believes that Javanon needs the support of Louisville as part of its success but he also believes that the city needs the club as well.
“Louisville needs Javanon because we produce the best of the best in almost all ages in this game locally,” he says. “Our impact in the community reaches far and wide. The University of Louisville soccer coach and Spalding University soccer coach played their entire youth career for Javanon. The Bellarmine University soccer coach has been Javanon’s coach for over 20 years.”
But Javanon hasn’t reached its full potential just yet, according to Ahmadi. He sees room for growth in his mission to assist the community.
“I have a dream to build another site for our players to train more comprehensively,” he says. “Today, we play and train in three different locations, which is inconvenient for our families with multiple children. I’d like to remedy the situation, to make it convenient for them. Also, our players need more quality playing surfaces, so we have just reconstructed our field to high quality with Bermuda grass and irrigation. Louisville needs more high-quality facilities for our players and our children deserve it.”
Javanon is ever-growing and invites any and all interested in playing soccer to look into their program. However, Ahmadi does encourage those interested to begin their program as early as possible.
“The earlier the better the chance of success,” he says. “We start our training at the age of five or six with Javanon Juniors. This class meets every Friday evening for one hour. That is when our program is open to the public. Parents can bring their children to train with our coaches and get the opportunity to develop technical fundamentals of the game. This is where our program begins.”
Ahmadi also suggests any inquisitive minds go to their website at javanon.org for more information.
Ahmadi again brings it all back home, to what both he and his organization is all about.
“Javanon’s mission is to produce quality players and productive members of society, both on and off the field,” he says. “That is what Javanon is all about — family. Family first. Our slogan is ‘love for all, all for love.’”