Important Kings Hammer Structural Updates

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COVINGTON, KY (September 29, 2021) – Kings Hammer Soccer Club is excited to share important structural updates within the club as it relates to leadership. Dave McIver has been named the new VP of Operations for Soccer and Events and Paul Nicholson has assumed the role as the new leader of the soccer division.

Dave McIver will be working to assist with the two largest divisions of the organization: Soccer Programs and Tournaments/Events. Kings Hammer is committed to elevating the quality of both divisions in an effort to create a common approach across the region. Dave most recently served as the Senior Director of Events where he managed all club-hosted events and tournaments. He came to Kings Hammer in May 2013, after spending 14 years as the Program Director and Assistant Director of Coaching with the Kentucky Youth Soccer Association. Dave has worked on the admin side and coached at the collegiate and youth levels for over 20 years. He holds a USSF A License as well as a National Youth license.

“First of all, I would like to thank Kevin McCloskey and Kevin Butler for having the confidence in me as we continue to grow this club into a Regional and National brand. I am honored and excited for the opportunity to move into the position of Vice President of Operations for Soccer and Events. The vision and drive of our leadership team, directors, and coaches to become the best club for our players and families is second to none. I am excited to see what all we can accomplish with the club now and in the future!” said Dave McIver.

Paul Nicholson, who is currently the Club Technical Director and the USL-2 Head Coach, will be assuming the role as the new leader of the soccer division. Paul will continue his role as the Club Technical Director while also leading the Program Directors to help improve curriculum, player/parent/staff development, and creating the best development pathway for all Kings Hammer membership. Paul holds a USSF A License and has coached for over 14 years at various levels, from club, high school, college, and semiprofessional. He played professionally for the Wilmington Hammerheads for 5 years before he signed with FC Cincinnati in 2016 where he played for 2 years until his retirement. Paul then began coaching the Cincinnati Dutch Lions FC in the USL-2 League before forming the Kings Hammer U23 team.

“I’m extremely grateful to have been entrusted with the responsibility of leading the soccer division. The division has so many fantastic program directors within it and I look forward to working with all of them as we aim to continue to improve our club’s standards both on and off the field,” said Paul Nicholson.

Kevin McCloskey, Kings Hammer COO, went on to add these comments regarding the recent structural updates, “The structural updates are an important part of how we plan and manage for growth and improvement. We have gone through some considerable growth over the last couple of years and the club now offers one of the strongest soccer products available for youth soccer players in the region. Dave and Paul are both strong and experienced leaders that will provide our staff and families more resource and guidance. To be able to promote from within is a great testament to them as professionals and the network that we continue to build at the club.”


About Kings Hammer

Kings Hammer Soccer Club, founded in the Greater Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky area, has become one of the most recognizable youth soccer clubs in the Midwest Region of the United States.

The club provides appropriate training of soccer at every level. Players, coaches, staff, parents contribute directly to the positive environment at Kings Hammer Soccer Club. From developing collegiate, professional, and national team level athletes to providing all players the opportunity to love the game, the development structure services all skill levels.

For more information, visit

Tryout FAQ’s

How do I register for tryouts?
ALL soccer-athletes MUST COMPLETE the tryout registration online before participating in the tryout process. Click here to register now!

*Please make sure that you register online at least 24 hours in advance to ensure that the soccer athlete is in the system and we have your information to notify you after the tryout process.  There is a Registration Steps document on the Tryouts page that will walk you through the process. Each soccer athlete should attend both tryout days if possible. If you are unable to attend both days please reach out to the Program Director listed below.

Birth Years for the 2022/2023 Season
For the 2022/2023 season, Kings Hammer will follow U.S Youth Soccer’s guidelines and will organize its teams by birth year:

*Interested players must register to try out for their birth year.

Can my child play up an age group?
Any player playing up will be at the discretion of their respective director. All players need to register and attend the tryout for their correct age group.

What should I wear/bring to tryouts?
Please come prepared with a fully inflated soccer ball, proper footwear, shin guards, and water. Each prospective soccer-athlete will receive one free Kings Hammer Soccer Club tryout t-shirt with a tryout identification number on the back of the t-shirt.  Each prospective player will be identified by the identification number throughout the process and MUST wear this t-shirt at each tryout session for the 2022/2023 soccer year.

We will not be able to attend tryouts or are new to the area and missed tryouts. Is there a process in place to allow for an alternate tryout?
Yes! If you are not able to attend tryouts or missed the tryout dates, please register and then contact the Director for the Program/Age Group you wish to tryout for so that arrangements can be made. We also hold supplemental tryouts throughout the year. Roster openings may be limited after the initial tryout period.

What are the differences between Academy and Premier?
Our Academy provides a highly competitive environment for higher-level soccer athletes. This program provides those athletes with the best local training offered by our qualified and professional staff. Our Academy teams play at the highest possible level providing showcase opportunities to College, Professional, and National level programs.

The Premier Program is a community-based program. The Premier Program provides the opportunity for players to play other sports or have other interests outside of soccer. This program is designed to be flexible, convenient, and affordable.

Can I try out for multiple programs?
We encourage anyone who wants to tryout for all levels to do so. Current KHSC players can ask their coach/director for guidance if they are unsure about which program to tryout for. You will need to register for each tryout separately.

If I tryout for a program and don’t make it, can I try out for another program?
Yes. If you don’t make an Academy team, we strongly encourage you to tryout for a Premier team, attending tryouts for at least one day.

If you don’t make a Premier team, the Classic Program may be an option. Contact Michelle Okumura ( if you’d like to pursue this option.

Will there be more than one team in each age group?
Yes, when possible, there will be more than one team per age group, per program. It all depends on the number of players at tryouts and their skill level.

If my child doesn’t make the top team, can they move up during the year?
Yes, there may be opportunities to move up throughout the year as long as the coach/director feels it is in the best interest of the player’s development. There may also be opportunities to guest play across all levels.

What can I expect after tryouts?
After tryouts you can expect communication from the club in the form of an email.  (Please double-check that your email is correct in the PlayMetrics system, this is the email we use) This will either be an acceptance email, offering your child a position on a team, or an email letting you know that they should tryout for a different program. Players who are offered positions on a team may also receive a phone call from their coach. All communication will come within 24-48 hours of the end of the last tryout. You will then have 24 hours to either accept or decline your email before your spot is offered to another child.

What are the next steps if my child makes a team?

  1. If you are new to the club, you will receive more information regarding your uniform ordering in your confirmation email.
  2. If you are part of the Academy or Premier Programs, you will receive the link to Demosphere to register your child in the state system in your confirmation email as well.

How long is the season?

  • Academy
    • U11-U14: August-November, January-May (possible post-season in June)
    • U15-U19: November-May
  • Premier
    • U7-U14: August-October, March-May
    • U15-U19: November-December, March-May

My child is in middle school but plays on a U15 team. Will there be a fall U15 program for trapped players?
Yes, we will offer a program for trapped 8th graders for the fall season depending on interest. The program will run from August to October and is open to players that are currently in the 8th grade that will be playing on a U15 team starting in November 2022. Questions please contact:

Academy North: Ryan Handbury |
Academy South Boys: James Thomas |
Academy South Girls: Chris Black |
Academy Bluegrass Boys: Dan Ensley  |
Academy Bluegrass Girls: Megan Adkins |

Can a team come to the club and join as a team?
Yes! The team can join the Classic Program. For more information please reach out to Michelle Okumura at

Who is in charge of hiring coaches?
If you are interested in a coaching opportunity, please fill out the following coaching form –

Program Directors:

Academy North: Ryan Handbury |
Academy South Girls: Chris Black |
Academy South Boys: James Thomas |
Academy Bluegrass Boys: Dan Ensley |
Academy Bluegrass Girls: Megan Adkins |
Premier Xenia: Brent Lewis |
Premier North: Wil Cagle |
Premier Sycamore: Ryan Handbury |
Premier Central: Michael Ratliff |
Premier South: David Shemilt |
Premier Versailles: Brandon Cummons |
Premier Lexington: Fonyam Atanga |