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Soccer program pleased with Polo plan
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Forsyth County News
Thousands of soccer players recently kicked off a new season at the Polo Club of Atlanta in Forsyth County. (click for map)  Though the Atlanta Soccer Academy players, some 14,000 strong, may not have noticed anything different about the organization’s fifth spring season, there has been a major change behind the scenes.

The academy is operating under a contract with Forsyth County instead of doing business directly with Polo Club.

The change stems from the complaints of Polo community residents who said players occasionally trespassed onto private property.

Program director Debbie Parks said the issue dates back about two years. While past contracts were renewed annually, the lease agreement with the county will last up to five years.

Executive director Ignace Moleka said the new arrangement is for the best.

“It shows our membership that we are there for the long term, that we’re committed and that we’re also committed to Forsyth County,” he said.

“We want to be good neighbors. We want to make sure that the people that are living around the field enjoy their house and their peace at the same time.”

Instead of $60,000 for the lease with Polo Club, the academy will pay $70,000 for the year.

The $10,000 increase in the first year of the deal will go toward funding a 6-foot-tall chain-link, green vinyl fence, which will cover about half the field and prevent trespassing.

Among other improvements, the plan also calls for a buffer of trees to be planted between the fence and homeowners.  

Polo Club co-owner Mike Domenicone said his company would match the $10,000 difference, for a total of $20,000 in improvements.

“Hopefully, this will settle all the issues and make this work for everyone,” he said. “ASA is fantastic. It really is a very, very well-run soccer academy.

“It’s just been challenging trying to keep everyone happy out there. This will take it off our plate and put it onto the county’s plate.”

Commissioner Jim Harrell, who introduced the idea to the county commission, said the contract was a good solution for all parties.

“It was just one of those problems that looked like it needed a third party to help make it happen,” he said. “It was really a rather complex problem that took a lot of cooperation from ... the homeowners, the soccer folks and the property owners themselves.”

E-mail Jennifer Sami at